Hill & Smith PLC - Career Case Studies
Strategic Framework

Career Case Studies

Case Study

Talent, Development and Engagement


Shane started his career by completing a Summer Internship at CCG after his freshman year of college in 2020, where he was undertaking a degree in Civil Engineering. He grew up in Alum Bank, PA, the same town as Creative Pultrusion’s facility, where he enjoyed his experience so much that he returned for further internships in the summer of 2021 and 2022. He started working full time in May 2023 as a Utility Products Engineer. He has been able to put his studies to practical use, working alongside the sales team to design Fiber-Reinforced Polymer utility products that provide our customers with poles and crossarms to strengthen the electrical grid. He is continuing to build his experience, and next year will be moving into a Technical Sales role. This is a natural progression of his existing role but will allow him to communicate directly with customers and attend trade shows. Shane values being able to use his engineering knowledge in product development, and he values communicating with people. His role allows him to problem solve better by understanding customer needs and finding solutions. Shane describes the best thing about his role as,

“The community environment. Everyone is
friendly and easy to work with. It has made me want to stay here. Management works with us and I have learned so much from them. It’s been an important part of my growth.”
Image of Shane Felix

Wendy dollete: Supply Chain Manager at the Carpenter and Paterson Group (USA)

Wendy joined the company in 1999, initially in an administrative role in the Engineering department. She has since undertaken a number of roles, spanning Project Management and Procurement. Her current role is Supply Chain Manager which involves overseeing purchasing and inventory control for all branches as well as leading the warehouse operations at the Waggaman site in New Orleans. Wendy is focused on improving processes and performance. She is also an active member of the Empowerment Group, a Women in Leadership network within Hill & Smith that encourages development and discusses some of the barriers that women may face.

“Hill & Smith is a great company to work for and has actively supported my career development. I would definitely recommend working within the Hill & Smith family to other women, and encourage them to be open to opportunities, wherever they may be.”

Rachel Preen: Managing Director at Prolectric Services (UK)

Rachel joined Prolectric in 2021 as Commercial Director, having been inspired during the interview process by the compelling vision shared with her by Chris Williams, Prolectric’s founder. Over the past ten years, Prolectric has led the way in sustainable lighting, power and security solutions for the construction, infrastructure, rail, and utilities sectors. Prior to joining the Group, Rachel was working in the renewables sector, making this an excellent fit for her experience and passion for sustainability.

In January 2023 Rachel was promoted to Managing Director, where she is excited to lead the business in delivering Prolectric’s ambitious five year growth plan. 

“Hill & Smith’s sustainability agenda was an important consideration for me when I was considering taking the role at Prolectric.”

She goes on to say that she feels

"supported and lifted by the Group” with her recent promotion. Her advice to others in building their careers is to “be yourself, do your best and trust in the people around you to recognise your strengths and help you go further.”

Case Study

Diversity and Inclusion


Frankie and Chloe were both aged 16 when they were taken on as apprentices at Barkers Engineering, our UK security fencing business, in September 2022, straight from school. Frankie had been a pupil at the JCB Academy where she had developed her passion for engineering, and in particular, welding. Chloe had originally joined Barkers as a stop gap while she waited for her medical assessment for the Navy, which is a path she is no longer pursuing due to the experience and opportunities that she has received in her current role. Before they started, Barkers welding division was entirely male, and the company did not have the right changing and other facilities in place for female employees. Barkers quickly turned this around and made sure that all the necessary steps were taken to ensure Frankie and Chloe’s first experience of the world of work was as smooth as possible and the two young women are excelling. Both agreed that by setting an example, they hope to inspire and encourage more females into this industry. Simon Watts, Operations Director at Barkers, said

Frankie and Chloe are great additions to the
team. During the interview process they both stood out straight away as the best people for
the job. The experience has also positively changed attitudes within our team.

