Meet the NABAS Committee Members
Below are the profiles of the NABAS committee members.
George Oustayiannis – GO International
George was co-opted onto the committee in 2014. George Oustayiannis is a director of GO International, one of Europe’s leading importers and wholesalers of balloons and party products. After leaving the City as a successful broker in the 80’s, two paths became available to him. The first was entering on a ground floor opportunity in the mobile phone industry. And the second was the balloon and party industry. As everyone, including his bank manager told him no one would want a mobile phone, and that a mobile phone business would never be successful, George became a Party Wholesaler. The fledgling mobile phone opportunity became part of EE!! and the rest is history!
George has been at the forefront of our industry and was involved with the British Standards Institute on discussions regarding safety and Nitrosamine levels in latex as well as working with trading standards regarding packaging and CE Markings. His company was amongst the first to offer quality training in the UK, and as Chairman of NABAS he hopes that with the help of the committee we can offer support and focused relevant training to all our members.
Matthew Lewis – Matthew Lewis Displays
I am the proud owner of Matthew Lewis Displays based in Coventry. We specialise in balloon decoration and balloon printing. We have our own balloon printing machines & print on latex balloons from 9″ to 36″ as well as 4ft & 5.5ft Chloroprene’s in single colour and foils balloons from 18″, 20″ and 36″ in multi-colour. We also have a full digital print arm to the company supplying business stationary and balloon race labels.
As for me I am self-motivated, love my job and private life. I am married to Traci, have two children Joshua (Josh) and Harriet (Harribo) and two dogs, Midnight is a black Labrador and Zara is a black shaggy coated Labradoodle. My main hobby is fishing which I find very relaxing and I can be found with a rod in my hand most Sundays (Weather permitting).
My balloon decorating career started many moons ago in 1989, and my passion for balloons and balloon decorating continues to grow. I passed my CBA in 1994 and have never looked back. My work has taken me the length and breadth of England and into Europe working on large scale decor at Euro Disney in Paris and as well as Alicante in Spain and more recently appearing on the hit TV show “Idiot Abroad” staring Karl Pilkington & Warwick Davis on location in Macedonia for the 3rd and final series. I’m tremendously pleased to be on the committee, and I am looking forward to working with the members.
Mitch Gilbert – Rainbow Balloons & Balloons Worldwide Ltd
A Veteran of 30 years in the Balloon Industry and proud owner of Rainbow Balloons-Retail (1985) and Balloons World Wide Ltd (1989)-Trade. A co-founder of NABAS and a former committee member during the early years.
I am very pleased to be back on board of the NABAS Committee and wish to assist current and new members within the industry and help project NABAS into the future.
Angie George – Balloni & Capel Manor College
It was 15 years ago when both my children were at the age for full time education that I discovered the balloon world whilst searching for a creative college course.
It was out of curiosity that I signed up for the City &Guilds balloon artistry course at Capel Manor College in Enfield.
I became hooked immediately and within 2 months into the course I braved my first competition at a major balloon event .
After completing the Level 1, 2 and 3 balloon courses I was asked by Capel to join their teaching team……13 years later and I find myself still as passionate about the industry and the teaching of balloon artistry.
I became a NABAS trainer just over 2 years ago when I approached the NABAS committee to link Capel Manor College with NABAS and incorporate the Level 1 and 2 courses to our current college courses.
It was a year later when our current Chairman twisted my arm and persuaded me to join the committee.
I would like to take this opportunity to say how proud I am to be part of this organisation and look forward to hopefully meeting you all at our organised events.
Paula Ardron-Gemmell – Pink Tree Parties
I stumbled into balloons as a profession in September 2007 when my family returned from living in South Africa. Whilst living there, raising our two littlies, I not only got married to my lovely hubby, but also took a business course, as well as event planning diploma, with a view to doing ANYTHING except returning to an office based career. My background was accountancy and finance but I’d always loved the idea of being my own boss.
Our return to the UK coincided with my best friend taking a career break so, after a visit to the Autumn Fair at the NEC she agreed to start up Pink Tree Parties with me. Hence we found a high street property and enrolled on Mitch’s NABAS course. After 3 months of hard slog we opened the doors to our shop in January 2008.
Over the years the industry has changed and we’ve had to adapt – we regularly attend training courses, keep up to date with industry trends and developments in social media. Now Amanda has returned to full time teaching, I’ve become the partner most passionate about balloons and their possibilities, I love the creativity involved in this industry.
The balloon industry is unlike any I’ve known – it’s so supportive of fellow professionals. I’m really proud to have been asked to join this committee so I can hopefully give a little back to other members.