06.02.23

Fortis Vision recently welcomed Lee Stow-Smith to the team, a Project Manager with a wealth of experience and expertise.

 

Lee will primarily be focused on managing new build and refurbishment construction projects, helping the team at Fortis Vision to ‘deliver the impossible’ while ensuring our exceptionally high standards are met.

We caught up with Lee to learn a bit more about his background, what enticed him to work at Fortis Vision, and why being a part of a team that shares his values and ethos is vital.

Describe your role at Fortis Vision?

“I am relatively new to the company, having started in October 2022, and so far, I have been involved in a lot of pre-construction work for a new build construction project in the Midlands and a refurbishment project in Scotland. I have been attending regular design team meetings to finalise and agree designs to allow us to proceed to the construction phase. I liaise with the design team and with contractors and suppliers to agree on contracts and specifications for items that require offsite manufacture.”

What has your day-to-day role involved so far?

“My day-to-day role is very varied, and no two days are the same at Fortis Vision. It’s good because it is fast-paced and never gets stale. I could write all day about the various duties I could be involved with on any day but going forward, once we are in the construction phase, my key responsibilities will be to monitor the sites and provide the necessary support and guidance to the site management and construction teams. I ensure that the works are carried out correctly, within the agreed budget, and timeously in accordance with the agreed programme.”

What is your background?

“I have 30 years’ experience in construction, both in new build construction and refurbishment projects. I have built everything from residential apartment blocks to new build houses, student accommodations, residential care homes, retail units, underground car parks, affordable housing, high-end executive mansion houses and everything in between. I’ve been involved with all sorts of construction types too; from traditional build to timber frame to light gauge steel frame construction. So, with a wide-ranging background, there is very little that I have yet to come across. That experience helps me deal with the daily challenges that inevitably crop up in this industry.”

What’s your superpower?

“As far as special skills go, I think I mainly bring a long and varied experience, which means that there will be very little I haven’t come across before, and I can look at sites from the viewpoint of a builder, a main contractor, and a client. In the past, I have had my own construction companies, so I have a good understanding of all parts of the business, from operations to design and commercial. If I have to pick out one skill, I can always find a way to navigate past a possible issue or obstacle. I am very adept at getting things done when others let you down.”

Why Fortis Vision?

“I didn’t just want a job; I wanted to work somewhere and be part of a team that shared the same values and ethos as myself. I wanted to be part of something that is moving forward and progressive while still enjoying the working part of my day. I looked at the company website before my interview, and everything I read matched what I was looking for. Fortis Visions’ ethos sat very well with me, and then when I came to the interview and met with the Operations Director, I knew that this was the place for me.”

 

What do you enjoy most about working at Fortis Vision?

“It’s important when you work as part of a team that you find somewhere where you feel you can be an effective team member and have a good relationship with your work colleagues. Since joining Fortis Vision, I have found the company and the team excellent. It is a real team, all pulling in one direction and working together to achieve. It’s also a friendly working environment and culture where people are included, and staff are nurtured to get the best from them. Happy staff are productive staff, and everyone I meet seems to be very happy at Fortis Vision.

“Fortis Vision is also very professional and thorough in their approach to contracts; they see the whole picture quickly and look for added value where others don’t. They are innovative and progressive, as their in-occupation refurbishment programme demonstrates, and they are prepared to do more to set themselves apart from their competitors. I haven’t been here long, but since joining Fortis Vision, it’s been a refreshing change to be in such a positive can-do environment.”

Where are you based?

“I am based in the Newton Aycliffe, Durham office. It’s a nice workspace, and Fortis Vision couldn’t have done more to provide everything required to assist me in doing my job, from laptops, headsets, keyboards, iPad, software, and training courses, you name it, they have gone above and beyond to ensure I have the tools required to carry out my duties. I have also been down to visit our office in Bristol and the various sites in Northampton, Edinburgh, Nottingham, and Leicester. We are involved with contracts that take us all over the UK; we are a national company with national coverage with offices in Durham, Colchester, Bristol, and a Hub in Manchester.”

What’s your secret to success?

“I believe success comes from consistency, being open-minded and forward-thinking, respecting others, and looking after your staff. I’d like to think I have a good reputation as someone who is reliable, hardworking, committed, passionate, and honest. In my opinion, integrity is a big part of success in both business and in life.”

Finally, what does ‘delivering the impossible’ mean to you?

“I suppose it depends on what the individual considers possible or impossible. A lot of the time, people are mentally programmed to believe things are impossible when they aren’t. Things may be difficult to achieve, but not impossible. I’ve always had a ‘we can’ or ‘we will’ attitude, and with proper planning and effort, most things are achievable. We can’t be afraid to aim big and go for it; a defeatist attitude will not help us achieve our goals, regardless of whether we are told that they are possible or not.”

If you are seeking a career in the construction industry, we would love to hear from you. Fortis Vision offers rewarding careers with ongoing support and training to help you progress. Find out more about working at Fortis Vision.

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