Fintan Ennis

Meet Fintan Ennis

Regional Director Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics 

Hydraquip Hiflex Fluidpower Fintan

Life is not a dress rehearsal so when opportunities come along, I always believe in grabbing them with both hands. It’s generally a good philosophy but can get you into trouble sometimes. At the age of 8 I broke my arm while trying to tightrope walk on a clothes line. More often that not this approach to life has served me well.

It was exactly 6 years ago today that I spoke to Duncan for the first time.

I, along with many others, had found myself out of work following the demise of Hiflex Fluidpower. BMI Hose had bought the assets of the old business and I couldn’t see a good future for myself with them.

It was a worrying time. I’m still not sure why to this day but during the night I was lying awake wondering what to do when the thought, “Hydraquip are an ambitious company, I wonder if they would be interested in setting up a branch in Newcastle” came into my head. That was it. I couldn’t go back to sleep. I got up at about 3:30am and emailed Duncan.

My phone rang just after 8am. It was Duncan. We spent about 90 minutes on the phone talking about the situation. He flew up on Saturday morning and we spent most of the day in a room at Newcastle Airport working out a plan as to how we could start up a branch from scratch.

On Monday we set about recruiting 16 staff in the North East & Cumbria areas. There was a lot of toing & froing over the next couple of days but by the Wednesday we were operational. The local council helped us to get off the ground. We moved into a small start up unit less than 200m from the old Hiflex depot and with the help of key suppliers such as IMM, Flowtech and Gates we had stock and machinery delivered.

These were challenging times for everyone but we pulled through, due in no small measure to the teamwork of the guys at Blaydon with loads of support from the other Hydraquip branches. By Christmas BMI had packed up & moved out of the old Hiflex depot. Hydraquip moved in.

Since that time my role has developed taking on a wider responsibility overseeing operations in the North and Midlands for Hydraquip (Universal Hose). Coincidentally a year ago today, we concluded the purchase of the assets of the Linden Group and started Linden Hose & Adaptors Ltd. There were many similarities in this to the experience at Blaydon. Once again, the team at Linden showed great strength of character and held things together ensuring that the new company got off to a good start.

I was born & brought up in Belfast. I left Northern Ireland in 1983 to go to University in Glasgow to do a Mechanical Engineering degree. After graduating I moved to Birmingham where I worked for Lucas Aerospace as a Production Engineer. After a couple of years I moved to Manchester to work for ICL Computers in a similar role. It was at ICL that I first got involved in sales. In addition to building computers, ICL sold software to a variety of customers. When selling software to manufacturing customers, I used to work with the sales team, liaising with customers to make sure we fully understood their manufacturing processes. I really enjoyed dealing with customers and the buzz of helping to close a sale.

Fintan Hydraquip Hiflex FluidpowerIn 1993 I got married to Jane and moved up to the North East where we still live. When I moved up here I took on a job as Maintenance Manager for Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company who had a large factory in Newcastle. It was a great job but I always harboured the ambition to get back into sales. The question was, how could I do it? My opportunity came in 1999 when I took on a role with ROXBY selling outsourced maintenance services to pharmaceutical and chemical companies. I learned a lot in this role working with large companies throughout the UK.

I joined Dunlop Hiflex in 2002 as Northern Regional Manager , managing 7 branches.  My role progressed and in 2004 I was appointed as UK Sales Manager for the company. This role included responsibility for the sales of Dunlop Industrial Hose both in the UK & internationally.

We have two daughters, Grace (18) and Niamh (12). Grace has just passed her A Levels and will be off to University in Leeds next month. My downtime revolves mainly around Jane & the girls. I love live entertainment whether it’s music, sport or theatre. A few years ago, I started cycling quite a bit. There is no risk of me being headhunted by Team Sky but I enjoy it a lot. I am an early riser and love nothing better than getting on my bike early on a weekend summers morning and clocking up a few miles in the quiet part of the day before the world wakes up.

I come from a family of 7 children, now living in various parts of the UK & Ireland. We are very close & thanks to Skype (possibly the greatest invention of the 21st century so far) I’m in contact with one of them most days. It’s difficult sometimes but we all try to meet up together for a weekend every 12-18 months. Our next get together will be in Amsterdam at the end of September. I can’t wait.

Meet The Team

04.08.14 Duncan MacBain 26.11.14 Andy Carr 04.01.16 Nathan Ward
05.08.14 Steven Wicks 04.12.14 Gary Marsh 13.04.16 Matt House
06.08.14 Dawn Campbell 17.12.14 Bert Tong 14.06.16 Richard Sawyer
07.08.14 Neil Smith 08.01.15 Malcolm Nightingale 12.10.16 Joe McLean
08.08.14 Gary Tucker 19.01.15 Barry Thompson 01.11.16 Dave Berry
11.08.14 Jay MacBain 23.01.15 Tom Healey 01.11.16 Paul Jeffrey
12.08.14 Rabs Atwal 04.02.15 Malcolm Southall 01.11.16 Bryan Drummond
13.08.14 Simon Kay 05.02.15 Lian Lee 08.11.16 Scott Donegan
14.08.14 Stuart Spurdle 10.02.15 Barry Wenban 10.11.16 Tom Donnelly
15.08.14 Geoff Kelley 04.03.15 Ian Wheatley 14.11.16 Rich Cooper
18.08.14 Val Thomas 23.04.15 Colin Crooknorth 17.11.16 David Archer
19.08.14 Bob Wheatley 20.05.15 Tom Halliday 28.11.16 Simon Cox
20.08.14 David Callaghan 15.06.15 Chris Bedson 02.12.16 Mark Hughes
21.08.14 James Roth 20.07.15 Lee Dobson 22.05.17 Roy Heaton
22.08.14 Barry Saupin 04.08.15 Craig Dorey 25.05.17 Chris Culver
25.08.14 Stuart Hesketh 02.10.15 Pete Russell
26.08.14 Carolyn Kay 07.10.15 Ben Bracher
27.08.14 Alan Scott 12.10.15 Adam Holland
28.08.14 Amelia Cregan 12.10.15 Paul Bayley Jones
29.08.14 Fintan Ennis 19.11.15 Mark Thomas
01.09.14 Mark Neale 19.11.15 Lee Newton
22.09.14 James Harris 19.11.15 Elfyn Roberts
07.10.14 Tony Brighton 04.01.16 Steven Nock
20.11.14 Ross Burbidge 04.01.16 Stuart Carter