There have been some incredible partnerships in the world that are synonymous with success and longevity. Ferguson and United, Lennon and McCartney, Keegan and Toshack. But as with every good thing, there has to be an end, the passing on of the baton and this month our industry is going to be saying goodbye to a stalwart of the Fenestration world.
Mark Warren, MD of Lister Trade Frames, has decided to step away from his role and hand over the reins to his two fellow Directors, Darren Pusey and Phil Warren with immediate effect. This follows a stellar career at the helm of Listers for nigh on 30 years as well as taking on the roles of President of the GGF and Chairman of FENSA.
Mark is a well-respected name within the industry, often being lauded as a businessman who can combine great business sense with good old fashioned morals and ethics. Under his stewardship, Listers became a dominant force in the industry scooping three times Fabricator the Year at the heralded G awards as well as being the first recipients of the Derek Bonnard award. But it was his relationship with his staff and the Stoke on Trent community that truly stood Mark apart from his contemporaries.
He firmly believed that a company is only as good as its staff, that it can only succeed if there is a team motivated and capable of supporting the ides of the Management. When you consider that the vast majority of the workforce have over 15 years’ service under their belt, it’s safe to say that he garnered total respect and dedication from his staff.
“And that is the magic of Mark,” commented Phil Warren, Sales Director, “people wanted to work for him. Whether you were on the shop floor, working on the skips or manning the sales office, Mark knew everyone and had time for us all. Being the boss and a friend, is a tightrope not many men can walk, but Mark seemed to manage it effortlessly.”
In his time as MD, Mark oversaw key moments in the growth of Listers that helped grow the business from operating in a shed at the foot of the garden to a £12m company with over 120 staff. With that growth, Mark had to adopt an inclusive style of leadership to ensure that all staff were feeling part of the vision. Speaking to his long-time friend and Co-Director, Darren Pusey, it is apparent that Mark created an environment where everyone felt part of a family. “Mark was absolutely key to building team spirit as well as ensuring the business remained ahead of the curve,” remarked Darren, “and working with him, he kept all of us motivated to succeed…and I do mean all of us!”
We all know that the company is going through a transition as it’s looking for a new buyer, but the striking difference between Listers and many other companies that have faced this critical milestone is that Listers has a reputation second to none and a loyal customer base who are working with the company that makes it a incredibly viable opportunity. And that actually may be the strongest commendation that we can possibly bestow on Mark, Listers is a successful business built on good solid morals and excellent business acumen and one that we understand is attracting bidders from all over the country. Mark was at the forefront of building that reputation and has, we have no doubt, developed a business that the new buyers will be able to move forward with and complete the Listers journey.
So although we do have to wave goodbye to Mark as he bows gracefully and without fanfare from the industry, many people still involved with Listers will benefit from a legacy that he has built and that will continue to remind us of the all the amazing work that he has done over the last 30+ years.
We’re sure that you will join us in wishing Mark well in his retirement and we hope to see him pop up every now and then on social media with insights and observations and, yes, no doubt many cat related tweets over the coming months!