HPP sales director steps up to deputy MD

Boards, doors and furniture fittings manufacturer and supplier Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) has promoted Gareth Evans to the role of deputy MD

03 May, 24

Boards, doors and furniture fittings manufacturer and supplier Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) has promoted Gareth Evans to the role of deputy managing director.

HPP sales director steps up to deputy MD 1

Promoted from sales director, Evans first joined the family-owned company 32 years ago and will work with MD Keith Wardrope, who heads up the company with brothers Martin and Stephen Hill.

Commenting on his new role, Evans said: “I’m chuffed to bits, and also proud of the achievement.

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“When I look back 30-odd years after coming to an interview with Stephen Hill, I didn’t in my wildest dreams think that I would end up here.”

The Oldham-based firm, which also has a trade counter in Sheffield, employs about 200 people, distributes nationwide and is a trading partner with brands such as Kronospan, Blum, Sensio, Vibo and Reginox.

MD Keith Wardrope said: “It’s the right time in our business development to appoint a deputy MD and I would like to congratulate Gareth and thank him for the loyal service and assistance he has shown over many years.

“Gareth and myself have worked towards this goal for several years. He has shown great commitment and loyalty to making HPP the best it can be, not only from a commercial point of view, but also from a staff wellbeing perspective. A massive well-done Gareth!”

During his working career, Evans has left the company twice to work in manufacturing before returning, both times, to HPP.

He explains: “I’ve spent time at manufacturing level with Kronospan and Wilsonart, but my passion is distribution.

“The hustle and bustle, no two days being the same, and understanding supply chains at different levels has been brilliant.

“In distribution, my first job on the road was at FG Chambers / BCL, I’ll be eternally grateful to what I class as great mentors in Steve Ryley at BCL and John Blake at FG Chambers, companies that are no longer trading but back in the day were both recognised for the service and products they offered.”

However, Evans says he’s always been drawn back to HPP by the people, especially MD Keith Wardrope: “Out of the places I’ve worked, HPP is the place I have always been happiest.

“I know that saying the people is bit of a ‘cliché’, but at HPP it’s true – it’s one of our biggest strengths, there’s a hand shake, fist pump, even a hug, everywhere you go.

“Keith is an important part of it too and I’m not just saying that because he’s MD.

“During my first time at HPP, Keith was a customer. He had high standards that in all honesty made HPP improve. If you could keep Keith content, you could keep most customers content.”

He continued “Having the opportunity to work with Keith has helped me understand not just the industry, but how to deal with certain situations. We have a close working relationship which has enabled me to grow as a person.

“I’ll be working closely with him on a number of projects that will help me cement myself into the new role, changing from a more sales focus, which I’ve loved, to a more operational role.”

Part of the new role is to help HPP maintain its steady, manageable growth, as Gareth Evans commented: “Someone once said that sales is vanity, but profit is sanity, and it’s true.

“We’ll continue to embrace new technology to improve our systems but also service levels to customers and strive to set standards recognised as the benchmark for excellence in our sector.”