After clocking up 42-years in the refrigeration industry, J & E Hall’s Managing Director has retired, stepping down from the role at the end of March.
Mark Roberts made the decision to retire following a long career with the company. He undertook a four-year apprenticeship at J & E Hall, beginning work at Botley in Southampton. His first refrigeration job was at Warners Holiday Camp, Hayling Island, where he was sent to repair a fridge in the kitchen.
After completing his apprenticeship, Roberts worked in various roles at the company including project sales, service management and managing operations for its freezer business, Jackstone. He was appointed Managing Director of J & E Hall, an English manufacturer of refrigeration equipment, in 2000 and said “flexibility” has been the key to his career progression.
“Never in a million years did I expect to reach the top,” Roberts said. “But whenever an opportunity or a challenge came my way I took it on. I’ve moved around a lot with the company and if you want to progress your career you’ve got to be willing to put yourself out.”
Roberts has seen many changes in the refrigeration industry, “The market has altered tremendously. When I started my career every town in the UK seemed to have a brewery, dairy or slaughterhouse but now it’s no longer the case.’’
“There’s been much consolidation in the market with the national players but there’s also been a proliferation of many smaller companies which is good for competition. Types of refrigerants have changed greatly and the technology is different but it is interesting to see that some of the older technology is returning. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is back in fashion and so is ammonia (NH3). We’ve been working with both for a long time.”
His successor is Andrew Bowdon, formerly Director of Human Resources and General Affairs.