How did you start in the industry?
I retired as a senior officer from the Royal Air Force in 2003. The easy option would have been to join the wider Defence Industry, but I wanted to cut my teeth on something completely different.
I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, working with people and getting the best out of them. Fortunately, our current chairman took a chance and gave me the opportunity to join Grahame Gardner in February 2004 as head of their schoolwear retail department.
What’s your most over-used phrase?
“Go for it!” I regularly use the term with my senior team. You get the best out of your team by delegating responsibility and being confident in your staff’s abilities.
Which three words would your best friend use to describe your personality?
Driven, energising, fun.
What is your favourite radio station?
Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2 Drive Time.
Tomato ketchup or brown sauce?
What was the last book you read?
Day of Reckoning by Jack Higgins, but I’m also a huge Bernard Cornwell and Wilbur Smith fan.
What’s your party trick?
I used to regularly bite bottle caps off bottles of beer, but I’m pleased to say I’ve grown out of that particular habit.
What’s your greatest ambition?
To retire to a Highland cottage next to a sea loch and spend my time with my wife and friends in the surrounding mountains and sea kayaking.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Undoubtedly chocolate. I once ate all my daughter’s Easter eggs the night before Easter Sunday. I had to rush out to the local garage and replace the lot. To this day, my wife still has to hide the stuff from me when it’s in the house. She even locks it in her car!
Is there another job that you’ve always wanted to do?
British Antarctic Survey. Breath-taking yet harsh scenery and wildlife. I’d even be able to employ my geography and geology degree for the first time since I graduated.
If you could be anywhere on earth right now, where would you be?
The Black Cuillin Ridge on Skye. I’m a keen Munro Bagger* having already reached the summit of 261 of the 282 highest mountains in Scotland. Skye is home to some of the best Munros, but the whole package of camping, culture and stunning scenery on that island is awesome.
Which gadget or app couldn’t you live without?
I think we are all too reliant on technology. In terms of a ‘gadget’ I would say my lightweight waterproof jacket, which I just about live in when outdoors.
If you could ask one person, living or dead, one question, what would you ask?
“For a’ that an’ a’ that, It’s coming yet for a’ that, that man to man, the world o’er, shall brithers be for a’ that”. A true patriot, Robert Burns was also renowned for his compassion for the common man. Brexit, would he stay or would he go?
* A person who attempts to scale the 282 mountains in Scotland with peaks over 3000 ft, which are named Munros after Sir Hugh Munro, an original member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC).