After 19 years working at Joseph Ash Galvanizing, the company said farewell to John McMahon on the 30th of June.
John has had a number of different jobs outside of the company over his lifetime, including a job as a magistrate! But his longest role has been at Joseph Ash Galvanizing.
John McMahon left parting words for his colleagues.
“I would like to thank you all for your professionalism and support over those years and I have enjoyed working with you all.”
“Like Spock says, live long and prosper!”
We wish you all the best for the future, John!Next page
The year 2023 has been full of long services at Joseph Ash Galvanizing, and June 6th means that Jeannette Dixon has been with the Company for 40 years!
Jeannette has had a fantastic journey though the Company. She started back in 1983, just before her 18th birthday, shortly after finishing secretarial college. There were only two plants back then – one in Birmingham and one in Telford. She was secretary to the Galvanizing Director at the time, working for him for several years before he retired.
The company expanded, and Jeannette became secretary to the Managing Director. She left after some years to have her child and worked part-time on her return, working for the Sales Manager. After another few years she went to work within Transport department before finally relocating with other colleagues to our current Head Office in Halesowen.
In her speech, she commented: “I’ve seen lots of changes, met lots of great people, seen the company develop, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Jeannette was gifted with a lovely bouquet of flowers as well as £500 which she towards a brand new laptop. She and her colleagues at Head Office will also be going out for a celebratory meal at Miller & Carter.
View the video on our TikTok page.Next page
In 1998, Ranjit Singh started work as a new team member at our Walsall plant. Fast forward 25 years, and we proudly say he is still here and part of our Joseph Ash family.
Ranjit began his career in galvanizing on the yard. After that, he worked in the fettling/packing team before moving on to other groups and departments, including as a Galvanizing Operative (his current role).
What Ranjit doesn’t know about galvanizing isn’t worth knowing as he has worked in most parts of the plant throughout his career!
During his 25 years of service at Joseph Ash, Ranjit has displayed all the attributes required to be a fantastic member of our team. He has the knowledge and skillsets needed to excel at his job daily. He is also loyal, friendly and a great all-around employee.
Charlie Singh, Divisional Manager at Joseph Ash Walsall, said: “Ranjit is well respected by his colleagues and always has time to chat with anyone around the site. At a recent Walsall charity event, we were thrilled to give him a gift and a celebratory round of applause to reward his quarter century’s hard work and loyalty to Joseph Ash and fellow team members.”
Congratulations Ranjit!Next page
Another new face to the Joseph Ash Group, keen to introduce themselves! Paul Williams has joined our team at Widnes Galvanising as Maintenance Manager for the branch. We took the chance to speak with Paul in our latest ‘Meet the Team’ and find out all about him and his new role.
Role: Maintenance Manager
Food: Love a Chinese banquet
Film: A good action film like the John Wick series is always a winner (I was lucky enough to use the Kiltech shot gun from the film while in the States). I’m also a big F1 fan and love watching the race on weekends.
Pastime: I try and keep fit, attending my local Men’s Hub facility in Warrington 3-4 times a week, running and cycling now and then. I also enjoy meals out with my wife and kids, and long beach walks with our border collie Rosy.
My role as Maintenance Manager is to keep production running smoothly. I liaise with contractors, management, and staff to keep the daily operations of the plant working as they should. Basically, if it breaks, it’s my job to fix it.
My previous job was as an electrical contractor working on all manner of sites, from hospitals to petrochemical sites. This came to an end in 2009 when I took up a maintenance role for another galvanizing company, which was my introduction to the galvanizing industry.
I saw the job advertised at Joseph Ash and saw there was potential to grow, improve and challenge myself in my first management role. I love a challenge and felt that my skillset very much matched the job advertised, and I wanted to progress.
Being so new to the company I’m just starting to get my teeth into our first round of improvement works over Easter. I actually enjoy the planning stages and seeing the various works come together to reach the common goal.
I’m generally looking forward to improving the site, how we operate, working as part of a larger team and increasing production.
People normally double take when I tell them I’m a professional wrestler (WWE style) and have worked on shows up and down the country. I have also been lucky enough to wrestle internationally in Belgium, Australia and the United States. I even had a small part in the Hollywood movie “Fighting With My Family”, starring The Rock.
