Michael Dandy: a tragic loss.

Farewell to Michael Dandy

Published:  18 May, 2011

LUTON: Michael Dandy, former managing director of Gibbs and Dandy, one of the UK's largest and longest-established builders' merchants has died, aged 56.

Mr Dandy was well known across the industry and will be missed by his former friends and colleagues.

Mr Dandy joined the business full-time on 1t October 1980 as company secretary after qualifying and practising as a solicitor. He soon became involved in many operational aspects of the business, which his family had founded in the 1890s, and he became a director in 1984.

Following a time as assistant managing director, he succeeded Ron Silvester to become managing director in 1986. This enabled him to start shaping the strategic development of the business.

An early challenge was the creation of a purpose-built branch and head office in Dallow Road, Luton. This involved closing a number of small local branches and consolidating them into a one-stop trade building centre on a 7-acre site. With recession just round the corner it was a bold move, but one which paid off when better times returned, enabling Mr Dandy and his colleagues to make a number of key acquisitions to further grow the business.

Mr Dandy understood that a company's strength and longevity depends upon the quality and commitment of its people. He took a close personal interest in the development of the management team and played a very supportive role in the careers of a large number of staff at all levels.

In 2008, he and the board of directors negotiated the sale of the business to Saint-Gobain and Mr Dandy stayed on to oversee the integration process and ensure a smooth transition for the company's employees. Having succeeded in doing this, he decided to take more of a back seat from November 2009 and retired from his full-time role to become a non-executive director.

Michael Dandy was seen by many as the epitome of what Gibbs and Dandy is all about - integrity, honesty and clear values.

"Suppliers, customers, staff all knew who they were dealing with, and were confident in being a part of the business, or in their dealings with it. These values continue to be upheld by his friends and colleagues across the business to this day, who would like to express their condolences to his wife, Eithne, and the rest of his family at this difficult time. He will be sadly missed," the company said.

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