A FORMER apprentice at one of Sunderland’s largest employers has been named the firm’s new General Manager.
Mark Lister was Operations Manager at Castletown-based pump manufacturer Grundfos.
Sunderland-born Mark replaces Lee Carlin, who recently took up a new role as Area Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa for Grundfos.
Mark, 35, attended Sandhill View School and then Sunderland College before joining the firm as an apprentice 17 years ago.
After several years in the production and planning department, he joined the IT department and became IT manager before being appointed Operations Manager five years ago.
He is delighted to have awarded the top job at the factory: “It’s a big responsibility, but I’m thrilled and excited to be given the opportunity.”
“I think being here so long and knowing the way we work and the people here will really help.
“It’s good to see there are opportunities for people to fulfil their potential here. Grundfos prides itself in developing people; the company spends time and resources on training and developing its workforce and I suppose
“I’ve become a great example of that process.
“The company has specific programmes for identifying and bringing on people and I’ve benefitted from that policy.”
Mark isn’t envisaging any great change in direction at the Sunderland site, which employs about 200 people.
“We’ll be continuing on the same route – developing our bespoke Engineered to Order (ETO) side of the business while at the same time looking to make our mass manufacturing as efficient as possible,” he said.
“We’ve seen some good growth in the ETO area, which is up by about 18 per cent on last year.”
The ETO work sees Sunderland-based engineers design specific solutions for companies and organisations which are then manufactured on-site or off-site.
“We’ll also be looking to develop people’s skills so they can work across production areas and not just on one line.”
Mark, who still lives in the city with partner Jennifer and seven-year-old son Evan, is also keen to engage with the city’s business community.
“Lee really raised the profile of Grundfos through things like our involvement with Work Discovery Week, and I think it’s important I continue his work.
“We have a reputation for being good employers and I’ll be only too happy to spread the word.”