How long have you worked at Hoppecke?
I’ve been with Hoppecke for 10 years in total. I was an engineer at JCB when the market plummeted and joined Hoppecke in 2009. I started out in production, assembling motive batteries, and went on to become warehouse supervisor for two years before moving into sales. After a stint away from the business I returned in March 2019 and am now key account manager.
What attracted you to this industry?
The fact that it’s technical sales, combining engineering and sales know-how, really suits me. In fact, the industry is becoming a lot more technical than it used to be. These days, increasingly, my role is to educate end user about developments, especially about the benefits of switching from diesel trucks to electric. Basically, it’s about helping to dispel the fear of change. Thanks to my technical understanding I’ve the confidence and authority to do this.
I hadn’t heard of Hoppecke when I applied to join the business. However, the fact that it’s a local company with global reach was very appealing. It was an excellent opportunity at the time. So, here I am. Working in a technical manufacturing business with an enviable reputation that plays a key role in a major group, in a sector that interests me and is growing.
How did your upbringing influence your life choices?
Mine was a low-income family and many of my friends were from wealthier backgrounds. I wanted to succeed, to make a difference in my family and create a good future for my kids. Although a lot of my friends went to university after school, I studied engineering at college and then joined the Royal Navy. I was an engineer for four years, posted to Oman aged 22, and also to Malta and Gibraltar. The Navy gave me a structure, an education and valuable training. In many respects it was a wakeup call. Then, my time at JCB kick-started something in me and Hoppecke has helped to drive my success.
If you had the chance to go on the road trip of a lifetime, and could only bring four people with you (living/dead, real/fictional), who would they be and where would you be going?
I would definitely take a trip to Alaska and Canada – by train and preferably battery powered! As for companions, I’d take my (now deceased) dog Scruffy, a crazy Jack Russell who was always great fun. My partner and children would be there too, although the kids would be older. I’d love to see the scenery and wildlife and, of course, I would pan for gold!!
What single quality do you think has contributed to your success?
I suppose I’ve not always appreciated my own potential, but an organisation or an individual has seen it. On that basis, I’d have to say I’m always prepared to be surprised. I see myself as very open, able to talk to people, and I think I adapt well to change. I reckon these qualities, along with my technical skills, have helped me to get where I am today.
What secret ambitions/talents do you have?
Wild camping! I love nature and being out under the stars is something else. Plus, I’m driven by keeping up with advances in technology.
What keeps you getting up and doing this every morning?
The cockerel next door, which used to be mine! That’s why he’s gone to live with the neighbours! Or maybe it’s because I’m practical and pragmatic.
What do you do to relax or have fun?
Aside from wild camping, it’s got to be entertainment! I especially enjoy watching Sci-Fi on TV.
What advice do you have for others, maybe younger people, in this industry?
Hold on tight. This industry moves quickly, but stay with it, because it’s definitely worth it.