Rhianon McGee  - SHE Apprentice  - Hardstaff Barriers, UK

Rhiannon was 19 when she joined, and at the time as an academic student it felt like turning her back on university was a risky step to take!   She has worked very closely with driven, hardworking and knowledgeable team which has helped her grow into the role. With opportunities to go out and learn first-hand what we do and how we do it with safety at the forefront.


I have no regrets in pursuing an apprenticeship, in fact, what isn’t often mentioned is that I feel like I have had a head start in my career by choosing this path. The sky’s the limit as an apprentice”

Hardstaff Barriers is proud to be one of more than 350 companies that are members of the 5% Club. Having signed the 5% Club charter, Hardstaff is committed to developing the business and its people to further their professional skills. 


Alan joined the Hill & Smith Holdings Group head office in Oct 2017 as Group Internal Audit Manager, having previously qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC. Alan spent two years travelling the world visiting each of the Group’s business, leading the development of the Group’s internal audit and assurance arrangements; including the introduction of a baseline financial control framework and self-assessment tool.

After becoming a father for the first time Alan moved into a Finance Business Partnering role with Hill & Smith Limited, before promotion to Finance Business Partner of the Roads & Security Division a year later.


In January 2022 Alan was appointed Finance Director of the VRS Solutions Group.

The Hill & Smith Holdings Group was my first role out of practice and I am grateful of the significant opportunities to progress I have been given. The autonomous and diverse nature of the Group provides a great deal of freedom and variety which I thoroughly enjoy.”

Case Study

Engagement, Inclusion and Diversity

Richard Collins – VP Sales – V&S Galvanizing

Richard spent ten years selling for V&S Galvanizing’s (‘V&S’) Columbus plant and was able to grow the its geographic footprint and customer base after a new Columbus plant was constructed in 2013. Prior to joining V&S, he spent time in industrial sales and steel fabrication sales and before that fourteen years in the Ohio Air National Guard. In 2019, he was promoted to lead the V&S Galvanizing sales team from the corporate office, in Columbus, Ohio. This has allowed him to hire, train and develop ten new team members that share the same passion for galvanizing that he has. Richard believes that the best parts of his job are that each day is different and brings new challenges and he gets to build relationships with those in the steel construction and manufacturing sector.

True sincerity needs no marketing ploy. Such is the case in my career selling hot dip galvanizing over the past thirteen years. It is simple to sell a product or service you genuinely believe in. It is also easy to sell when you have the best team in the industry supporting you."

Radhika Nareshkumar  - Sales Administration - BPSI, India

Radhika joined in 2012 as the secretary to the MD and has since progressed into a managerial role with varied responsibilities from sales administration to compliance screening and marketing.

Radhika faced challenges in the early start of her career with gender pay gap and flexibility constraints whilst managing a family but has seen this transform over the years. She feels Hill & Smith was one of the best companies to work for as a woman in the region, where she felt safe, offered flexible working and has a positive culture.

I am inspired by other successful women in the workplace, especially in a male dominated industry"


She is encouraged to see future career development opportunities within the Group.

Case Study

US Leadership Development

In the US we have been delivering a series of leadership development programs for supervisors and managers across all our Group companies.

The 2022 group of sixteen managers began the Management Development Program (MDP) in March, bringing together people from across Hill & Smith Inc., Creative Composites Group, The Paterson Group and Novia. Focusing on Leading Change, Emotional Intelligence, Finance, Building the Team and Thinking Strategically, this program helps our managers maximise their potential and performance as leaders. The program was launched by Group President, Denise Beachy and hosted in turn by all the Group companies with locations this year in Columbus, Boston, Pennsylvania and New Orleans. Some fantastic team events during the program included ten pin bowling, group dinners and a cookery evening at the New Orleans School of Cookery!

To continue their leadership development, we also invited our previous MDP cohorts to a Reunion Program in Columbus. Nineteen senior managers participated in a well-received two day workshop focusing on enhancing Leadership Mindsets around Growth, Inclusive teams, Leadership and Talent Development. Providing a great opportunity for leaders to reconnect in a learning environment, the Reunion Program also successfully provided a chance for sharing learning and best practices.