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Directors

Stephen Wright
Managing Director
Tel: 01274 663471

Stephen Wright (54) has been Managing Director of Thorite since 2000. The company was set up in 1850 by Stephen's great-great-grandfather, Thomas Wright.

Having worked in the business himself for over 30 years, Stephen is confident that Thorite continues to offer its customers and potential clients 'best in class' knowledge and experience within the industry, whilst providing an outstanding quality of service and logistics.

Stephen has a keen eye for detail and has been known to be a rigorous inquisitor of the challenges facing manufacturers. He is involved in how our industry develops on a daily basis and sits on the Distributor Committee of the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS).

A dedicated supporter of local manufacturing, Stephen is the Chairman of the Bradford and Airedale Manufacturing Alliance, which was founded January 2011 to promote manufacturing in the district and to build stronger links between manufacturers. He was, until December 2015, the Chair of the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Advisory Board of the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF); a body he still sits on.

As a proud Bradfordian, Stephen was President of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce from 2011 to 2013.

Following the merger with the Leeds Chamber he became Vice Chairman of the combined West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. In September 2015 he was elected as Chairman of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Until July 2015 Stephen was a Non-Executive Director of its subsidiary company Business Enterprise Fund.

Outside work Stephen is married to Jane and has a 15 year old daughter. He is a governor at Guiseley School, his daughter's school. In his spare time, Stephen is a keen cyclist, badminton player, skier and outdoors enthusiast. Qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Studies (Trent Polytechnic 1983) and an MBA (Huddersfield Polytechnic 1989).

You can follow Stephen on twitter at ‏@stephenthorite

 

Ross Gowler
Marketing and Engineering Director
Tel: 01274 663471

Ross can accurately be described as being 'Thorite through and through' and someone who's not just seen it all during his career, but done most of it too!

His many years with the company began as a callow school leaver, when he joined Thorite as an apprentice. Although Ross's first taste of the exciting world of engineering was focused on sweeping up in the Service Department, he rapidly progressed to the repair & servicing of compressors and air tools, pipework installations and control panel building.

In 1973 he moved on to the Sales Department, selling compressors and pneumatic equipment. In 1977 he created and managed Thorite's Systems Division, which today is responsible for the design and manufacture of a wide range of pneumatic and electro pneumatic control systems.

1979 saw Ross's appointment as Sales Manager at the company's busy Leeds branch, whilst in the mid 1980's he was integral to Thorite's most rapid period of expansion: New branches in Blackburn, Bolton and Rochdale were opened under Ross's supervision and he was instrumental in overseeing their ongoing success.

In 1999 he was appointed Sales Director of the Thorite Group, which in turn led in 2001 to his present position as Thorite's Marketing and Engineering Services Director.

Ross's wider involvement with the compressed air industry has included an appointment to the British Compressed Air Society's Technical Committee, being responsible for drafting the guidance documents for The Pressure Systems Regulations. Ross also represented Thorite in the British Fluid Power Distributors' Association, holding the Chairmanship of this body for 2 years at the end of the 1990s. He currently represents Thorite on the EEF's Climate, Energy & Environment Policy Committee.

Married with one son, two grandchildren and a resident of Bingley in West Yorkshire, Ross's leisure interests revolve around scuba diving, sailing and snow skiing - providing he can be persuaded to leave his Dexter Cattle, which he raises on his home-based hobby farm.

 

Alan Donkersley
Sales Director
Tel: 01274 663471

Alan Donkersley has had a lot to smile about since he was appointed Thorite's Sales Director in 2003. During his tenure he has seen both the company's turnover grow significantly and its Sales & Service Centre network spread from Yorkshire and Lancashire into the North East and West Midlands. But don't let his ready grin and easy sense of humour fool you into thinking he's a bit of a joker behind Alan's sunny demeanour is a razor-sharp intellect coupled with well over 30 years of compressed air engineering experience.

Alan started training for his career on a Mechanical Engineering Course at Huddersfield Technical College and became an apprentice at Peabody Homes, the manufacturers of Roots Air Blowers in 1979. Concentrating on Mechanical and Production Engineering at Huddersfield University, he gained the Higher TEC Certificate and believes this apprenticeship served him particularly well by providing a broad, hands on, understanding of machining, fabrication, fitting, design, production, purchasing and quality assurance.

By 1985 Alan had risen to become a Project Engineer at Peabody Homes, after which he joined Norgren, the world famous pneumatic automation control company. Starting as a Sales Engineer he progressed to become their Northern Regional Manager, supervising sales for Norgren's largest UK region which included their busiest sales office in Manchester. During this period he attended regular sales and management courses at Cranfield University, the internationally recognised centre for management and business excellence, as a prelude to joining Thorite in 1999.

From his original Thorite appointment as Regional Manger, responsible for all sales activities in Lancashire, within a year Alan became Branch Operations Manager, broadly covering the M62 corridor, with his biggest step to Sales Director coming in 2003. Since then he has been integral to developing Thorite to meet, and in many cases lead, the changing needs of the pneumatics industry. This has included professional Key Account management, the building of Thorite's National Distribution Centre and the launches of new Sales and Service Centres in North Shields and Brierley Hill in the West Midlands.

Alan lives in Huddersfield and is married with two children, one currently at University and the other at Sixth Form College. A keen walker with an active social life, Alan is the perfect example of the 'play hard, but work even harder' approach to enjoying every aspect of life to the full.

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