I’ve also completed a few marathons – one ultra marathon and a century bike ride (not on the same day though!). I also help coach a local football under 16 team (Cromwell Thunderbolts) which my son plays for too, so I’m quite busy generally.Next page
2023 is the year of incredible long service milestones, as Dalit Singh recently celebrated 45 years at the Company! It was only last month on Valentine’s Day that Mick Jackson celebrated 40 years at Joseph Ash Galvanizing. Now, Dalit from Joseph Ash Walsall has his long service recognised.
Dalit started working for Joseph Ash in March 1978. He has worked through every role in the Walsall galvanizing plant, including Shift Supervisor for over 12 years.
Dalit first started his job with a company called Walker Brothers Galvanizing. The company was later taken over by Hill & Smith, Joseph Ash Galvanizing’s parent company. His first job was in Jigging Materials, and he then moved to become a Pot Man before his aforementioned Shift Supervisor role.
Amy Leachman from Joseph Ash Walsall commented on Dalit’s 45 years:
“Through his time, he has been a fantastic employee, with vast experience in our industry and someone that the division has been able to rely on. I personally have learned from Dalit’s expertise during my time spent with the production team and can see just how important a role he has played!”
Thank you for all your years of service, Dalit!Next page
It’s Valentine’s Day, 2023. Forty years ago today, Mick Jackson started his career at Joseph Ash Galvanizing and is now celebrating his ruby anniversary with the Company!
Before starting at Joseph Ash, he sold tape for an engineering company, and had previously completed an apprenticeship as an Electrical Technician. Over the years he has taken on numerous positions, and he is well-respected and liked by all those around him.
Staff at the Halesowen Head Office surprised Mick with gifts, including alcohol and chocolates. He and his colleagues will also be celebrating the occasion at a local restaurant.
We recently caught up with him to look back at his time at the Company and the memories he’s had along the way.
“Before starting at Joseph Ash, I completed an apprenticeship as an Electrical Technician, and sold tape for an engineering company. I then joined Joseph Ash in 1983 as ‘Internal Sales’ at our old Birmingham head office .This involved creating quotes and generating new business. There were only two galvanizing divisions at the time – Birmingham and Telford.
“During the next few years, the company expanded through several acquisitions, growing quite rapidly. During these years I gained more experience in my sales role.
“In the early 90’s there was a requirement at our London division for someone experienced to manage their commercial sales activities. I was asked if I wanted to help on a temporary basis while maintaining my role at Birmingham. For the next 18 months, I split my time working in London for three days a week and Birmingham for the other two days. Once the London operation had stabilised, I returned to Birmingham full time and, given my excellent work in London, I was promoted to Sales Office Manager at the Birmingham Head Office.
“I spent some more years gaining sales experience (especially externally) visiting customers, and around ’96 I’d progressed to National Sales Manager, holding responsibility for sales across all twelve divisions we had at the time. There were about ten External Sales Engineers and twelve Internal Sales staff whom I was responsible for.
“Approaching the new millennium, the Company needed a new central sales system. It was at this time I’d agreed to a temporary project role to help build it. I didn’t have any prior IT knowledge, but I had commercial sales experience. As such, this was invaluable in helping create a new CRM system for the company. Working with a software house, we heavily be-spoked their ‘off the shelf’ CRM system and ended up with the CRM system still in use today. I was also involved in helping to facilitate other new advances in providing a wide area network between our divisions. This CRM helped us gain a 360-degree overview of our customers, greatly improving our sales and reporting, and bringing our divisions closer.
“That was only supposed to be a two-year role, but other bits were added to the system over time. I reskilled in IT, learning on the job. I never went back to Sales.
“In 2006, the Birmingham head office shut down and we relocated to our current Halesowen head office. Thanks to the experience I’d gained in my IT role, I became IT Manager for the Company.
“Around 2014, it was decided we desperately needed to improve our marketing efforts. There was very little marketing being done by the company and no great efforts had been made towards this area, historically. So, using my previous marketing experience from my National Sales Manager role, I agreed to “temporarily” split my time between IT and Marketing to help establish this area of the business.
“We developed a solid marketing strategy, including the creation of our social media channels and exhibiting for the first time, spreading awareness of Joseph Ash and its brand all over the UK. And that leads to where I am today, as Joseph Ash’s IT and Marketing Manager. I’m also current Chair of the Galvanizers Association Marketing Committee.
