Andy Studdert, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based aerial rental company NES Rentals, was elected president of the International Powered Access Federation at the IPAF annual general meeting this week in Washington, D.C., saying he wants to continue the organization’s emphasis on developing electronic learning. Studdert succeeds Steve Couling, managing director of the IAPS Group in the U.K.

Nick Selley, group business development of U.K.-based AFI Uplift, was elected deputy president and Brad Boehler, president of Skyjack was elected vice president.

IPAF achieved a 9.4-percent increase in revenue, reaching £4.65 million (about U.S. $7 million) in 2014, reported Couling and IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. The volume produced a 3.2-percent surplus. All surpluses are re-invested in safety, membership and training activities in line with the aims of the not-for-profit federation.

Membership increased by 6.9 percent, from 1,037 to 1,109 in 2014. A record number of 137,429 people were trained by IPAF-approved training centers in 2014, an increase of 7.9 percent compared to 127,365 people trained in 2013.

“The ongoing push to eLearning will be a major theme of IPAF’s activities in the next several years,” said Studdert. “This new technology will change the learning experience for operators and drive the safety message home in a very positive way. A second major area of focus will be embracing, handling and implementing change. We need to look at what we’ve done in the past and ask ourselves if that is still relevant. The way forward for the Federation must be simple, powerful and focused.”

Studdert has been CEO of NES Rentals for the past 11 years, where he instilled a stringent safety culture based on repeatable processes, a culture of intervention and crisis preparation. Almost all the NES Rentals management and staff hold IPAF PAL (powered access license) cards as proof of training, including Studdert.

Before his time at NES Rentals, Studdert was chief operating officer of United Airlines from 1999 to 2002, where he led the company through the 9/11 crisis. He also previously served as head of fleet operations and chief information officer at NES. Before joining United Airlines, he was a consultant and a banker. He joined the IPAF board of directors three years ago and has been instrumental in pushing for the development of the IPAF operator eLeaning module. He was voted IPAF Safety Champion of the Year at the 2009 International Awards for Powered Access.