Vicki Hawkes knows what it’s like to operate in a man’s world. The new Area Sales Manager at Strand Hardware has worked in the construction and building products sector for 23 years. She is delighted to be joining a company with a woman at the helm.
Catherine Franks, Strand’s Managing Director, comments: “It was one of the things that most interested me about the job. Although there are now many more women working in the industry, there are relatively few in leadership roles.”
Appointed in November 2019, Vicki was just starting her sales activity, covering the southern/eastern half of the Midlands, South Wales, East Anglia and the South of the UK. Then the UK went into its first COVID-19 lockdown.
Following furlough and a part-time return, Vicki is now back in her full-time role. She is keen to highlight the benefits of Strand Hardware’s quality products to distribution, architectural ironmongers and locksmiths.
Having worked for Carillion and ASSA ABLOY UK, she has experience in many areas of the industry. This includes in fleet management, customer services and sales.
Most recently, Vicki worked for Alpro Hardware Ltd. Here, where she was Area Sales Manager and Technical Support Advisor for the Midlands and South West, selling manual and electrical hardware to distribution and aluminium manufacturers and fabricators.
Her experience in this field will hopefully open new doors for Strand Hardware, which offers an extensive range of panic hardware, finger protection devices and window openers.
Vicki continues: “I can see great possibilities working with the aluminium industry. Over the past three or four years, aluminium has become so popular as a versatile and durable alternative to wood and PVC fittings.
“It also presents great aesthetics which would be an ideal blend with the products that we offer.”
Strand Hardware recently became a member of the Council for Aluminium in Building (CAB). The company is already starting to work with a number of key distribution partners to help with this new venture.
Vicki’s work achievements include the awarding of an Excellence Certificate during her time at Carillion and an employee of the year award from Yale, which she received following her first year in sales out on the road and two years’ qualifications from the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers – one of which she passed with distinction.
Vicki adds: “I have had some interesting times in the industry, working long hours and travelling many miles.”
Outside of work, Vicki, who lives in Alcester, Worcestershire, enjoys gardening and spending time with her ‘crazy’ chocolate sprocker spaniel, Samuel.
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