Colin joined Freefoam in 2001 and has been instrumental in its success and sustained growth. Colin has spent his career in construction and says his drive is to help customers grow sales through the best products, service and support.

 

Freefoam is a leading independent manufacturer of roofline, rainwater and cladding

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU

Where you were born and live currently – I was born in Manchester, and I now live near Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

Your education and the subject or activity in which you excelled – I attended Cardinal Langley Grammar School in Manchester. I did well in History, Woodwork and sport. I also enjoyed all the sciences but I wasn’t focused enough at the time.

Your favorite sports or interests – Football, football and more football! I have a keen interest in both Rugby League and Rugby Union, but football is my first passion.

Your biggest regret in life – I don’t have any work wise; my ethos and drive has always been to look forward and try to improve and do better.

The temptation you can’t resist… – It’s got to be chocolate. (I suppose I should have said fast cars and faster women, but I have to be truthful!)

Someone or something that inspires you – I’m inspired by people in all walks of life who are committed and passionate about what they do. I try to be the best I can every day, and as a manger I try to help others achieve the same. In my early days as an apprentice and young electrician, I was surrounded by people who would openly share their knowledge and experience to help me learn. These years taught me the importance of developing and supporting others to help them grow too.

 

Colin St John on a recent site visit with Glass News

YOUR CAREER

When and how you joined the industry – I’ve always worked in construction and started my career as an apprentice electrician. In 1987 I joined Laing Homes as Customer Care Officer – or Care Bears as we were affectionately known! We were there to support customers and make the transition into their new homes as smooth and easy as possible.

My move into windows came in 1989 when I joined Marshall Tufflex as an Installation Manager for Windows, Conservatories and Roofline. The then MD told me I had one job – to make customers happy! We implemented some fantastic initiatives to improve the customer experience and I instilled the valuable lesson that 99% OTIF is not acceptable to most homeowners. This customer-focused approach in my early roles has stayed with me throughout my career.

 

The job you do – I’m Commercial Director at Freefoam. I joined Freefoam in 2001 when I found a company with the vision, ambition, and determination to make a difference. We were a perfect match because I had all three in abundance as well.

Your greatest achievement – Putting all private moments to one side, I’d say what we have achieved, are achieving and have still to achieve at Freefoam are great sources of satisfaction to me. We’ve seen sustained growth and to have had the opportunity to be at the centre of all that has been very humbling. It’s been very easy to put my heart and soul into a company with such a ‘can do’ attitude. Supporting our customers is a way of life at Freefoam: there’s no blame, we have a go, we do our best and this carries through into our marketing campaign, #HelpingCustomersGrow.

This year marks Freefoam’s 30th anniversary, and what I’m most proud of is we have delivered for all the stakeholders in our business without any major dramas. I’m excited that we can still do better.

 

Colin St John pictured with Willmott’s, a stockist customer

AND YOUR FUTURE

What would you like to do if you weren’t in this industry? – I’d have liked to have been a professional football coach.

A particular ambition – To cement Freefoam’s reputation as the number one manufacturer to help customers grow. This commitment to supporting customers is even more critical as we navigate the post-lockdown market. There are good signs of recovery and strong demand for home improvement products, and we are continuing to offer support and guidance to customers. With hard work and close partnership with customers, we’re confident about the future.

The way you want to be remembered – As someone who always got the job done without any fuss.

 

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