Employee-owned firm appoints new director as its co-founder steps back
A renowned campervan convertor has brought in a new managing director after an intensive four-month search and screening process.
Paul Kimberlin has moved back to the UK from Canada to take the role at Jerba Campervans, taking over from co-founder Simon Poole, who moves to the position of Chair at the North Berwick firm, which has developed a UK-wide reputation for its bespoke VW Transporter conversions.
Paul’s experience and expertise have been gained from leadership roles in major construction and engineering businesses, and Simon was careful in ensuring his values held consistent with those of the company he founded with his partner, Cath in 2006.
One of Scotland’s most prominent employee-owned businesses, 15-strong Jerba has secured Living Wage and Fair Tax certifications, as well as being certified by the Good Business Charter. Last year Simon was awarded SME Director of the Year at the Institute of Director Scotland awards.
Paul, 45, was most recently MD of DY Concrete Pumps in Calgary, and prior to that has worked with Mecalac, Putzmeister Ltd and Lafarge.
He said: “It’s a very exciting opportunity for me personally, but more than that, it’s a very exciting time for the business, which has experienced constant growth since its inception.
“I already knew quite a lot about Jerba before my interview, but the more I found out about the business, the more excited I was to join. The focus that the company places on the quality of its products, its services and the aftercare is exceptional and something I wanted to be a part of.
“What really began as a passion project for the founders has flourished into a very strongly positioned company, which has seen official accreditation from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as the only Motorhome Qualified Converter in Scotland. I’m looking forward to building on that legacy.
“It has been a great first month so far. The team is fantastic and have welcomed me with open arms, eagerly imparting their knowledge so that I have been able to get up to speed quickly – they are a really friendly team, but entirely focused and passionate about the business as well which is great to see.”
Paul grew up in West Leicestershire and relocated to Canada for four years to work with DY Concrete Pumps. His trade and manufacturing background as well as his desire to move to Scotland and live by the sea, coupled with his personal love of the outdoors and campervans meant that Jerba was the perfect fit for him.
He added: “I’d never been involved with an employee-owned company before as all of the firms I have worked at have been larger, privately owned businesses. It is a great way to go and I think more companies should be following this route.
“The company already has a lot of great ideas and products lined up for the future which I am looking forward to help developing. One of the main projects we will be working towards is utilising the new range of electric vehicles from VW, and the integration of more environmentally-friendly processes and materials in our design for these vans.”
Speaking on the process of finding an MD, Simon said: “We are delighted to have Paul on board. He has a wealth of experience and a track record of success in growing businesses while keeping his personnel at the front of his mind.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what the team can achieve with a fresh perspective leading it on.”
Jerba Campervans specialises in converting Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Models and is officially recognised by Volkswagen as a converter of the model. In 2015, Jerba Campervans gained a patent for its unique pop-up roof, which it adds to all of its Volkswagen conversions.