Director of Operations
When I interviewed Gary I recognised immediately that here was an individual who understood not just the theory of business but the practicalities as well. His background was impressive but it was his thoughts about the role that really mattered. He articulated the possibilities and convinced me that even though he had no experience of our products he knew exactly what had to be done to engage with colleagues and customers to transform our "me too" product management approach.
Gary integrated well and was popular with colleagues. He took on tasks without quibble and was more than capable of acting on his onw initiative. He brought a lot to our business.
[Extract from full written reference -- available on request]
Gary spent around 4 months at Volvo Monitoring & Concept Center (VMCC) in California to share experiences and knowledge between and Ford Motor Company’s innovation and advanced product activities for small/medium cars.
Gary came and integrated with the team with a positive energy and attitude, and shared openly his thoughts and experiences.
He became an integral member of the team on several on-going new vehicle concept projects contributing his business and market definition capabilities.
Additionally, through his network Gary arranged a unique opportunity for some of the team to visit Boeing’s Payloads Concept Centre in Seattle, further broadening his contribution to VMCC knowledge.
Group Vice President
Gary was responsible for NPD process and system development work as well as the market implementation of NPD projects.
During his time with the company Gary clearly demonstrated his ability to deliver on a broad range of activities in a senior leadership role.
Gary is a highly organised, professional, committed individual.
[Extract from full written reference -- available on request]
During my time with Mont Blanc Group I first had Gary as a colleague in the management team and then also as my boss as he was appointed MD of the company.
Gary is a highly talented professional with excellent modern leadership skills. He holds a positive drive to develop his team as well as the organisation in a clear and structured manner. He is further highly skilled in coaching employees making them excel and perform as its best.
I find his abilities to visualise goals and direction very high and he is able to communicate in an effective manner building engagement on the journey to reach the common goal and vision.
Further Gary holds a strong customer orientation and one is always comfortable having his support and interaction with customers. It is a nice working atmosphere and environment around Gary and I am happy to endorse his positive skills and competences any day.
Supporting innovation with ethnographic research, co-creation, participatory design, service trials, usability testing.
We have conducted extensive design research for Gary to support product innovation while he was Director of Product and Market Strategy at Ideal Boilers. It soon became apparent that Gary has a great deal of experience of design research from his time in the motor industry, and understands it inside out.
It was refreshing working with Gary as he was able to challenge us and contribute to the design of the research whilst also being overall very supportive and enthusiastic.
It was a truly collaborative experience and this made Gary a great client. He is clearly committed to getting the very best out of the client-agency relationship. He's also a jolly nice bloke and fun to work with.
Gary is a skilled professional with a creative mind combined with an eye for detail and rigorous project management skills to get the job done well and on time.
I would recommend Gary for any senior post he applies for.
He will strengthen any team and give you a competitve edge every time.
I had the benefit of working together with Gary both as his colleague during his time as BD&I manager and his direct report during his time as CEO for Mont Blanc Group. I really enjoyed working together with Gary and can testify that he is a dedicated, goal oriented and capable professional but also very good colleague and leader.
During this period of time I was able to follow his approach in consolidating the Mont Blanc Group overall business by bringing together several production and legal units in Sweden, Romania, France and Poland and by reducing the manufacturing cost by transferring the production from Sweden to Romania. Gary’s lead and overall contribution was an important enabler for this journey and his leadership abilities were crucial for dealing with tough challenges throughout the whole supply chain.
Gary’s leadership style is characterized by being present and involvement. While constantly challenging his management team, he is always available and ready to step in with necessary support and coaching. These characteristics were crucial for building a strong and high-performing management team and to get the necessary commitment for the whole organization.
If you need a leader with the ability to delivery on company’s bottom line, while maintaining and improving overall organizational involvement and health, then you should choose Gary. He has my highest recommendation.
I worked with Gary in his capacity as Director of Product & Marketing Strategy for Ideal Boilers, when he commissioned consumer research, design and technology consulting services from our business, Cambridge Design Partnership.
