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EH Smith chairman receives lifetime award

The chairman of Solihull-based builders merchant EH Smith has received a specialist lifetime achievement award at a high-profile business awards ceremony in Birmingham.

EH Smith chairman receives lifetime award

Ken Smith, 96, who still works five days a week, was recognised at the Birmingham Post Business Awards 2014 having led the company for 55 years.

John Parker, EH Smith chief executive, said: “Ken’s leadership and guidance over the years, through some great times and also some tough ones, has ensured that the company remains on a really solid footing and is growing year on year.

“It is a company based on heritage and innovation, and his strong entrepreneurial spirit has ensured we are continually looking into untapped areas, both in existing and new markets.”

Smith, who has been with the company for 77 years, took charge of it in 1959 following the death of his father Howard, who founded the business in 1922. A classic car enthusiast, he has seen the merchant grow through the decades, enduring booms, busts, recessions and war. He remembers as far back as accompanying his father Howard on a horse and cart whilst making deliveries in Birmingham.

He said: “Receiving this award is a great honour, but it in no way means I am stopping. We are constantly growing, moving into new areas and trying new things. My appetite for that is as fresh as the day I first stepped into the business.”

EH Smith has recently opened a new branch in Harborne, Birmingham, and revamped its branch in the city’s Longbridge area. It has grown its sustainable products division and in May opened its first kitchen and bathroom showroom.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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