On the back of a strong commercial performance over the last year and more, SMART Garden Rooms, Offices & Studios, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of quality outside buildings, has promoted two more employees into its senior management team (SMT).
The company, which has been trading since 2006, continues to experience an ongoing significant increase in the numbers of people looking to contract the company to help them work sustainably from home due in part to the impact of the COVID19 pandemic.
As a result, SMART has increased its headcount to 60 members of staff and brought forward its investment in new vehicles, showrooms and customer service techniques.
Now, in recognition of their especially enduring contributions, the company has promoted Darren Norton, internal operations manager, and Jo Pinkney, finance manager, to the SMT alongside Matt Moss, Paul Sheppard and Sue Philips who engineered a management buyout in the spring of 2019.
Managing director Matt Moss said:
These senior promotions reflect the SMART ethos of team effort and team success, with Darren and Jo having played crucial roles in our growth over the last two years or so – even in the face of sometimes challenging market conditions.”
Speaking of Darren, Paul Sheppard, operations director, explained:
Darren came to SMART in 2018, with over thirty years’ experience in manufacturing, including thirteen years management for a national furniture business. In 2019, Darren was promoted to internal operations manager and with support from SMART, in the form of H&S training, he went on to achieve his IOSH Managing Safely and NEBOSH General Certificate.
Darren was a rock during the pandemic, regularly contacting his staff through furlough to see how they were bearing up and implementing control measures within the business through an ever-changing COVID landscape. Darren seems able to connect with people on many levels – be it supporting his staff through work or personal issues, sharing his knowledge with colleagues, or advising suppliers of the business needs.
Matt Moss highlighted Jo Pinkney’s key professional qualities:
Following the management buyout, we all soon recognised her value, as she worked closely with me to establish a strong and proactive finance function. Since then, Jo’s roles and responsibilities have grown and grown. Throughout the toughest times for the company during the pandemic, Jo’s management of our finance and cashflow earned her the promotion to finance manager last year and she has continued to be a true leader with all matters financial. Bringing Jo into the management team made both financial and non-financial sense.”
Sue Philips, SMART’s sales & marketing director, added:
It’s great to be joined by Darren and Jo, two incredibly hard-working and loyal colleagues. These promotions fill me with more confidence than ever that the SMART approach to delivering market leading outside buildings for every need is one that works for everyone: our customers, our suppliers and our staff.