I found him to be highly strategically focussed, energetic, perceptive and organised. His engineering background, market focus and commercial acumen complemented a highly effective collaboration in which user needs, technology, and commercial feasibility had to be carefully balanced to achieve success.
I have no hesitation in recommending Gary.
Working for Gary gave me opportunities to develop and improve my performance at work, my personality, and my leadership. Gary has a great way of combining business goals with a human growth mindset via inspiration and encouragement. He created a healthy environment where I felt eager to put in the extra work, but my extra effort did not drain my energy, instead, it was a positive loop of improvements because of his style as a leader. I felt energized coming home from work instead of the opposite.
Within less than a year, Gary turned an organization filled with stress and little ambition into an organization of team spirit, engagement, and visions.
Gary rapidly understands the bigger picture which enabled him to also engage and support me in my specific tasks. In conversations, he is able to stay one step back, following a discussion with a broader scope. That makes him a great speaking partner that questioned me when it was needed and stood by me when I needed a push.
Simply put, he was a great boss that made me feel safe, got me energized, eager to learn, eager to improve and to do my best.
Gary, was a very enthusiastic supervisor who was passionate about the products we are developing, this pushed the whole team forward striving to create products that the customer really wanted.
His ability to put himself in the position of a target customer in order to make the right decision was probably his greatest strength, whether that be 'Tony' the Plummer from Essex who was looking for a new small van, or 'Charlie' the 20 year old woman looking to buy her first small car. He was always able to connect with and pre-empt the views of the focus groups, on everything from engine choices to colour and material pattern choices.
As a supervisor it was rewarding to work for Gary as he always put his staff first and actively tried do develop our skills and knowledge on all areas of the business.
I learnt more and progressed further in the year working on these projects than as any other time in my early career.
A very approachable professional who is instrumental in commissioning new projects that have innovation at the core.
A confident, competent 'change manager' and leader that always provides that much needed cohesive link across the business at every level.
Gary is immensely proactive and has the capabilities and passion to initiate improvements and generate strategies for any opportunity.
A thorough ambassador of improvement; structured, disciplined and extremely conscious of priorities.
Gary is big on innovation, both ways of doing things and ideas.
I worked with Gary on new to car industry technologies, where Gary led the ideas to working concepts team.
He is determined and focused to make things change for the better, even against the usual business objects.
Gary is a great guy to work with.
Gary is a very bright and motivated individual with a great deal of positive energy. Unlike most people who are highly creative, he is very practical and knows how to keep projects moving towards commercialisation.
Gary is genuinely collaborative and did well to break through some of the silo mentality that existed around him.
You are a leader which wanted as much as us to develop our market and product protfolio.
You made big changes in the company in a controlled and well executed manner. Keep that style, change nothing.
I always had trustful cooperation with you and good support from a heartfelt supervisor and team player.
Gary is a rare combination of a very creative person who is also pragmatic and realistic.
He was a key part in developing and successfully implementing an innovation process for Ford of Europe's product development.
This process developed breakthrough features which were "outside the box" yet were technically feasible.
Beyond his skills as a professional, Gary was a great team player and a real pleasure to work with.
Owner/Founder at Brand & Starck
I had the pleasure to work with Gary at Quby. We both worked on a special assignment to get Quby international. Gary was guiding the whole company in the right direction as far as product development goes. He did this with flair and backed his view and standpoint with data. What also helped is that Gary is a man of the world. He will find the right people, data and places needed to succeed. Irrespective of their location.
When you need a director of product development, a management consultant that can help your board to get focus on the things that will get your company traction, do not look further. Gary for sure can help you out.
Gary has been a driving force behind the inception and delivery of Formica's global digital strategy programme. As well as planning and managing the project through to completion, his innovation focus brought a deep level of analysis and insight to the process.
Gary is an accomplished digital thinker with an incredibly sharp mind. I hope we have the opportunity to work together again in the future.
Insights and Strategy Director
Gary is a conscientious, hard working and very organised Manager.
