Meet Derwent’s New General Manager – March 2014

We’d like to introduce our new General Manager here at Derwent. Simon Wells joined us in January and we took the opportunity to interview him about his new role in the company.

Hi Simon, tell us a little about yourself and how you came to The Cumberland Pencil Company

I was born and educated in the North West and following university education in Dundee, I first moved to work in the Aerospace Industry in Liverpool and then London before joining the NHS in London where I had responsibility for the human resources function supporting women’s and children’s services in a new teaching hospital in Chelsea.

What attracted you to joining the company?

I joined ACCO Europe in 1997 based in the Aylesbury head office and headed up the HR function for the last 16 years mostly as Vice President Human Resources for the European region.

What are you looking forward to bringing to the company?

I have worked with a number of the Derwent team for a significant period of time and have always admired the innovation and creativity within the business and its people. I am looking forward to continuing growth with this great business.

Throughout my career I have always been people centric and believe if you look after the people they will look after you and the business. I am looking forward to working with our exceptional people to deliver an even more rewarding experience to our customers.

Who is your favourite artist?

My favourite artist is a very difficult question to answer. I was astonished at the quality of work submitted by all of those who entered the Derwent Art Prize in 2013 and I am looking forward to the submissions for the 2014 prize. That said, I bought a piece entitled ‘Last 3 Remaining’ by David Brammeld at the Derwent Art Prize exhibition at the Mall Galleries and this hangs proudly in my office as a testament to the quality of work that can be produced with our products.

Have you got a favourite Derwent product so far?

I am a traditionalist at heart and whilst I am very proud and excited about our new products, my favourite product is the Derwent Artists range followed by the XL Charcoal range. That said, the more you look at the endless possibilities with all of our varied and innovative product offering it is very difficult to choose a personal favourite.

Have you had a chance to explore the products? Will we be seeing an artist emerging?!

I have very limited artistic experience or ability but will be attending some of the art classes offered through our Pencil Museum. That said, my brother is a professional artist and has successfully used our products for many years.

You’ve recently moved up to Cumbria? What are you enjoying about the area?

As a young man from the Fylde Coast I spent a lot of my formative years in Cumbria playing sport and utilising the recreational opportunities available. The area has always held a fascination for me so in part it feels like being home.