IAI announces new chair

Samantha Thatcher and Deborah Cannon

Professional development and nurturing new industry talent are among the top priorities of the new IAI chair. 

Deborah Cannon was announced as the new national chair at the IAI AGM at the Hallmark Hotel, Gloucester on 7 March 2020. 

Deborah has been closely involved in the Institute for several years alongside her current role as customer support team leader at dormakaba. She was previously secretary and then chair of the IAI Southwest branch until 2018 when she became the national vice chair of the IAI.  

Since completing her GAI Diploma in 2012, Deborah has gone on to complete the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) Diploma and become a Registered Architectural Ironmonger (RegAI)

“With so many new products and technology constantly coming into the market, ironmongers need to have their finger on the pulse,” said Deborah. “As a RegAI, I know first-hand the importance of keeping up to date with the industry’s latest standards, regulations and legislation.

“It’s imperative that we continue to learn and grow as professionals to keep giving customers high quality technical advice. We’re encouraging architectural ironmongers to continue both professional and personal development through attending IAI branch meetings. 

“We also want to offer our support to those individuals just starting out in this sector and encourage them to become a part of the ironmongery community. These meetings offer a wealth of CPD presentations and opportunities to network with other industry professionals.

“I am passionate about the Institute and its members, and with the forthcoming organisational change under One Future Vision, my primary focus will be creating a strong foundation to build on, with members at the forefront. I want to ensure a smooth transition that makes a positive difference for our membership.” 


Samantha Thatcher will be joining the IAI team as national vice chair. 

Samantha is the office manager at SDS London and became chair of the IAI South East branch in 2019. After completing the GAI Diploma in 2017, Samantha went on to win the Promising Ironmonger of the Year award at the 2018 IAI Awards and is also a RegAI.