After almost 10 years of dedicated service, we are bidding a fond farewell to our National Sales Manager – Andy Lee.
Andy’s career started in 1977 when he joined John Laing, in procurement, purchasing materials for the construction company.
This was followed by a move to a computer systems company. Systime was based in Leeds and was unusual among system integrators in that it actually manufactured the hardware it sold to customers.
From Systime Andy climbed the career ladder, joining STC PLC and then Microvitec the company that built monitors for the newly emerging computer industry, most notably the BBC microcomputer and Alan Sugars Amstrad computer screens.
These appointments gave Andy a knowledge of both the building and technology industries that would prove a perfect combination when joining Prefect Controls.
During the 1990s the government set up 9 Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). Their purpose was to promote business efficiency and competitiveness, enhance the application of skills relevant to employment and ultimately develop the economic growth of the UKs regions.
Andy joined his local RDA ‘Yorkshire Forward’ where he secured funding to launch ‘Screen Yorkshire’ which was established to help fund film and TV productions in the region as well as using local locations, creating local jobs, and liaising with producers from around the world. All Creatures Great And Small, Peaky Blinders, This Is England and Dads Army are just some of the productions that have benefitted from Screen Yorkshires’ expertise.
With his experience in the technological sector Andy was seconded to ‘Electronics Yorkshire’. His role, as Network Manager, was to assist companies with the experience he had accumulated throughout his career and help them to access funding, advice, and support.
In 2012 with news of the upcoming abolition of the RDAs Andy needed to find alternative employment. A chance meeting with a company that was developing timers and thermostats for student accommodation fired his imagination. Here was the potential to combine his knowledge of the technology and building sectors. Unfortunately, the company wasn’t as prepared for market as he had hoped. He made a few sales, however, lost out on one particular contract to a company that appeared to be in a better position. Some research and a tentative phone call to the Managing Director proved timely as Prefect Controls were in a position to take on a sales manager. Based in Leeds Andy began contacting Universities, Mechanical and Electrical Consultants and student accommodation providers to introduce them to Prefect Controls’ products that would provide Cleverly simple control of energy.
Asked about the highlights of his time with Prefect, Andy has a couple of contracts that stand out for him. Firstly, Bristol University, as he considers the almost evangelic fervour with which Chris Jones the university’s Energy Manager promotes Irus, has created a lot of interest in Prefect products among the university community.
Secondly, the 2020 contract at UWE Bristol, not only because this is the largest installation undertaken to date but was also one of the first leads he established for Prefect, coming to fruition 7 years later. As any salesman will testify, perseverance pays off!
Outside work, throughout the 90s, Andy entertained crowds with his singing in clubs across Yorkshire and the Northwest and no doubt created several groans with his appalling jokes! He has always kept himself in good shape running with Horsforth Harriers up to 70 miles per week. He has completed numerous half marathons and 10k races along with 3 London Marathons under his belt, registering a 2-hour 40-minute time!
Nowadays he enjoys time spent with his growing number of grand-children and his love of Italian cars, being the proud owner of a 1st series Fiat 500 and the Fiat OSI Spider once owned by John Paul Getty III.
We wish Andy a very happy and fulfilling retirement and look forward to hearing about what he gets up to.
The best of luck for the future and thanks for your contribution to our success from all your friends at Prefect Controls.