Obituary: Joe Inzani

Published:  07 January, 2014

Joe Inzani, managing director of Lawsons, was involved in a fatal car accident on Christmas Eve and passed away, surrounded by his family, in the early hours of Christmas morning.

Simon Lawson, Chairman of Lawsons Holdings Ltd, said: "Joe Inzani was born in the London borough of Stepney and was always proud of his Italian ancestry and North London roots. He joined the timber industry in 1976, starting in tele-sales at Montague L. Meyer. He progressed rapidly through the ranks to become their youngest ever branch manager. In 1990, Joe left the Harcross Group to join Travis Perkins where he was appointed to their major Essex site at Chelmsford as branch manager. His management skills were quickly recognised and reflected in excellent results. He was quickly promoted to Regional Director and further success followed with a move to the prestigious South East region, as Sales Director.

"In 2005, Joe was appointed Managing Director of Lawsons, a well-respected family business and one of the largest independent merchants in the South East. During his tenure, Lawsons witnessed great success in terms of growth and trading results, enhancing its reputation as a market leader that focused on quality service.

"Away from business, Joe was a great advocate of raising money for good causes and under the Lawsons' banner raised significant money for Macmillan's cancer support. He led a Lawsons' team to Romania to assist in landscaping a children's hospice. Through his love of music, in particular playing guitar and singing, either solo, with family or part of a band, he raised funds for many local charities and good causes, earning himself the nickname of the Singing M.D.

"Joe was a man of many facets; businessman, musician, golfer with a love of travel and driving but his greatest love was his family - his teenage sweetheart and wife Bernadette and his loving children, Daniel, Jessica, Rosie and Frankie. Joe will be remembered by his family and friends and also by his many work colleagues who admired his business skills and his ability to motivate and enhance their working lives. Joe's unique qualities mean he will be sadly missed."

The Lawson Family has also released a statement: "Joe was an exceptionally gifted man who brought to the company tremendous energy and dedication with professional leadership, which involved a large number of improvements that benefited everyone. During this leadership, Lawsons has grown from eight branches to 19 and we are all grateful to him for improved staff training, introducing the profit sharing scheme, encouraging the emphasis on Family Values and Professional Service, and also for the firmness and fairness with which he dealt with everyday matters.

"I am sure that some of our best memories are of times away from the office; the Cumbria outward bound courses, golf days and staff Christmas lunches when he would bring his guitar and sing to us all. Not only will everybody at Lawsons miss him, but so too will his many friends and contacts in the wider trade."

As a temporary measure, Dave Weller will hold the position of Lawsons' Acting Managing Director.

Mr Weller said: "I have enjoyed the privilege of Joe Inzani’s friendship for nearly 15 years. This tragedy has hit everyone at Lawsons very hard. Joe epitomised our 'Family Values, Professional service' approach to business. He was a strong family man and was professional in his dealings with staff, customers and suppliers. Joe never gave second best and his stewardship of this company over the last eight years built a very strong foundation for the future. He did it all with a smile, a joke and a wonderful human touch. We will continue to honour his beliefs and high standards going forward. He will be sorely missed."

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