“A lot has happened over 40 years, as you’d expect. Some good, some not so good, mostly good though! There’s lots of great people at Joseph Ash. Some have become very good friends. They make it a great place to work.”
“Creating the CRM system was a huge achievement. It’s helped the company out massively and allowed us to grow and manage our customer base. I’m also proud of creating our overall marketing strategy, going from almost nothing to what we have today.”
“I’d received a letter from an ex-employee. She was initially one of my internal sales execs, then she worked for me as an IT trainer, helping train the workforce in the use of the CRM system. She’d written the letter to thank me for helping her develop as an individual, develop her career and grow her confidence. She said she would always think of me as the person who opened her future. It was really nice; I still have it at home.”
Thank you, Mick, for all your years of hard work and dedication to the Company!Next page
Mark Lamb, Internal Recruiter at Joseph Ash Galvanizing, is a keen football fan and a man on a mission to lose weight. He joined a Man v Fat Football group in 2020 – a wellbeing programme aimed at helping men lose weight and have fun playing football. Mark has been part of the programme for two and half years and has lost 11.5 stone since joining.
Although the programme is primarily focused on weight loss and improving physical health, exercise also improves mental health.
Unfortunately, men’s mental health is still stigmatised despite increased awareness over recent years. So, joined by their collective goal of weight loss, Mark and the rest of his Man v Fat Football team made it their mission to trek across the Midlands in aid of two amazing causes – Mind mental health charity and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The team’s first cause, Mind, aims to spread awareness of mental health and help those in crisis. The team’s second cause, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, was selected as many of the team have needed their services, having children treated for various illnesses. Grateful for their help in the past, it felt right to give something back to the hospital.
As the group all support different football leagues and given the football focus of their Man v Fat programme, they decided to incorporate their differences into the challenge. It was decided they would walk from Birmingham St Andrew’s Stadium all the way to Wolverhampton Molineux Stadium, stopping off at Villa Park, The Hawthorns, and Bescot along the way. In total, this covers just shy of 20 miles – no walk in the park for only one night.
In the twilight hours of Saturday 11 February, the 13 men set off on their journey in the dark and cold. Seven and a half hours later at 5:30am on Sunday 12 February, they arrived at Wolverhampton Molineux Stadium, very tired but incredibly proud of what they had achieved.
“We wanted to showcase that men from various leagues in the Midlands can come together to do something good. It was a long challenge that affected us all both physically and mentally but managing to get through as a group and finishing it together was a great moment for us all.”
At the time of publication, they have raised nearly £3,000 – almost triple what the group had set as their goal. Hill & Smith Plc, Joseph Ash Galvanizing’s parent company, donated £500 as part of their Charity Match Scheme.
Congratulations, Mark and the team!
There’s still time to donate and make a difference. Visit Mark’s Just Giving page and help the lives and wellbeing of many.Next page
Apprenticeships are a valuable achievement, whether you’re newly out of school, or if you have years of working experience already behind you. For National Apprenticeship Week 2023, we decided to interview one of our current apprentices, Matthew Phillips for our latest ‘Meet the team’ article. Matthew is a Customer Service Manager at our Chesterfield branch. He started his Level 3 Team Leader course in June 2022, and has been with Joseph Ash since 2007.
Tying into this year’s theme of Skills for Life, we decided to ask him all about his apprenticeship experience, and learn about how he’s been able to progress his career.
Role: Customer Service Manager
Apprenticeship: Team Leader (Level 3)
Started: 2007 (at Joseph Ash) / June 2022 (apprenticeship)
“I started at Joseph Ash in 2007 as a Customer Service Manager and my Team Leader apprenticeship in 2022. I’m due to finish my course in about six month’s time.
“As Customer Service Manager, I’m responsible for managing key accounts and day-to-day contact with customers. I have over 15 years’ experience in the industry, building key relationships with customers and clients. I help produce formal quotations, assist with production and transport requirements, and manage existing projects and provide site tours and visits.”
“I wanted to do an apprenticeship to further my training and knowledge. The training has been very useful in my development as a manager. The course has covered a wide range of topics, providing me with skills I can use within my role. This has helped me achieve my sales targets and develop my operational and project skills.
“The best thing I’ve learnt during my apprenticeship is gaining an understanding of the impact of unconscious bias and emotional intelligence.
