Leading from the front

Hamilton products

The Hamilton’s team: Willem Manders, Financial Director; Lukas van der Merwe, Sales Manager Africa; Daphne van Niekerk, Area Representative Pretoria; Juan Engelbrecht, Managing Director; Zenobia White, Regional Manager; Frank Kristiansen, General Manager Cape Town and Shane Weeden, Sales Director.

“It’s been three years since we have had the good fortune of obtaining a great brand such as Hamilton’s brush who is known for its quality products. Add to this is rich heritage that stretches back to 1811 when Charles Hamilton started the business in London, says Juan Engelbrecht, Hamilton’s Brush Managing Director.

“We have shown strong growth due to loyal clients, the introduction of a quality sales team and new product innovation. We have also been very fortuning to obtain the service of Shane Weeden, a true sales leader with 15 years’ experience in the Paint and Applicator market,” says Engelbrecht.

“Weeden will improve the relationships with clients and the end user. His leadership will provide much needed stability, focus and support to our internal sales staff. Through focus and determination our service level will be improved to our independent and key retail chain customers,” says Engelbrecht.

In 1996, Weeden started as a Paint Salesman at a little hardware store in Malvern, Johannesburg. “Much of what he learnt technically about coatings was thanks to the owner and his humble hardware store. “One day the Big Man above came through for me. I was at my lowest, working in a hardware store on the East Rand after returning from a break to the UK.” Mike Lessick helped Weeden find his feet and today he feels privileged thanks to having worked with them. “In 2007, I became a Sales Representative for a large coatings company and eventually became Key Account Manager.” The education was fast and furious and he learnt to understand the other side of the table. Being a Supplier was very different to being a client says Weeden.

“Having worked in both sectors has afforded me the benefit of understanding Retail, Production and Sales. Cedar Paint approached me in the entrance hall of Retail Group one morning and six months later I gave in to the temptation and took up a position with them. If ever I was thrown into the deep end, it was here. There was so much to do and we struggled our way through the years, ever adapting and improving, always trying something and making a plan in a pond full of bigger fish with bigger mates. Eventually we had a breakthrough.”

Weeden believes the breakthrough was due to focus and hammering home simple business principles in each sector. This is how the positive tipping point was reached. “The impossible once faced us and today that business is in a good space. As the saying goes, we took on the necessary, then what was possible and eventually challenged and overcame the impossible,” says Weeden. There are so many clients he values and for their support over the years.

“Today I have the privilege of working with Hamilton’s as Sales Director. I believe that with our rejuvenated commitment to superior service and focus on sales, we will continue to grow the business with our valued clients – new and existing, with the attainable goal of becoming the market leader in our sector of the industry,” says Weeden.

The Hamilton’s team has further been enhanced and strengthened with the promotion of Lukas van der Merwe now Sales Manager for Africa. Van der Merwe previously served as Training and Development Manager for the brand nationally. Frank Kristiansen, a Production Specialist has been bought into to enhance efficiencies and disciplines in the Cape Town factory. Daphne van Niekerk has strong Retail Management experience and she is being developed for a future Sales Management role.

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