Sontay will bid adieu to Managing Director, Sandy Damm this month after spending six years building on the company’s reputation as a market-leader in the building controls sector.
Joining the company in 2014 and with 15 years’ experience in international business development, Sandy has played a pivotal role in crafting the company’s innovation, feature-rich products and outstanding levels of service. During his tenure the company has doubled and more than tripled in value. “It is safe to say we have become a global contender in the international building controls industry,” Sandy begins. “When I joined it was 80% sales from the UK, but with the increase of global sales now it’s around half. To consolidate our international presence we have opened offices in France, Germany and Dubai which has consequently put Sontay in a very strong position from a UK and global perspective.”
As well as steering the company in a global direction, Sandy also played a part in growing the course offering at the Sontay Academy, an education initiative which provides access to a wide range of courses designed to build knowledge, technical skills and contribute to CPD requirements.
During his time at Sontay, Sandy has also been able to help prepare the company for Brexit. “After the Brexit vote in 2016 the UK market shrank by 15%. Thankfully, we made it through this time as we had laid the global foundations already. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Sontay was able to ride the wave; the value of our people and size of our business meant we could get through the first and worst few months. The whole Sontay team will drive Sontay forwards, no matter what is happening in the world.”
Such is Sontay’s success and global presence, when the company reopened after temporarily closing in March to adapt to new Covid-19 safety precautions, the first major order came from China and in the summer, there was an influx in demand from the Middle East. The company will no doubt go from strength-to-strength with Mark Newton succeeding Sandy in his role.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Sandy for his dedication, commitment and clear leadership since 2014,” comments Sontay’s chairman, John Zarno. “During his tenure, Sontay has gone from strength-to-strength. We wish him well in his new challenge. He departs Sontay with the full support of the current board, and Mark is the perfect choice as his successor.”
Sandy departs from Sontay with the knowledge and proof that he has built a global business which values the talents and personalities of its employees. He will now be realising his ambition to publish a book; his text on SME Globalisation is due for release at the beginning of 2021, and is an important guide on how small companies with little resources can become global and increase their value.
“I’d like to thank everyone that I have worked with over the past six years – suppliers, customers, employees,” says Sandy. “Thank you for coming with me on this transformational journey; you all adapted to the changes and worked together to make the best environment for us all. I’m proud to be leaving behind a company with very solid foundations, not to mention the best executive team in the industry! I will miss Sontay’s winning culture and drive to makes things happen.”