Starting his career in retail management at DIY stores, newly appointed Certikin Managing Director, Neil Stephenson joined Certikin early in 1999 taking roles as varied as stock control, health and safety, service management and buying. Managing the division until January 2017, Neil relocated to Certikin North in Leeds in October 2002 where he had responsibility for developing Aire Bank Covers.
This coincided with Neil’s appointment to the Certikin Executive Team as he went on to take on the responsibility of Product Development Manager, overseeing new product initiatives, product compliance also taking responsibility for the marketing department. “I am very aware of the amazing contribution my predecessor made to the business, so stepping into those shoes is a true challenge,” shares Neil who says he and his team are striving for continual improvement at Certikin. “I’m aware that the current global conditions make trading very unpredictable and this adds a level of complexity,” he says.
“However, I feel like a good fit for the needs of the business and I have a fantastic team around me to work with,” Neil continues. “I feel that it will take some time for the industry to settle down following the effects of the pandemic and the consequential supply chain and economic issues. “I think technology will become a larger factor in our industry and that we will need to, and should, adapt to accommodate and support the needs to the environment,” Neil adds. “It seems completely logical however that the overall demand for wet leisure, in all its forms, will remain a constant.”
Neil says long serving colleagues have been a key source of support throughout his Certikin career but points out: “Recent recruits to the team both inspire and influence with their amazing attitudes to the business and of course customers and suppliers continue to influence in an outstanding way.” Outside of the office, Neil is partial to a bit of furniture restoration, loves a good crime novel and is intent on rebuilding a vinyl collection which he regrets selling some time ago. Pool & Spa Scene asked Neil what advice he would now give to his young self on joining the company 23 years ago. Neil responds: “Do what you believe is the right thing at the time – don’t over-think things, take the opportunities as they crop up and don’t be afraid to fail in order to learn.”