SteelPhalt Commercial Manager Dean Raynor set to retire...
25 September 2017
It will be the end of an era at the end of September when SteelPhalt Commercial Manager Dean Raynor hangs up his hard hat and high vis. jacket for the last time.
Dean has been at SteelPhalt quite literally ‘boy and man’, joining from school at the age of 16 in 1974. In his own words, he’s ‘put a shift in’.
Dean’s long and successful career at SteelPhalt actually came about by accident; he attended an interview at Meadowbank Engineering and was then told that they didn’t actually have a vacancy. However, as he ‘seemed a nice lad’ he was asked to apply for a vacancy as a lab technician at sister company SteelPhalt.
Dean was duly appointed; in fact by the time he got home from the interview on the bus his Technical Manager-to-be, Alex McClean, had been to see his Mother and said the job was Dean’s.
“My Mother opened the door and said ‘You’ve got that job’”, remembers Dean. “I said ‘How do you know?’, but in those days Mothers knew everything!”
Dean progressed through the ranks, becoming Technical Manager, Assistant Production Manger and then General Manager. He had built excellent customer relationships during those years, so also took on responsibility for Sales and New Business Development.
Dean has also been a driving force in SteelPhalt’s involvement with and support of local businesses, sport and charities. A true ’Blade’, he’s been closely involved wth SteelPhalt’s support of the Sheffield United Academy and was delighted recently when SteelPhalt, along with other local companies, was able to build and surface a new car park for Rotherham Hospice as a ‘team charity effort’.
There have, of course, been many laughs and colourful characters and events along the way; Dean particularly remembers a phone call at 1.00am one morning when a plant fitter called Derek Frost telephoned Dean to suggest he ‘popped down to work’ (not quite so politely as that) because the plant was on fire!
Dean arrived to see the Fire Brigade dousing down what was left of the Parker’s Asphalt Plant.
But, like a phoenix from the ashes, the plant was rebuilt and SteelPhalt went from strength to strength.
And when SteelPhalt celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary in 2014, Dean was the man to go to for fascinating anecdotes and archived material.
Dean concludes his career at SteelPhalt as Commercial Manager, having seen the plant transformed from something ‘held together with coat hangers’ to the state of the art production facility it is today.
Dean is handing over his responsibilities to Lee Birkbeck and is currently introducing Lee to customer contacts; Lee has been with SteelPhalt for some time, working first in Procurement and now in Business Development. He’s looking forward to the challenge of the new role and to providing the vital link of product knowledge, integrity and humour which have been Dean’s trademarks.
What next for Dean? A cruise - and then consulting to SteelPhalt on key contracts, so all that experience is still on hand if needed.