Steve Allen and Graham Evans the company founders are due to take early retirement on an operational front from the company at the end of the year. It goes without saying they will both be on hand for any help that may be required on an advisory basis and the whole company wishes them well in their respective retirements.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved as a company but it’s time for a fresh approach with the business & its direction. I am extremely pleased that so many of our long serving employees have shown tremendous potential and have developed as successors to Graham & I, which demonstrates our commitment to the personal & academic development of our team. Although I will be relinquishing my role as Managing Director and the associated operational responsibilities, I will be retaining an active involvement as a board director & shareholder with Ecodrive Transmissions Ltd and will be there to support the new management team whenever I am needed. This will free up some time, which I will be dedicating to travelling, fishing & hopefully getting back into playing more golf in the warmer months.
I also intend to create and build a further business specifically aimed at supporting SME’s & owner/managed businesses with coaching/mentoring & continual process improvements using the knowledge and skills I have built up over my varied working career. This will be more of a “hands on” style, looking at real time situations, rather than an academic & theoretical approach, which business owners much prefer and which is not that readily available to them”.
I am also very proud of what Steve, I and Ecodrive have achieved over the past 16 years and I’m also very proud of our loyal employees who will be stepping up into directors and managerial roles. I believe that the time is right both for me personally and for the longevity of the business, and its association with ZF, that the new team take the business forward into a new generation. I am also extremely grateful to all the directors, managers and staff, past & present at ZFSUK for all their support over the past 15 years or so. I will still be involved in the business by supporting the new management team, but at arm’s length. I will also retain my shareholding in Ecodrive and as a board director.
On a more personal front, I intend to travel a little more and spend more time in Mallorca, I will also pursue and hopefully develop my current interest in cycling and road racing in 2017. I took up cycling again in 2013 after a 32-year break from the sport, and how things have changed from the old steel frames to carbon fibre. My current bike is some 45% lighter than my old steel bike which I still have from 1977!
In 2015 I gained my UCI qualification but, due to work commitments, I didn’t participate in as many events as hoped. However, in 2017, I intend to enter the TLI road race circuit, which will require a considerable amount of time and miles under my belt to reach even an average standard, with the circuit standard being very high for my age group. For me business-wise outside Ecodrive, I intend to continue to pursue my interest in property development, I’m currently looking for either a rundown property to develop or a plot of land where I can build an eco-friendly property for our retirement.
Jon Stone – Set to take the company into the next phase of its history as new MD
After spending the first 13 years of my working life at ZFSUK, starting as a workshop apprentice and working my way up to become the account manager for Leyland trucks, I decided the time was right to pack my bags and go travelling with my beautiful wife. We spent just over 11 months travelling, visiting 15 different countries and several continents like South-East Asia, Australasia and South America.
Eventually we decided to return home and start a new life together and we ended up eventually settling in sunny Salford!
We now have an absolutely amazing 2.5-year-old son who only took 5 long years to make with a lot of help from our amazing Manchester NHS doctors, nurses and embryologists.
Going back to 2006, and returning from my travels I was contacted initially by Graham Evans to see if I would be interested in Joining Ecodrive as a Service Manager looking after the workshop and field service engineers. I knew the directors and staff of Ecodrive from my previous roles with ZFSUK and after agreeing to join the company my bags were packed again and I was heading north from Nottingham to Manchester, where both myself and my wife have never looked back.
I have now been with Ecodrive for 10 years. A little over 2 years ago, I had the opportunity to join the board of directors as the Operations Director and with this additional responsibility formulate a succession plan to slowly absorb the responsibilities of the other 3 operational directors as they looked towards early retirement. This meant either bringing in a new senior management team or training, mentoring and progressing current employees who have shown the dedication, initiative and potential to succeed. I opted for the latter and am very proud of what the team have accomplished so far and look forward to working alongside them for the further development of this company.
I’m really excited to become Managing Director of Ecodrive in the new year and with this very structured, dynamic team behind me, I know this company has a great future. Not only for the employees, but for products, services and the continued support we will give our expanding customer base. Ecodrive are a great honest company to work for, and with, should you have the opportunity.
Other news in brief
The directors would like to say a special thank you to Samantha Patton, Nathan Hogarth & Mark Urmson for their dedicated service to the company and they are pleased to see their careers progress into senior managerial roles within the business. We wish them every success,
Mark Urmson has taken over the role as Technical Manager with 15 years continued service, which will give superb continuity for our customer base. Mark’s experience and knowledge in this role will be key to giving customer confidence and support on a high level; his experience within the market sector will prove invaluable.
We are all looking forward to another successful year in business and to working with our business partners and suppliers.
Samantha Patton is rewarded for all her hard work over the last 12 years, by becoming the new company secretary in the succession plan. With the experience and background she brings, this is also a very astute piece of the jigsaw put in place by the retiring directors.
Nathan Hogarth has held the role of operations manager over the last year, Nathan started work for the company some 15 years ago as a gearbox technician. He has achieved great success to become part of the new senior management team. With Nathan’s vast experience on the gearbox front. the company is in safe hands.
The directors would like to take this opportunity to wish the staff and all our valued customers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.