SO, DAVE WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
I was born in Manchester, in the UK, and raised in South Africa from around the age of 1. I grew up on the East Rand with the majority of the time being spent in Benoni, the cultural centre of the East! I left school early, after much begging and pleading from the Headmaster, to do a plumbing apprenticeship which I completed before my compulsory military service in 1989.
I served as a dog handler in the army and spent 18 months in various posts throughout the then South West Africa and the Border region. Fate landed me in the steel industry as an estimator in a steel foundry; doing both green sand, lost wax and investment castings and so the steel journey began. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in pipe and tube manufacturing facilities, merchants and stockists until I arrived at Steel Studio, once a client, in 1999. My experience has covered installation, buying, estimating, foreign procurement and I currently head up the sales division of the company. A few personal highlights for me include successfully negotiating the balustrade contracts for King Shaka Airport, OR Tambo Airport, Sasol Head Office and the recently completed Discovery Head Office in Sandton, to name a few.
I have been married to Renee for 28 years and have daughters Erin, 27, and Tayla, 24, as well as a son-in law Dylan, 29, and grandchildren Trent, 3, and Amber, 1. There’s always a rescued Dachshund or three in the family too!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I would have to say the interaction between client, architect and engineer to find common ground between aesthetics, budget and code compliance. The challenge is very stimulating and the rewards are hugely satisfying. I also love watching staff learn, grow and develop within Steel Studio.
WHEN HAVE YOU BEEN MOST SATISFIED IN YOUR LIFE?
When I look at my family and see happy, healthy, well-adjusted individuals. This happens daily and I’m extremely grateful. Having two beautiful grandchildren has also really been a lifechanging experience for me.
WHAT THINGS DO YOU NOT LIKE TO DO?
Beg people to pay for a job well done. Definitely!
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL, AND WHY?
I don’t believe there can or should be one. Anyone who teaches and shares knowledge without expectation of financial gain. Also, those that have risen through adversity to make a difference in the lives of their families and those around them. I am also inspired by voluntary aid workers, particularly in the animal world.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED DURING YOUR CAREER AND PERSONAL LIFE?
First, to yourself be true.
WHAT IS SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I am a certified Reiki practitioner and working towards my Reiki Master qualification.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?
Either taking something apart or putting something together! I have a passion for DIY, upcycling and repurposing furniture and vintage items. I have a café racer which I like to tinker with and ride when I get the chance.
IF YOU WERE TO CHOOSE AN ALTERNATIVE LIFE, WHAT CAREER WOULD YOU HAVE FOLLOWED?
Definitely architecture, interior or industrial design.
WHY STAINLESS STEEL?
Of all the metals, I think stainless steel gets into your blood and is a habit forming substance! I’ve tried, like many, to leave the industry but somehow it pulls you back in! I admire the craftsmanship that is required in the fabrication process; bad workmanship cannot be concealed with body filler or a coat of paint! It is also there, just the way you finished it, for many years to come.
Steel Studio International (Pty) Ltd
010 040 3720 / 074 892 8021