Me & My Job - Tim Howell, managing director, landscaping, MITIE

Tim Howell, managing director, landscaping, MITIE - image: MITIE
Tim Howell, managing director, landscaping, MITIE - image: MITIE

How did you get started in the industry? I've always had an interest in the outdoor life so landscaping seemed like a good thing to do. I joined a Kent company as a landscape technician straight from school and after that worked for Hillier for several years in landscape construction, then Gavin Jones.

What does your typical day involve? I can be at any of our UK offices or on a customer site and I'll be meeting the people who work with me or our customers. If I'm not meeting them face-to-face I'm talking by email, phone or text. There are days when I get barricaded behind a spreadsheet but that's an important part of my work.

What is the best aspect of your job? The great thing about landscaping and this industry is that you really see when you've done a great job - to be able to stand back and say: "Look what we have done. We've done a great job there." It's also great when you get good feedback and win quality awards like BALI. But it's not just about the business. I love developing people. We've got people who have grown up with the business and seeing them rewarded by expanding their careers is great.

And the worst? I'm a really positive person. Everyone has their challenges but it's such a positive thing that I do that I don't have bad things.

How do you wind down after a hard day at work? I love cycling, skiing and being outdoors. But I also like to sit down with a good book and a glass of wine.

What does the future hold? I want to keep on growing the company along the same lines. There's a real opportunity for more technology in our industry. Management systems are the sort of thing our customers really like. These days people want real-time live information. That's what our customers are telling us. We'll be seeing some significant growth.

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