New Fed leaders vow to ‘put members first’ at annual conference

Full coverage of the Fed conference will feature in the 23 June edition of RN

Hetal Patel, London district president, has been named as deputy vice-president at this year’s Fed annual conference.

The owner of HRDV News in Maidenhead stood against national executive committee members Shumaila Malik, Martin Ward and Wales district president Vince Malone.

Patel secured 54.6% of the vote in a third round of voting against Ward (45.4%). Malik and Malone were knocked out in the earlier rounds of voting.

Speaking ahead of his win, Patel pledged to use his 25 years of retailing knowledge and experience. “I am passionate about the Fed, and I always want members to come first,” he said. “My plan is to stabilise and grow membership numbers.” He said this would be achieved through working with the Fde’s business development team, “engaging with districts and branches, and inviting all retailers and non-members [to join the Fed]”.

Patel described his motto as “one nation, and a Federation”.

The event at Harrogate’s Convention Centre on 13-14 June also saw Muntazir Dipoti, owner of Todmorden News in West Yorkshire, officially be crowned national president after running unopposed to replace outgoing president Jason Birks.

Speaking at the podium, he described the title as “a great honour”. Dipoti explained: “I encourage members to speak up, communicate, be truthful and optimistic, and consider everyone at grassroots level. Let’s unite, because we know that we are strong, and divided we are weak. Let’s change the future together.”

Earlier this month, Dipoti pledged to Better Retailing that he would “modernise” the Fed, in a bid to boost recruitment and improve membership value through attracting further partnerships. “I understand that change is scary, but we need to adapt. Business is all about taking risks, and hopefully that risk will pay off.”

Mo Razzaq, owner of Jack’s of Blantyre in Glasgow, was crowned national vice-president unopposed. In his speech, Razzaq described the Fed as a “family” and pledged to do his “utmost to make sure everyone is on board with change”.

Nilesh Patel, owner of PJ & VP Patel Convenience Store in Ilford, was voted in as national trustee, under a three-year term. He won the majority vote (52.8%) against Mike Mitchelson, in a second round of voting after Dilip Patel failed to secure enough votes in the first round.

Full coverage of the Fed conference will feature in the 23 June edition of RN.

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