Gary Macnamara, executive director of the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA), began his career in architecture after receiving a National Diploma in Architectural Technology. The first ten years of his working life were spent at an architectural firm, where he was involved in the design of buildings of every shape and size.
In 2003, he joined Interact Media Defined (IMD) a business-to-business publication company based in Bedfordview. During his tenure at IMD, Macnamara involved himself in every facet of the business. He left IMD in 2012 to develop his passion for digital media.
In 2014, Macnamara was approached by IOPSA to be part of their strategic plan to become a more effective plumbing body and to better serve the industry. “I jumped at the opportunity as it presented many challenges to overcome, making the career direction even more exciting and fulfilling,” Macnamara said. Macnamara’s experience in the building industry and plumbing trade media allowed him to become familiar with specialised trade industries and trade bodies, particularly IOPSA. This, coupled with his experience as a director and business owner, gave Macnamara the added skills and experience required to really make a difference. “Working for IOPSA has given me the opportunity to make a difference in the industry I started in and that I am so passionate about.”
Macnamara’s duties as executive director of IOPSA entails the implementation and management of the Institute’s constitution and strategic objectives. His main responsibilities include:
a. Developing and implementing the national executive vision and strategic plan of the Institute;
b. Developing an operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the Institute;
c. Managing the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Institute’s programmes and services;
d. Managing the implementation of human resources policies, procedures and best practices;
e. Administering the funds of the Institute according to the approved budget and monitoring the Institute’s monthly cash flow;
f. Communicating with stakeholders to keep them informed of the work of the Institute and to identify changes in the community served by the Institute; and
g. Identifying and evaluating the risks to the Institute's people (clients, staff, management, volunteers etc.), property, finances, goodwill, and image, and implementing measures to control risks.
Macnamara’s favourite part of the job is creating solutions to the many challenges the plumbing industry faces and dealing with individuals within the plumbing sector who are so passionate about their industry.
In the future
“What I have learnt over the past 12 months is that the plumbing industry cannot be changed overnight,” Macnamara said. “There is a hugely negative culture of plumbers within an untrusting environment between all role players of the plumbing supply chain, so it’s a long road with many goals to achieve.”
One of Macnamara’s main goals for IOPSA is changing the mind sets of plumbers to create a positive environment in which change can be facilitated.
Macnamara’s work philosophy is to keep it simple. “Do things the right way and for the right reasons, persevere and have faith that you can achieve what you want to no matter what the obstacles, as long as you know what you want.”