Ian’s career path
Being Sheffield born and bred I went straight into the Steel Industry from school. I followed a specialist apprenticeship in heavy engineering, attending technical college also to gain the appropriate qualifications.
The 1980’s where turbulent times for our country, industries changed along with economic times. Heavy engineering ceased as a result of the times. I was therefore presented with my first career crossroads! Revisiting my career path, I decided to re-educate myself as to a wider reaching/safer career. I chose commercial sales and within a year of hard work and training I found a position selling Commercial Catering Equipment. Applying previous drawing skills from engineering, I quickly became involved in the technical layouts and the design of commercial kitchens.
My first break came when an acquaintance in the industry told me he was ‘setting up’ to go alone and asked me to join. Several years later I had left a small successful business having provided me with a strong foundation of skills and vital business experience.
Having had my own early business within catering equipment ‘supply and design’ sector and indeed working for a few others, I was introduced to the company that was to put my career into overdrive.
Electrolux were building their commercial brands via acquisition around the world. Joining the ‘new’ Electrolux ‘Sales and Marketing’ team my career really excelled. The Electrolux philosophy of career development from within astounded me and both my career and education knew no bounds. I was with Electrolux for 11 years during which time I headed up an ‘International Key Accounts’ team. Then became the ‘National Sales Manager’, ‘Sales and Marketing Director’ in the UK. I moved to Italy to take up a board role of ‘VP Product Development’ having to learn a new language too. I had the responsibility for seven factories around Europe and all their respective products.
An untimely health scare which required surgery was my next crossroad…..
Once fully recovered I was offered a 3 year opportunity of working with one of the largest American Manufacturers of Commercial Catering Equipment. The strategy was to establish the brands and acquire new brands world-wide. I became ‘Senior VP’ for Europe, ME, Africa, PAK, UAE. During my contract, I lived and worked throughout Europe and the Middle East, opening and establishing sales companies and supply chains for the American brands. I was challenged as to growing the groups offer via strategic acquisition of European manufacturers to build the diversity and portfolio.
Upon my completion of my contract with the american company, I became a partner with an Italian ‘Specialist Wine Display’ and ‘Refrigeration’ manufacturer. My brief initially was to aid streamlining production techniques and establishing sales channels in Europe. This initial engagement led me to a further fixed term contract and provided the opportunity for me to move back to the UK. I was tasked with setting up over the following three years a new UK ‘Sales and Design Division’. Upon my 3 year review and looking at family commitments along with some other projects I felt that the time was right to change my life/work balance. I decided to retire from the ‘Front Line’ and chose not to continue with a new contract.
The birth of ‘FourMime’:
During a meeting to say thanks and farewell to Andy and his partner that ‘Four Mime’ was born!
They told me their business had ‘hit a ceiling’ and was at a cross roads. They asked me to take a look, four years on we challenged and grew that business.
Andy and I are now enjoying working together in ‘Four Mime’ working with SME’s sharing our vast and varied business experiences. We are supporting and mentoring management teams in all aspects of business, from implementation of key structures, growth, exit strategies as well as acquisitions.
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Contact me directly to discuss how we can help your business step up to the next level.
t: 07712 323868