He embraces new ideas, concepts and processes with a fresh vigour.
Always looking for a practical application to business.
Simon van der Veen
International Product Manager
Was a great pleasure to work with Gary on market research, his broad and deep experience make that he is able to provide valuable insights on the best way to gain market insights. His hands on knowledge on the heating market is impressive.
I had the pleasure of directly reporting to Gary during his time at Ideal Boilers.
As a senior manager he was excellent offering insight and appropriate advice to get the job completed.
Gary is very quick on the uptake and was immediately an effective manager understanding the business, its intricacies and customer types.
His knowledge and insight into challenging the status quo in a friendly and coherent manner brought into being new work practices that benefited the whole business
Personally he is of a very pleasant disposition and i would certainly not hesitate in recommending him as a manager or colleague.
I worked with Gary on one of the innovation projects that he was running at Ford Motor Company. During this time I found him very communicative and open to everyone's/the teams ideas, he also encouraged a full team approach in helping solve the problems that rose from these ideas.
On a managerial note I found Gary to be firm but fair and the overall project was run to time, given the constraints that where applied.
His subject knowledge within this area was very evident and he showed a good understanding of the processes used within the innovation team at Ford, and also externally which where sometimes very differnt to the ones used in house.
My colleagues and I worked with Andersson Brown on a project between May and June 2016. It was an absolute pleasure to do business with Gary: he maintained an extremely high level of professionalism at all times, while remaining very good company.
The integrity and his striving for the highest quality in Andersson Brown’s work is evident, and will without a doubt be borne out in the deliverables.
As a company we also very much appreciated his promptness in settling our invoice. We recommend Gary, and Andersson Brown, very highly as a business partner.
Qualitative insight and marketing expert
I had the pleasure to work with Gary on a large ethnographic and B2B market research conducted for Quby. When working, Gary is highly focussed, organized and perceptive: clearly as much left brain as right brain, he is committed to dive into both market insights and technology opportunities, to deliver strong and sound strategic recommendations and actions plan. Moreover, he builds a true partnership with consultants, valuing inputs. He is also a very pleasant person to spend time with, always in a good mood and enthusiastic.
Gary is a highly competent, experienced and professional product innovation and development leader.
I had the opportunity to work closely with him from initial concept and business case development through to project kick-off on an exciting new IoT solution that has the potential to transform the heating products sector.
His approach is methodical and detailed and always addresses those most fundamental of questions - will this product solve real problems and will our customers buy it?
Gary has an excellent grasp of the product development cycle, the importance of businesses understanding the customer experience and the need for a clear product strategy which all stakeholder functions can buy in to and deliver against.
Gary has the ability to constructively challenge old ways of thinking whilst maintaining stakeholder commitment to project delivery.
He brought with him innovative ways of thinking about and addressing business challenges which made the task at hand both engaging and fun.
I believe his skills and experience will be a great asset to any future employer and would very happily recommend him as a team player who is creative, articulate and intelligent.
It was great working with you as Mont Blanc R&D Manager when I learned a lot from you. It's good to have a leader [CEO] who really knows and understands the business and industry. You also have the R&D background which I think was great.
I had the pleasure of working closely with Gary on a digital strategy project that seen us and a small team travel the global conducting customer research in the field.
Gary's passion for the business and the desire to problem solve and innovate were in abundance.
He brought a practical, yet informed perspective built from years of product development and innovation experience, and as a result he really helped shape our thinking applying customer insight with the necessary business context.
He was always eager to learn, and to lead when required and as a result complimented the team in delivering a successful strategy.
Gary is a great guy who I'd enjoy working with again and would do so again without doubt.
Gary is a senior executive manager with a full-range of business capabilities within e.g. supply management, manufacturing, R&D/product development, branding and design.
I have worked with Gary as a service provider within Intellectual Property which has felt more like a strategic partnership with a seamless integration between companies – always with business in focus.
I truly enjoy his inclusive leadership on all levels with his enthusiastic drive, setting clear expectations with generous empowerment to deliver or even outperform the set targets.