A FINANCE director whose early career involved deploying troops to global conflict zones is on a new mission with a Wrexham copy firm.
Gary Ryan has been appointed Finance Director and General Manager for Rawson Digital and has worked in the copy industry for 16 years.
The former civil servant who worked for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) at RAF Sealand, Flintshire, and the former army base at Queen’s Park in Chester gained his management accountancy qualifications while working for the UK’s defence department.
On leaving the civil service in 2003 with his accountancy qualifications in hand, he took on the role as a finance boss for a large copier firm.
He now joins his former colleague Vaughn Rawson, managing director of Rawson Digital, to head up money operations and general management at the fast-growing firm which supplies and maintains photocopiers and printers across North Wales and the North West.
Rawson Digital was set up by Vaughn at the height of the recession from his back bedroom at home. Six years later, it has a turnover approaching £2.5m and has close to 1,400 machines out on site to its wide variety of clients.
A second Rawson Digital office was opened in Felinheli, near Bangor, two years ago and in January, the firm unveiled a £50,000 refurbishment at its headquarters in The Bridge Business Centre on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
More exciting news came in the Spring of this year when the firm launched a new company, known as Rawson IT Services and based next door to the Wrexham offices, to provide an IT support, consultancy, security and cloud service to new and existing customers.
Gary said: “It’s a real pleasure to join a young, energetic and fast growing business which has been founded and operates on real, solid ethics.
“The copier industry can be a murky one at times with companies finding themselves caught up in expensive contracts which have not been designed with their best interests in mind.
“But you talk to anyone here, the whole team and they all want to do what’s right by the customer. It’s a principle which Vaughn has insisted on from the start and has stuck by and so for me, the opportunity to join the team was a good fit and an easy choice.”
Gary, a father-of-two of Northop Hall where he has lived for most of his life, joined the civil service after finishing sixth form at St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School in Flint.
His roles within the MOD included deploying medical technicians out where ever they were needed to support the British army’s presence in conflicts worldwide.
He later took up a managerial position at RAF Sealand which saw him take on more of a business role in the efficient running and performance of the supplies, warehousing and logistics functions.
Gary, 55, said: “One of the functions of my job was to act as a secretary for the meetings held once a month between the management and the various union groups.
“That was an interesting job and involved about 20 people – 10 on each side – and me in the middle taking the minutes. It covered everything – personnel, recruitment, workplace dispute, finance – and gave me a great foundation in everything to do with business.
“I can remember that the Group Captain of the whole site sat up on the top floor with all the necessary people around him to operate the site effectively. I would go up there and one day I got talking to the Finance Controller and mentioned that I would like to go in to accountancy.
“He got me talking to the right people and three years later, they had sponsored me to get all the way through my management accountancy training which was from where I developed the career I have today.”
Gary, who is a keen watercolour painter in his spare time and a dedicated Liverpool fan, has big plans for Rawson Digital and said: “We have formulated a new five-year financial vision for the business, taking it to an unprecedented new level and size. The aim is to take the turnover to £4m over the course of the next five years.
“It’s a big goal but I think it is achievable because of the strong foundations Vaughn has put in place.”
Vaughn Rawson, Managing Director of Rawson Digital, who has worked in the industry for close to 30 years, said: “I have worked with Gary before and we had a very good working relationship. I saw how effectively he ran operations and was always impressed by his integrity and honesty.
“He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our business in what is quite a complex industry.
“His appointment frees me up from all the day to day running of the business so I can concentrate on the customer focus effort and managing the sales team.
“Gary’s appointment is very much designed to help the business in its further growth plans.”