The National Council

The management of the Institute is carried out by an elected Council. The Council is elected by the members of the Institute following nominations and votes received. The results of voting are normally announced at the AGM, which is usually held in March of each year. Newly elected Council members will take their place on the Council at the first meeting following the AGM.

One third of the Council have to stand down by rotation every year to allow for the election of new person, however existing Council members can be re-elected. There are normally ten members of the Council, including the President, Chairman and Secretary. The President is elected for a term of five years by the members of the Institute at an AGM.

A Chairman is elected by the National Council and will normally hold that office for a period of two years, following which they return to being Vice Chairman for a final year.

The National Council meets bi-monthly to discuss issues surrounding membership and also to discuss any issues involving IVR (UK) Ltd and IVR (TS) Ltd, the Institute’s two subsidiary companies.

In addition to the National Council the Institute may employ the services of consultants to assist in the day to day running of all sections of the IVR Group, these may be invited to attend the National Council meetings, but have no voting rights.

The current structure of the Council is:

Nick_Ovenden Position Name Voting rights
President Nick Ovenden FIVR Yes
Background - IVR Member since 1985    IVR Council member since 1999
Managing Director: Ashford Recovery Ltd
1973 – Present Day: Ashford Group. Currently Managing Director
1982 – 1999: Spectrum Recovery Systems Ltd, Managing Director
2005 – Present Day: 24 Seven Car & Van Hire Ltd, Managing Director
Fellow Institute of Vehicle Recovery. Member since 1985.
Member Institute of the Motor Industry since 2000.
Member of Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida since 2002.
Member International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum since 2002.
Member Association of Industrial Truck Trainers since 2007
Training Record:
Air Cushion Recovery – DMA Truck Care 16-17/06/86. D. McAlister
IVR Air Lift (Refresher) – 15/08/89. D. McAllister


Mac_Hobbs Position Name Voting rights
Vice-President Mac Hobbs FIVR Yes
Background - IVR member since 1997  IVR Council member since 2000
Director: Hobbs Recovery Services Limited
I started my career with a local Leyland dealer in 1975. My first recovery experience was as an apprentice in 1976 recovering a Ford Cortina from the foot of Beachy Head.
I have been a director of Hobbs Recovery Services since 1989.
I am a Fellow of the IVR and was Chairman for eight years during which I worked alongside the Council and staff during what was possibly the most significant period in the IVR’s history.
I finally handed over the baton in 2014 but continue to work closely with the new Chairman, representing the Institute on numerous committees and working on projects that benefit the industry.


Chris_Hoare1 Position Name Voting rights
Chairman Chris Hoare FIVR Yes
Background - IVR member since 1992  IVR Council member since 2009

Director of Eclipse Recovery Services Limited
I have over forty years experience in the Recovery Industry
I began with five year indentured apprenticeship as a Commercial Mechanic and caught the recovery bug whilst assisting with recoveries of both vehicles and plant as an apprentice.
Joined Leyland/DAF dealership to run workshops and recovery after my apprenticeship (13 years) using both manual and hydraulic equipment and air cushions. Started Eclipse Recovery upon leaving DAF dealership in 1986 and have been heavily involved in all aspects of recovery ever since.
I have served on numerous councils including AA and RAC representing Recovery Operators interests and was past Regional Chairman of AVRO.
Member of the following: SOE • IRTE • MIMI


Mark_Hartell Position Name Voting rights
Vice Chairman Mark Hartell MIVR Yes
Background - IVR member since 1996  IVR Council member since 2003
Managing Director & Instructor: Recovery Safe Training Services Ltd.

1991 / 2004 Introduction to the Recovery Industry with Eriksons Motoring Services
2004 /2006 Training Instructor Mondial assistance
2006 /2008 Training Manager Ontime Automotive
2008 /present Recoverysafe Training Services

Having worked in all aspects of the Recovery Industry, I have obtained valuable skills and experience to pass on in my role as an Industry Training Instructor and as a IVR National Council Member.
I also hold various training qualifications in other related industries such as British Red Cross 1st Aid & LANTRA 4x4 Driving Instructor.  In 2013, I became onne of only three CAT 4 instructors within the IVR.


Geoff_Gatwood1 Position Name Voting rights
IVR Co-founder and Company Secretary Geoff Gatward FIVR Yes
Background - IVR member and council member since 1983

Managing Director: Gatward (Maidstone) Ltd
I have been involved in the recovery industry for over sixty years.

