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Meet the MD: Katie Berry of Myers Group

Katie Berry is joint managing director of Myers Group, a £50m turnover construction business, headquartered in Huddersfield and celebrating its 90th anniversary during 2019. She tells UMi her story.

What does your role involve?

Setting the culture of the Myers business and its divisions, while making sure that we have the right people to embrace and drive our values to hit our business targets.

What is it the company does?

Myers Group is a family-owned, Yorkshire construction business which has provided building products and services to the industry since 1929.

The Group divisions include Myers Building Supplies, Readymix Huddersfield, Myers Timber, Myers Skip Hire and Johnsons Wellfield Quarries. 

The organisation quarries high quality Yorkstone from its Johnsons Wellfield plant; mixes Readymix concrete at four sites across Readymix Huddersfield; sells timber and general building products through its network of 14 Myers Building Supplies branches and provides a skip hire service to Huddersfield and the surrounding areas.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words

As joint Managing Director, I manage the brand both internally and externally. I review all business activities and oversee the brand communications that support the organisation.

We use this to educate and to clarify our business vision.

I also ensure that all employees work to our core values, which is a founding principle of the company. It is important that we ensure everyone is looked after and that they are also treated fairly. We have a great team, many that have been with us for years, so staff retention is a focus for us too. 

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I started by providing holiday cover when I was around 11 years old. When I was older, I started working as general office admin and covered reception.    

Following my degree in Business, I progressed to working in HR, while also running Myers Skip Hire. I then took the position as joint Director in 2012 with James, my brother.  

What do you believe makes a great leader?

Having a clear vision, being passionate about the business and having the ability to inspire and motivate others.

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Building the senior management team and the time that it took to get the right people together. This has been our biggest challenge so far but is something we needed to get right if we were to meet our targets and ambitions moving forward.

We had to understand what skills and kind of people we needed first, then ensure the dynamics worked as a cohesive team when we brought them together. It was also extremely important that they were able and willing to embrace and drive the Myers Group culture across the various divisions to provide consistency.

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

Spending time with my family.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up

I was brought up and primed to work in the business so never really wanted or considered doing anything else.

Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?

I find unconstructive attitudes off-putting. Bringing in a positive, can-do senior team helps us to counteract that and drive the Myers culture we are aiming for.    

Where do you see the company in five years time?

Closer to our ultimate vision of ‘Becoming Yorkshire's leading family-owned construction supply business, investing effectively to secure the business for future generations.’

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Surround yourself with capable, positive people as they are the key to your success. 

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

You only ever hear about the good things, when the reality is, with that comes a lot of challenges that you have to deal with. As well as ensuring the longevity of the business we are ultimately responsible for the daily well-being of our 350 employees. It’s a 24-hour a day, 365-day a year commitment. Certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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