Working with the English language in Poland

I’ve had the best experiences of my professional (and personal) life in Poland. I first came here in the very early 2000s, back then I was working as the General Manager for Shorewood Packaging (a division of International Paper) in my native Wales and we were looking to set up a manufacturing facility in Kwidzyn at the huge IP paper mill. That didn’t come to fruition but in 2007, I was back!

Such was the importance of Poland within the global packaging arena that it was inevitable that Shorewood/IP would look to maximise their business opportunity so, after spending 3 months in Warsaw working closely with our customer, Technicolor, I ended up near Torun to turn a rather dated notebook producer, formerly known as Bartorex into Shorewood Poland. That was my first
position as Prezes Zarzadu of a Polish company and the first time that I had an entirely Polish group of employees to work with. They were memorable times and we created a €26 million business by the time it was sold in 2013, a remarkable achievement yet it proved to me that language is only a barrier to success if you let it be.

In mid-2013, I joined the Rail-Services division of the Dutch engineering business, Voith. As Managing Director/Board Representative, I was responsible for organising the sale of the engineering facility in Nowa Wies Wielka to Arriva Trains, a complex yet successful transaction that forged part of the Arriva business strategy for CEE.

After a brief stint in Saudi Arabia, I returned to “my” beloved Poland. In late 2015, I was engaged by the US Private Equity backed Multi-Packaging Solutions (MPS) to play a key part in developing TAKT, a packaging business based in Bolesław in the south of Poland. TAKT had been supplying MPS for some time but as MPS were moving from a PE business to be a part of the largest paperboard packaging company in the world, WestRock, they needed to ensure continuity and quality of their supply chain and it was my responsibility to ensure security and continual improvement of that with TAKT.

After the TAKT role, and because of my experience working with Polish businesses, I moved into a broader role, looking at possible Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) for WestRock/MPS in Poland and CEE. This lead to my role as Geschäftsführer with the WestRock/MPS facility in Obersulm, near Stuttgart and Prezes Zarzadu at the facility in Tczew. I finished with WestRock as Vice-President of the Beauty and Personal Care Division.

My love for Poland and my passion for working with Polish people was the primary influence behind starting Colinsson. I want to use my experiences of working here to help develop people and improve businesses.


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