April 15, 2021

Interview with Simon Bennett

Simon joined us last month. He’s our new Operations Manager. And because you’re going to be seeing a lot more of him, we thought we’d do a quick-fire interview and then a ’round robin share’ with Enrok’s clients, colleagues and suppliers.

Chatting to Tracey Wright, this is what he said.

 

Okay Simon, tell me a little bit about your role?

It’s big and broad! Jordan and Laura have brought me in to manage the day-to-day operations of Enrok’s business and right now that involves managing a number of projects, including the Sports Pavilion in Ashbourne, our Regan Way development in Shoreditch, and the Zinc House build in Catherine-de-Barnes. I’m also getting out and about and meeting Enrok’s clients and a network of a new people, which is something I’m really enjoying. I’m working on a tender too, for a brand-new project which we’re hoping to secure and announce very soon. It’ll be a different feather in Enrok’s cap if it comes our way. There are all sorts of projects in the pipeline – it’s a very exciting time for Enrok.

With me being on board, it means Jordan and Laura have more time to focus on growing other areas of the business, while I’m getting on with managing the operations, design management and tendering for new projects.

 

What attracted you to the Enrok team?

I totally buy into their values. They’re a young family business doing a brilliant job of making their  mark on the industry. From what I can see, they’re breaking the mould and culture of a typical construction firm – especially around delivering flexibility to meet client needs. They really are a disrupter in the market – and that really appeals to me. I’ve got to know Laura and Jordan over the last six-months and I like their personal brand and values, as well as what the business stands for. They’re growing and they have vision – which is why they’re bringing in the right people at the right time to really help develop the business. I’m very excited about the part that I’m playing and contributing to their success.

 

What did you do before?

I’ve always worked in construction – previous employers include Wates Group, Bullock Construction and MAC Group. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some very interesting developments. Two visually stunning projects include the Merry Hill Shopping Centre in Brierley Hill near Dudley, where I managed the design for the first phase. The other was taking the project lead for the conversion of an old hospital in Dudley, into some amazing apartments, right opposite the Black Country Museum. Another one that stands out, is the work I did on the new Coleman Mustard factory in Burton where I managed the design process from a contractors perspective.

I actually started my career as an estimator before moving into operations. From there, I worked as a trainee site manager before progressing into project and design management. Working for some big construction firms has opened me up to some incredible experiences – not only in commercial, industrial and retail, as I’ve just mentioned, but residential new builds, refurbishment and heritage projects – from multi-national and plc’s to housing associations and private developers.

To shore up everything I’ve learned on site, I studied at Wolverhampton University, and eventually, earned those hard-won letters after my name, to become a Chartered Construction Manager. Looking back the hard slog was definitely worth it.

 

And outside of construction?

My three daughters Jessie, Polly and Robyn keep me busy, along with our dog, Frank.

Any spare time I get, I head off to the golf course. What’s my handicap? It’s way too high to print in an interview! Okay, it’s breaking 90, which is a bit of a milestone for a golfer! Do you really need to mention that? Yep – it adds more colour!