Mark Allan

Supplier's Reprezentative / KEITH MANUFACTURING COMPANY

I was born in Fraserburgh, Scotland and subsequently moved to Huddersfield, Yorkshire England where my father is from. Huddersfield is a large market town about halfway between Leeds and Manchester.  The town is well known for being the birthplace of rugby league.  Rugby was first played in the town in 1848 and the Huddersfield Athletic Club, the direct progenitors of the original Huddersfield Giants, was formed in 1864, played its first competitive rugby game in 1866. 

I attended Moor End High School in Huddersfield and then like most young men in this area of the UK, left school to work as an apprentice.  I chose to apprentice as an engineer for a local engineering firm called Hopkinson valves a major international supplier specializing in valves, actuators and controls. A few years after completing my apprenticeship I wanted a change of career and so I enrolled at Huddersfield University to study Mechanical Engineering.  This was a good decision, not only is The University in the top 10 in England for teaching excellence and it is ranked in the top 10 nationally for undergraduate and postgraduate employability. 

After university me and my wife Amanda (fiancée at the time) travelled throughout Southeast Asia and Australia with a view to working in New Zealand. By chance I came across an ad with a local employment agency looking for amechanical engineer to join their team, having earned real world experience as an apprentice engineer and recently graduated with my 1st class honours engineering degree, I was eager to put my new skills into practice. I was interviewed and offered the position.

I was enjoying working as a technical engineer for an engineering consultancy.  They specialized in road transport in New Zealand.  As it happens my employer was the NZ agent for KEITH® WALKING FLOOR®.

KEITH® provides a variety of solutions for handling bulk materials. The unique reciprocating slat design provides horizontal loading and unloading of nearly any bulk material or cargo and their products work well in the packaged ice industry.I was often called upon to help on the technical side of sales and my employer asked me if I would like to sell the WALKING FLOOR® products dividing my time between the existing engineering role and sales.

This is really where it all began and how I now work for KEITH® selling their product with one of their many specialties being the KEITH® storage, metering and conveying Ice bin.  My main role for KEITH® is sales, which includes supporting the products out in the field, trouble shooting issues, and providing technical solutions and advice. My territory is UK and Ireland. KEITH Mfg. Co. is a family business with the second and third generation continuing the high standards established by Keith Foster.  The company continues to maintain a family like relationship with all employees. 

I became a member of the EPIA board this year for a second time as Supplier Representative. As we all know the last few years have been challenging for everyone with Covid, the Ukraine war and now the energy crisis but I think in times of crisis it is important that EPIA members get back together again in the form of an EPIA convention. The past conventions have been a great success and have shown its important to meet old friends, share ideas and learn about the latest technology. I look forward to meeting everyone again in 2023!