“I’m looking forward to developing my team and managing more projects in the coming year. I’m more equipped to do these thanks to the skills I’ve learnt in my apprenticeship.”
“Enjoy the training, and use the information provided within your role.”
When asked about his interests outside of his apprenticeship and career, Matthew commented:
“I’m a very sporty person and enjoy playing football and running. I play for two football teams on a Saturday and Sunday, and support Derby County (best team in the East Midlands). I also enjoy spending my spare time with family and friends, and going out for nice food and drinks. When using my holidays, I like travelling the world seeing different cultures and going on new adventures.”
“Believe it or not I’ve once appeared on a TV soap called Peak Practice when I was younger.”
Contact Joseph Ash Galvanizing today if you’re looking for you next career step or any apprenticeship opportunities!Next page
In October 2022, Joseph Ash Ltd acquired Widnes Galvanising, which became the ninth plant for the Group. We thought this would be a good opportunity to interview Widnes’ Commercial Manager, Gavin Jones in our latest ‘Meet the team’ article to find out a bit about him and what his plans are for the division.
Role: Commercial Manager
Food: Anything Asian (Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Vietnamese etc.)
Film: Step Brothers. I have a very immature sense of humour and this is right down my street!
Pastimes: Football. I’ve always played football and used to play for Saturday and Sunday football teams, but when you get older and have kids you don’t have the time anymore. However, I still play indoor football every Wednesday evening with my mates, which remains a highlight of my week.
“I’ve been a Commercial Manager since June 2020 but have been with Joseph Ash since May 2015. I previously held the position of Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality Manager at the Telford branch.
“Before Joseph Ash, I worked as a salesperson for a medical equipment supplier. I travelled all over the UK but decided to find a position closer to home when my wife was pregnant with our first child.
“I lived in Telford at the time a ‘Management Trainee’ position became available at the Telford branch. After meeting with Stuart Whitehouse, Stuart Cobourne and Tracie Lockley at the interview stage, I could tell it was the kind of company I wanted to work for.”
“In my current role as Commercial Manager at Widnes Galvanising it is my responsibility to ensure the division secures sufficient sales revenue to achieve our targets.
“My day-to-day tasks include customer analysis, prospecting, and quoting all enquiries.
“Aside from the sales side of the role, I often refer to myself as a kind of project manager as I am the link between our customers, production and transport. I also spend many days on the road visiting customers for all kinds of reasons, such as advice on their designs and discussing pricing.
“This year I am getting far more involved with the overall running of the business.”
“My goal is to grow the business and increase our weekly tonnages by 20% while maintaining the excellent turnaround times and service. The quality of Joseph Ash’s galvanizing has always been first class, so I’m hopeful that new customers will see the benefit of using Widnes Galvanising going forward.”
“I’m a massive foodie and I’m always trying new recipes when cooking at home. I worked as a chef in a pub kitchen, and an Indian restaurant whilst I was at university. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of opening my own restaurant one day.”Next page
We’ve recently launched a new set of company values for the Joseph Ash Group. They are collectively called ‘Our Chemistry’ – to reflect our excellent relationships with each other, our clients, suppliers and partners, and the chemicals we use in our galvanizing processes.
To create the values, we held several focus groups across the plants to find out what was important to our team members and what values they wanted to live by at Joseph Ash. We spoke to colleagues on the shop floor, administration and service teams at Head Office, and Commercial Teams at our different divisions. Everyone was offered the opportunity to share their thoughts on what our culture and behaviour look like when we’re at our best and what needs to be added to ensure the Joseph Ash Group thrives and grows. The resulting values are:
We thrive on team spirit, whether we’re looking out for each other’s safety or working together to meet targets. Providing help and assistance, celebrating achievements, and laughing are the elements that bind us together. We have each other’s backs.
The safety and success of our business and our future sit in our hands. We know what is expected of us as individuals and teams and demonstrate a ‘can-do’ attitude to get things done.
Growth through teaching and learning (internally and externally) is the catalyst for everything we do. We lead with experience and heritage, but we’re also enthusiastic about advancing and improving our products, processes, the industry and ourselves.
We respect each other and our differences and treat people as we want to be treated ourselves. We mix kindness with good manners and listening skills. We also appreciate family: not only in our home lives but also in the family we have at work.
If you’d like to know more – or if you’d like to join our team – please get in touch!Next page