In line with ongoing business growth objectives, UK-based vegetable handling equipment manufacturer Tong Engineering has announced the appointment of Simon Lee and Charlie Rich as joint sales directors.
“It’s been a strong year for sales and we have invested significantly in our new purpose-built production facility,” says Edward Tong, managing director at Tong Engineering. “The appointment of two new sales directors will allow us to maintain a strong focus on our manufacturing capabilities whilst actively exploring new markets and opportunities for growth.”
Lee started his career at the company as an assembly engineer, when Tong acquired Peal Engineering in 2005. Lee quickly progressed through the business to become Tong’s service manager and a member of production management before joining the sales team in 2009. Since becoming sales manager, Lee has worked on numerous handling projects with vegetable growers and packers of all sizes both in the UK and abroad.
“I feel very privileged to take on my new role as sales director at such an exciting time of growth and innovation at Tong. The handling requirements of vegetable growers and processors are evolving all the time and I look forward to developing our sales strategy to expand existing and new markets in the years to come,” says Lee.
Rich has also spent much of his career with Tong Engineering, joining the company in 2001 after completing an engineering apprenticeship. During his time with Tong, Rich has gained extensive knowledge of Tong equipment, with roles as a factory-based engineer as well as time on the road as a service and installations engineer.
Rich joined the sales team in 2009 as export sales manager, during which time he played a key role in expanding Tong’s export business in many new countries, whilst also working closely with some of the UK’s largest vegetable producers on advanced handling projects, from the farm to pack.
“Stepping up to my new role as sales director is a position I take with great pride,” says Rich. “I’ve been with Tong for such a large part of my career, so seeing it grow to the multi-million-pound family business it is today, and knowing I’ve been a part of that, is extremely rewarding.”
Tong adds; “I am very proud that we are building a highly focused and ambitious senior management team that will ensure our valued customers remain at the heart of our expansion plans, whilst we continue to cement our position as a leading manufacturer within the worldwide vegetable handling industry.”