  • 1953-2002. Vehicle Recovery Operator. 24hr Light and Heavy Recovery Service
  • 1977-to date. AVRO Region Eleven Honorary Secretary
  • 1983-1984  IVR Company Secretary  
  • 1984 - 1985 IVR Chairman
  • 1986 - date IVR Company Secretary


John_Coldwell1 Position Name Voting rights
IVR Treasurer John Coldwell FIVR Yes
Background - IVR member since 1984  IVR Council member since 2009

Sales Manager: Boniface Engineering Ltd

Worked for Mann Egerton Ltd on leaving school and completed a five year indentured apprenticeship as a heavy commercial mechanic.  I started recovery with Thames Trader and Mann Egerton rotating hand winch crane. Also in fleet was a Ford Transit with Holmes Commander twin winch. Moved to WJR Spruce Truck workshop and moved up to using F88 with Holmes twin boom truck recovery only. Moved to Cowies as workshop foreman for commercial workshop in charge of Recovery operation using Bedford KM with TFL Recovery equipment along with an Iveco 59-10 Dyson spec and TFL Tri loader. Moved from there to become one of two inspection Engineers for AVRO for south of the country. And up to date with Boniface Engineering Ltd as Sales Manager, ex Chairman of REMSA, sat on Council of the IVR 10 years ago and present member IVR council of Management.


James_Sparrow Position Name Voting rights
Council Member James Sparrow FIVR Yes
Background - IVR member since 1984  IVR Council member since 2007

Director: Sparrow Recovery Limited

I was brought up in the recovery industry and when I left school in the late '70s I joined the family business, S&H Recovery, full time. I always enjoyed the training side of the industry and so when Dave McAlistter, one of the founding members of IVR Training Services, deided to retire I took responsibility for the IVR's heavy recovery and devised and trained the first 'underlift' course. I'm still working at the coalface, so to speak, and on days I'm not in a truck carrying out recoveries I am passing on my knowledge and experience by training others.

I joined the IVR in 1984, twelve months after its formation and I have held the position of IVR Treasurer since joining the council in 2007.


Mick_Goodley Position Name Voting rights
Council member Mick Goodley FIVR Yes
Background - IVR member since 1998  IVR Council member since 2007

Director: Ashbourne Accident Repair.

I have been in transport most of my working life.  In 1995 I started in recovery with the then Lamb and Mansfield now known as The Mansfield Group and worked my way through the ranks to the position of Group General Manager a position I held until 2005 when I left to become a Director of A.A.RC

Since 1997 I have been an instructor for the IVR and I am passionate about standards in the recovery industry; to that end I now help with the mentoring and assessing of instructors.


Keith_Lowey Position Name Voting rights
Council member Keith Lowey FIVR Yes
Background - IVR Member since 1998  IVR Council member since 2008


I started my career as a technician with SAAB and Renault and continued to work in the motor trade until I joined the AA in the 1980's. I covered a variety of duties during this time and achieved Patrol of the Year in 1996.
In 1997 I joined Davies Motors, which was a family run business with both modern but traditional views.I became a Member of the IVR in 1998 and have sat on the IVR Council since 2008. I have been actively involved in the development of the VR Training Modules and continue to do so by writing and development of both existing and new modules. I am an ITTSAR Approved Trainer and I fully support the changes to the training programmes within the Recovery Industry.


Keiren_Rice Position Name Voting rights
Council member Kieran Rice FIVR Yes
Background - IVR member since 1990  IVR Council member since 2011

Operations Manager: A1 Marsden Recovery

Started my recovery career in 1987 working under the tuition of John Marsden recovering car and commercials using a Ford D series and towing heavies with a Scania Vabis that was older than me, sadly John was killed in March 1988 but the business continued. I developed my recovery skill and knowledge further under the direction of Dave McAlister who for a few years attended our premises in Northern Ireland on a regular basis. I joined the IVR as an Associate in July 1990 then elected a member in 2005, in March 2007 I had the honour of being awarded a Fellowship.

In May 2002 I attended the Train the trainer course under the tuition of Steve Kirton FIVR. I was then invited to attend an ITTSAR course to develop my training skill further.  This a five day course was one of the hardest I'd ever attended but found it most beneficial and I passed as a Level 2 instructor in February 2006. I continue to strive to achieve new levels within the recovery industry I believe that investment in the training and development of employees is essential - it improves performance, assists those with the interest and ability to undertake additional responsibilities and most importantly making our industry safer and more professional.


Terry_Crampton Position Name Voting rights
Consultant (retired) Terry Crampton FIVR No
Background - IVR member since 1983  IVR council member 2002 to 2008*

T&J Associates (Tuxford) Ltd
I joined ‘Cowan’s of Hemel Hempstead, in 1977 as a mechanic, progressing to vehicle recovery and roadside assistance. We moved to Newport Pagnell Services late 1977 and I joined them in 1978. We expanded the business and I progressed to Operations Manager with five depots. During that time I was AVRO Region 8 Chairman for a year.

In 1988 I left the industry for ten years, going back to my roots in the motor vehicle repair sector and then on to training for four years, gaining a City and Guilds qualification in training.I returned to the recovery industry in 1997, going back to my original company, then known as CMG Rescue Services. I became a Director of the company and then Managing Director before leaving to semi-retire in 2008. During that time I re-activated my Institute membership, joined the council and hwld the post of IVR Chairman from 2004 to 2006.
I currently run my own consultancy company and devote my time to progressing the IVR Group role within the Recovery sector, particularly IVR (UK) Ltd, in its role as administrator for the National Training Scheme.

I resigned from the council in 2008 to ensure that thee was no conflict of interest due to my work within IVR (UK) Limited.