Meet Martyn O’Connor MCIPHE RP
The award-winning managing director of Heatshine, from Wales, has been involved in energy conservation since 1970 – and racing cars since the 80s.
What do you love about your job?
I like meeting people and I like the variety of work that I get. I’m 71 and I’m still working in the office 7am to 6pm every week. It’s a great industry to be in.
How did you get into the industry?
I married a plumber’s daughter. My then father-in-law thought the college boy needed some education. I’ve been involved in the heating and building industry all my life. I studied engineering so I’m not afraid of doing sums. I’ve always been into alternative technology and I did my first solar thermal system in the late 70s. I built my house in 1984 and installed under-floor heating. I had one of the first combination boilers in the country.
How did you get into your current role?
I started in 1990. I got an apprentice a few years later and he’s still with me now. We did our first ground source heat pump in 2004. They had come along and I thought ‘okay, we can do this’. There are 12 of us in the business now; it’s really been organic progress.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned?
Be wary of bankers. I’ve run this business without any overdraft or borrowing right the way along because I’ve had bad experiences in the past with the banks. There are opportunities all the time and sometimes you’ve just got to take them. But you also need a certain amount of confidence that you are working within your capabilities.
What are the benefits of a CIPHE membership?
It gives you credibility. It’s an organisation that demonstrates that you have to have a certain amount of competence. You get sensible feedback on what’s going on in the industry – it isn’t ramped up for effect.
Would you do it all over again?
Yes, I think I would. I might not do it in exactly the same way though.
Have you got a standout moment?
When you have a Christmas party and you see a bunch of guys jumping up and down and singing to karaoke and think, ‘It’s really good that they’re here and they like me’.
Tell us something people don’t know about you
I’ve driven rally and race cars for many years and competed. Most of my rally days were in Vauxhall Astras. I’ve done a lot of track days in an Aston Martin Vantage S and I have a Lotus Esprit (right). I’ve planted 450 trees in my garden so my conscience is clear…
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