Meet Jay Brown

Jay Brown is the Plant General Manager at Kegworth in the UK. This site is one of Refresco’s newer (2018) acquisitions, and Jay is one of many employees who moved across at the same time.

I’m the Plant General Manager at the Kegworth site in the UK, so I’m responsible for the balanced scorecard of the whole factory: from the raw materials coming through the door, to the product leaving for distribution. At the heart of this is ensuring that our workforce is motivated and supported, so it’s much more of a people-orientated role than you might suppose. I’m a Chartered Accountant by training, so my route here has been somewhat unconventional. It was when I was working as a Finance Manager that I discovered I had a real passion for people, and I grew into - and with - the role.

"This high-octane environment suits me well."

- Jay Brown, Plant Manager, Kegworth

Not your typical day in the life

I’m typically in the office before 8am, unless I’m on the school run in which case I’ll arrive around 8.30. This isn’t uncommon: there’s a flexibility to the workday which enables people to work around childcare or appointments, so we have some people starting early and finishing early, or those who clock in slightly later.

First thing we’ll have a morning meeting to review the performance of the previous day. What comes out of those meetings usually dictates how the rest of the day unfolds and as such no two days look the same. We have a plethora of different meetings throughout the week: health and safety, quality control. I like to keep these brief - no one likes sitting in meetings which drag on and on.

Yesterday, we went off site for a team day, which is something I like to do once a quarter, and it’s nice to get with the team to discuss new ideas and suggestions. Growing talent is a strength. My role isn’t about fixing equipment, it’s about creating and nurturing a strong team, and it’s something I’ve realized I’m quite good at.

In fact, Refresco have put me on the LEAP program, which is our leadership acceleration program. Because only two or three people from each country are selected, it feels very much like Refresco are investing in you as a person, that they value you and your contribution and think you’re someone worth developing. This approach makes you feel special and seems much more personal than everyone being sent on training as a matter of course.

My role isn’t about fixing equipment, it’s about creating and nurturing a strong team

I reorganized the office last year and created a central break-out area, so it feels much more open plan here. We’ve got a new coffee machine to facilitate those water cooler moments, and it enables people to mingle and socialize throughout the day. The radio’s on now and it’s important to me to make our work environment the most conducive to success as we can. Of course, you’d have to ask other people to answer, but I think those things have really made a difference to morale. After all, we spend so much of our lives at work, isn’t it important to try to make our time here as enjoyable as possible?

Even on the drive home, I’m still working, still thinking. That’s the thing about doing a job you love: sometimes you can’t help but let the lines blur between work and life.