Meet Team Kadant - Jason Greatorex, General Manager, Kadant PAAL
Worked at Kadant Paal Since: August 2004
Tell me about your career path and how you got to Kadant.
I started my working life at 16 years of age as an apprentice electrical and electronics engineer, working for a textile manufacturer called Simpson Wright & Lowe in England, which was part of the well-known Coats Viyella group. This entailed working in the manufacturing facility for four days per week and then one day a week while attending college then university to gain my professional qualifications. After 13 years, the company closed due to the decline in textile manufacturing in Europe.
I then worked for two companies in the canning industry, Impress Metal Packaging, and Lawson Mardon as an electrical engineer for three years, before being head-hunted by Dicom Ltd (part of the PAALl Group) in 2004, which later became Kadant PAAL GBR.
My Kadant Paal career began as a senior service engineer, servicing and maintaining the PAAL and Dicom product brands. After 18 months I progressed to the position of project manager, responsible for a team of engineers in the installation, servicing, and breakdown of balers. In 2008, I had the opportunity to become an area sales manager, selling all Dicom and PAAL branded balers and related products into the north of England. In 2011, I was fortunate enough to take over as sales director and oversee all sales for the UK and Ireland markets. After Kadant acquired the PAAL Group, Kadant Paal LLC was formed in 2017 to serve the North American market and I was offered the challenge to take the new company forward, becoming the General Manager from August of that year and I have not looked back!
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Meeting with people from all different backgrounds and nationalities, whether they are colleagues in Kadant or one of our customers or suppliers.
What do you think is the most important quality for success?
Integrity, being straight with your customer. I would sooner lose a sale than offer a solution that doesn’t benefit the customer. You only need to upset the customer once and all your hard work building up the relationship is gone in an instant. Company image and trust is everything.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Listening. Always listen to your customer and colleagues because it’s amazing what you pick up and learn.
Tell me about your family.
I have just celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary with my wife Susan, after being together for 10 years. I have two children, Ellie 19 years old and Sam who is 17 and two stepchildren, William 19 years old and Samuel 16 years old. We also just added a new addition to the family, a 15-week-old French Bulldog puppy called Roscoe.
What do you like to do in your free time and why?
I like to play golf as it’s the only place I can go and forget everything, it’s my release valve. I also like to socialize and go out for meals with my wife (although this is now on hold, due to the arrival of Roscoe).
Do you have a favorite sports team? How did you become a fan?
I’m an avid Manchester United football fan (soccer as it’s known in the U.S.). I have supported them since I was five years old. I just like to see good attacking football. I used to play football semi-professionally and played for Nottingham Forest and Mansfield Town at junior and youth levels.
Have you read any good books lately?
I have nearly finished “Leading” by Sir Alex Ferguson (ex-manager of Manchester United). Although I love football, this book is about management and how to lead a successful business. I would recommend this book to anybody who manages people.