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Dr Mark Downs FRSB, chief executive of the RSB, has been recognised for outstanding leadership and the lasting and positive impact of his work during nine years at the Society.

Dr Downs was awarded the Louis Armstrong Leadership Award, which recognises outstanding performance and impact, presented by memcom, an organisation that facilitates networking of senior membership organisation professionals.

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Dr Downs receiving his award (Photo credit: memcom)


The 2018 award was presented at the memcom excellence awards  on Wednesday 16 May at County Hall, an event attended by hundreds of membership professionals.

Dr Downs nomination was submitted during the presidency of Professor Dame Jean Thomas, and he was commended for a number of milestones reached by RSB under his direction.

Professor Dame Jean Thomas said of his award: “That Dr Downs has been able to achieve such a great deal, with wide benefit beyond RSB, is due to the quality of the relationships he has built across the sector and his excellent leadership.

"I was happy to commend him unreservedly for this award."

Dr Downs has been chief executive of the RSB since its formation in 2009, and during that time has overseen individual membership grow to more than 18,000; a doubling of annual turnover; the formation of special interest groups, and dedicated and influential committees; and the Society’s receipt of its Royal title in 2015.

Since 2009, the RSB has also submitted more than 100 policy positions to Government and others, accredited more than 500 educational programmes across more than 50 higher education institutions, delivered more than 100 CPD and training courses, reached nearly 500,000 pupils through its school competitions, and engaged with many more through its public engagement and outreach work.

These achievements, among others, were enabled by impactful and encouraging leadership by Dr Downs, who has also overseen the growth of full-time staff working at the RSB, from a team of 15 to a team of more than 30.

The judging panel was chaired by Chris Blyth, CEO, Chartered Institute of Building and recipient of the 2017 award, who presented the award to Dr Downs at the event.

As a recipient of the award, Dr Downs will also be invited to join the Pantheon of Leaders.

Lucy Coia, membership and marketing officer for the RSB, was also shortlisted for a memcom award for her work in supporting membership and its development.