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Welcome to the Plants at Work (formerly efig ltd) website  - the association representing Interior Landscapers by promoting the use and benefits of Interior Plants.
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Words from our first Chairman

on Wednesday, 28 April 2021. Posted in News

Steve Attrill was our very first Chairman and served during the period 2001 - 2003.

Steve Atrill lr

Q1. When I spoke to you originally about this interview Steve, you said that you volunteered for the role of Chair as there was some hesitation from others to take on the role. Of course you were voted in and accepted as Chair for the following year and then voted to stay on for a further year. Is that a fair description of the initial introduction to the role?

A. It is, there was suspicion around the larger companies at the time such as Rentokil and PHS but we had to get the ball rolling.


Q2. I have it on good authority that you were definitely a driving force in getting eFIG as it was then, off the ground and encouraging collaboration between members. Is this a fair comment?

A. It had to be seen to be equal and fair, we agreed that regardless of size we all had one vote we needed everyone to join in. This then removed the concern about large companies. In the main.


Q3. I guess it was all very unknown so you entered into the role with no history on either side. It gave you, along with the committee, an opportunity to put the structure into the set-up. How is your memory of that time and what was accomplished?

A. I think we did ok; my memory is fading but we were all keen to get it going and get new members there were no divisions and we worked together – Joanna has to be thanked for her tireless efforts in getting us organised.

Q4. You were certainly very busy in those first two years building membership and awareness of the association. Exhibiting at the FM Show being the first showcase just three months after eFIG was formed. According to the records the members all collaborated to run the stand and promote the organisation. What are your memories of it or comments about it?

A. Teamwork would be my word to sum up this time and most enjoyable it was.


Q5. eFIG followed this with its own exhibition in September of 2001, ‘The Container Show’ at Coombe Abbey, Coventry. What can you remember of this event and its success?

A. Wow testing me now – I seem to recall a good turnout of both suppliers and visitors.


Q6. Jump forward a year almost to the day and eFIG embarked on its first Trade Show at Stoneleigh Park. How did this go?

A. Very well I believe again good turn out everyone was very enthused in the early days as not done before – trade show just for interiors and a bit of exterior.


Q7. Was it purely a trade show with members exhibiting or was there a conference alongside this – or did those come later?

A. We had a number of seminars running throughout the day, so I guess it was the start of what later became official conferences.


Q8. 20 years later, what do you feel the value of the association is in general?

A. Its value doesn’t seem to have changed it’s important to those who are members whom it serves very well keeping them updated and sharing best practise.


Q9. How would you motivate more companies to join?

A. Now there’s a leading question been asking that since it was created. Training has always been a good hook. Need to spread meetings throughout the country when you’re allowed to mix again otherwise those out of the London bubble in the South feel uninvolved. Must stay relevant and topical and inclusive.


Q10. Where/which direction would you like to see the organisation going forward?

A. Need to be more like BALI – in this new green world we should be someone the government looks to for advice. Need to be the go-to organisation for all things green – how do we green our building etc.


Q11. What is your all-time favourite houseplant?

A. Orchids – love ‘em.



Q12. Let’s finish with an old favourite – tell us something about you that most people won’t know:

A. I am now a grandad with 2 grandsons and a third on the way – happy days.


Thank you very much for your time Steve.


When Steve was Chairman, he was working for Rentokill/later Ambius; he is now part of the team at Flora-tec.