Pro Installer January 2022 - Issue 106 - Page 18

Company Hero
18 | JANUARY 2022

Company Hero


Having been in business for 40 years this year , VBH ( GB ) has many candidates for Company Hero .
Some have joined us relatively recently and have excelled in their new positions , bringing dynamic new ideas to keep VBH at the top of our game .
Others have been with us since the 80s or 90s and have provided VBH customers with top-level service for decades .
This combination of new and not so new blood is what makes VBH the preferred hardware supplier for so many fabricators , large and small , so it is difficult to pick out one individual . However , following events at the G-Awards last November , VBH ’ s Company Hero has to be Colin Russell .
Originally from the Vale of Leven in western Scotland and a metalworker by trade , Colin moved to Kent with his wife in 1978 following redundancy from Manlove Tullis in Clydebank . This willingness to move to the other
end of the country sums up Colin ’ s work ethic from the outset . He eventually joined VBH ( then known as Wagner ) as an office based Technical Adviser on March 1st 1993 .
Although not a newcomer to the industry , after having previously had roles at Zenith and Everest , Colin was new to hardware .
He was immediately thrown in at the deep end as he set to work gearing up a number of windows and doors for a trade exhibition being held later that month . A steep learning curve and no pressure whatsoever .
As part of the Technical Team , it is also part of Colin ’ s job to man the stands at such shows , and he was immediately hooked by the exhibition buzz . Colin is very much a ‘ people person ’ and his keenness to meet and help people face to face remains as
strong now as it was then . Colin has always been a fixture on ( and builder of ) VBH stands since 1993 , having attended many Windowfabs , Interbuilds , Glassexes , Scotbuilds and FIT Shows among many others . Unfortunately , he has had little opportunity to do so over the past couple of years .
Colin put his people skills and technical knowledge to good use when he hit the road during his 5-year spell as a Technical Sales Representative covering the South East . He was a big hit with customers and built up many great relationships during that time . Many of these are still in place today now that Colin is once more an integral part of our internal Technical Team , although contact is now generally via phone or email .
Colin is always on hand to answer queries from customers and colleagues ( and suppliers )
and always goes out of his way to find solutions to any requests for hardware or help , whether the enquiry is simple or complicated . Colin is the ‘ go to guy ’ for many in the industry . This is perhaps because , to quote Colin himself , “ I ’ ve always worked with the attitude that no questions are silly or stupid , although sometimes my answers might be .”
At one point one of our competitors ’ reps was so impressed with Colin ’ s knowledge that he would phone in using an alias to tap him up for technical help – he was soon rumbled and the error of his ways pointed out to him .
Colin thrives on helping people and , as part of the technical and product development team , he has the freedom to help VBH customers with any queries they may have with window and door hardware . He finds the best solution for their particular project ,
before putting them in contact with our sales teams to do the deal .
Colin has nearly 40 years ’ experience in the fenestration industry and is eager to share this with anyone , whether they are new to the industry or long established in it . Conversely , he is still eager to learn new skills and draw on other people ’ s experience , too .
Colin was announced as joint winner of the Unsung Hero category at the 2021 G-Awards . The accolade is fully deserved , as can be witnessed by the number of customers , suppliers and even competitors , who took the time to seek him out and congratulate him .
Colin Russell is a real asset to VBH and to the industry at large , and we are proud to call him our Company Hero .
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