Sontay is saying farewell to one of its longstanding employees, Alan Braybrook who retires in August after 23 years with the company. 

Having spent over two decades at Sontay, Alan has seen the company progress from a small UK-based business to an international name in building management systems, with distribution outlets throughout the world.  

“From the get-go, Sontay was a company with a bright future,” explains Alan, who has worked in electrical and building services for most of his career. “It was supplying temperature and humidity sensors around the time when digital building controls were gaining in popularity. I arrived at a time when the company was owned by Ray Eaton Williams of the Eaton Williams Group. The company has gone through a number of owners since that period, before being bought by the current owners some 16 years ago. During that time, I have seen Sontay change and evolve in so many ways; whether it is through different owners, its services, or innovative product development to become a leading well respected international manufacturer of building control peripheral products.

One of Alan’s most memorable periods during his 23-year stint at Sontay is his time as sales director. “As with all businesses, there were some challenging times like the financial crash, (and todays Covid pandemic) but with the team’s efforts and commitment, it has definitely made us stronger as a company going forward. It was also a period where I picked up the extra responsibility of all the sales and marketing and spent many wonderful years in that position. Developing our export market has always been a key part of Sontay’s strategy, resulting in it having distributors in most developed countries as far as Australia and Hong Kong, and currently has sales managers based in Ireland, France, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

With over two decades’ experience in the industry, Alan has seen a great degree of change. “When I started out ‘point-to-point’ sensor wiring was the norm for Building Management Systems, yet look at how significantly the demand has changed to communicating Sensors using Wireless, BacNet and Modbus as a communication medium in a relatively short time. 

In this day and age, dedicating 23 years of your working life to one company is unheard of, relatively speaking. Millennials, for instance, have a reputation for job-hopping. With this in mind, what has kept Alan interested? “I have reflected on this before and I think it is because there hasn’t been a point where my job role at Sontay has stayed the same for more than three-to-four years. I began as the northern sales manager, (which then was Birmingham to John O’Groats), then became UK sales manager, which quickly became UK and Ireland, and resulted in setting on a dedicated sales manager in territory.  Over the years this variety has given me so many things to do, and so many challenges to keep me focused”

“I’m proud to be leaving a company that will leave its imprint on the building management sector for years to come. The powerful family aspect of Sontay is something that I’ll never be able to put into words, and has to be experienced to be appreciated and something I will miss tremendously in the coming months and years.”

“I’ve got lots planned for retirement, so hopefully it’ll keep me busy! I relocated to Cornwall two years ago and now have a small fishing boat in Falmouth, have restarted my Amateur Radio Hobby, will enjoy the coastal views, rekindling my interest in photography amongst many other things and to be a volunteer in the National Coastwatch Institute in due course.”

The Sontay team will miss Alan and want to thank him for a fulfilling 23 years.