Press Release

RIA wins two Trade Association Forum Awards on diversity and leadership

Max Sugarman (left) and Katherine Anchorena (right) picking up the TAF Leadership Award on behalf of Darren Caplan

18 February 2022

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has notched up two wins at this week’s national Trade Association Forum Awards 2022.

At a prestigious ceremony yesterday (17 February) in central London, RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan won the ‘Trade Association Leadership Award’, and RIA topped the ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ category. The Trade Association Forum is the trade association of trade associations, and its Awards recognise, reward and promote best practice amongst trade bodies in the UK. The accolades won by RIA follow on from several award wins in recent years.

Darren Caplan’s Trade Association Leadership Award was recognition of progress made by RIA in the last five years: representing the railway supply sector; promoting visibility and certainty in rail funding; establishing impactful public affairs; strengthening its policy, technical and innovation, exports, and events & member relations as well as central office functions; and building a new UK Nations & Regions network.

The Diversity & Inclusion Award recognised the work of the RIA team, particularly Policy Director Kate Jennings and Senior Policy Executive Isabella Lawson, in launching, together with Women in Rail, the Rail EDI Charter.  More than 175 organisations in rail have signed up to the Charter, which is driving D&I up the agenda. Kate and Isabella have also developed RIA’s Trailblazers programme to bring existing and future rail leaders together.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “It really is a huge privilege for RIA to be recognised by our trade association peers at this year’s Trade Association Forum Awards with these two award wins. 

"RIA seeks to be a leading force on behalf of its members - representing their interests and delivering strong flagship initiatives, information-sharing and networking events – ultimately to bring its members together and build a bigger and better rail supply community. These awards, following an unprecedented two Covid-pandemic years, are further recognition that Team RIA is providing high quality representation on critical issues for its members. I and the team are truly honoured to be receiving these awards, and we will strive to deliver even better representation and services for our fantastic rail supply members in the months ahead.”

RIA Senior Policy Executive Isabella Lawson (left) receiving the TAF Diversity & Inclusion Award

Emily Wallace, Interim Chief Executive, Trade Association Forum and Chair of Judges, said: “The judges could see clearly how Darren’s leadership qualities had driven the transformation of RIA and were impressed by his ability to turn ambition into practical improvements. The judges also praised the RIA-Women in Rail EDI charter as a unique initiative that brings people together throughout the rail industry to share best practice and achieve a positive change in the sector."

Now in its nineteenth year, the prestigious Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards 2022 are supported by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and recognise excellence, innovation and best practice amongst trade associations in the UK. 
Notes to Editors

  1. The winners of all categories can be viewed here.

  2. Since its formation in 1997, the Trade Association Forum has been encouraging the development and sharing of best practice among UK trade associations and promoting the role of effective trade associations to government, industry and the wider public.

  3. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number).

  4. TAF Contact details: Trade Association Forum: Emily Wallace 07977558707 or

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