James Donaldson Group chairman and chief executive Neil Donaldson was presented with a Timber Trade Federation (TTF) lifetime achievement award at the organisation’s annual dinner this week.

TTF president Martin Gale described Mr Donaldson as a “prominent business professional, who played with a straight bat” and headed a “creative entrepreneurial business”.

“His 35 years at Donaldsons have seen the company grow into a £100m business, with 540 employees and 23 sites and which earns a deserved profit,” he said.

Mr Donaldson, he added, had also been a major ‘giver’ to the wider timber industry, with his contributions including terms as president of the TTF and chairman of TRADA.

“And to commemorate his company’s 150th anniversary, he oversaw the establishment of the Donaldson Leadership Academy, to help young people from challenging backgrounds realise their true potential,” said Mr Gale.

The lifetime achievement award, he concluded, was deserved.

Mr Donaldson said he was ‘humbled’ by the accolade and thanked colleagues at James Donaldson for their contributions to the company’s “growth and prosperity”.

He also urged the audience to continue to support the TTF.

The Federation is the glue which keeps us all together as an industry, 365 days a year,” he said.