Kevin Percival has a driving ambition.
The 48-year-old has spent the last three months on secondment working as a Business Development Executive for Yorwaste.
This is a sales-focused role with the emphasis on attracting new commercial customers.
What makes Kevin different is that he does not come from a sales background, but rather has spent the last 15 years driving waste collection vehicles.
He is one of two drivers working for Yorwaste to be accepted on a secondment to the sales and marketing team. The idea being that as a driver, Kevin sees customers struggling with recycling or waste volumes and hears countless tales of customers using alternative providers who he believes he can assist. With his years of experience in the waste industry, Yorwaste has identified that Kevin can have a unique perspective.
But Kevin’s story actually starts in a chocolate factory.
Before becoming a driver, he worked for Nestle in York where he was on the line where Aero chocolate bars were made.
For some, working in a chocolate factory every day may be the ideal job, but not Kevin.
He explains: “Let’s just say that being surrounded by chocolate isn’t conducive to a healthy diet and the fact I can’t even look at Aero’s now without my stomach turning tells you everything you need to know!”
After Kevin left Nestle, he received a grant which enabled him to take lessons to become an HGV driver. He took to it immediately and after passing his test worked for various organisations in the waste industry before joining Yorwaste in September 2018.
Living only three miles from Harewood Whin, our main waste site in York, Kevin drives on our commercial rounds, collecting skips or bins in the area.
When the opportunity of a secondment arose, he applied and after being successful, swapped his steering wheel for a telephone.
He says: “I had no previous sales experience, but I was intrigued by the role and people who know me, will tell you that I always throw myself 110% into anything I do, and I have lots of enthusiasm.
“The first month involved a lot of learning and I was given targets for getting out and about meeting with North Yorkshire based businesses who had waste management needs with an expectation to assist and add value to their businesses.”
“I am pleased to say that I have been able to do this and it’s a great feeling. Now, all I think about is helping the York & North Yorkshire business community with their waste needs.”
Kevin’s three months end in the middle of December and he will then go back to driving whilst another driver, Dave Judson, starts his three-month secondment.
He adds: “It’s been a great experience and whilst I enjoy being a driver, now I have done something else which has excited me, it has really fired me up and who knows, this may not be the last you have heard from me when it comes to sales and marketing.
“I would also like to thank Yorwaste for giving me the opportunity, support and backing. I really appreciate it. It’s great that the company offers opportunities for its staff to try something new, with possible new career paths in mind.”
When’s he not collecting waste, or new customers, Kevin enjoys spending time with his partner. They have two children and two grandchildren, and Kevin says she loves being a Grandad.
He also enjoys playing fantasy football and as a DIY buff, watching informative programmes on YouTube.