I am Kathleen O’Hanlon, Chairwoman of East West Connect Ltd since 2014.
The company is owned mainly by the O’Hanlon family and was started in 1987, which is when the journey began with my late husband John O’Hanlon and another as an electrical subcontractor, through to what it has become today.
The late Paul Fitzgerald, nephew of John O’Hanlon, contributed hugely to the growth of the business throughout his time too, having been a firm pillar of the business for over twenty years from when he was nineteen until his untimely passing in 2018.
My background was in teaching and law however I worked in the family business over the years, while raising a family and working in my own career.
A pivotal point arrived for the business in 2009 when we developed a maintenance section, undertaking work for housing associations. This has grown into a large part of our business and today we have a fleet of maintenance vans that respond to reactive and planned works across the south east.
The company, formerly East West Electric Ltd was founded in 1987 and steadily grew in size and turnover following a reorganisation in 2007 and later in 2014 , until it has grown into what it is today. We are now an expanding mechanical, electrical and maintenance company – East West Connect Ltd.
Our Managing Director Marcus Allen joined the company in 2014 and stepped up into his present role in 2015 and has since joined as a shareholder, he has helped build a strong management team around him. It is this team that continues to drive the company forward challenging the norms to ensure our continued growth and development even in the most challenging of markets.
As a management team we promote growth and further development of the company with clear leadership skills and the support of the other directors, managers and staff.
We have great diversity with projects across the commercial sector, which include government and heritage buildings as well as universities and theatres.
Our business like all businesses have been affected during this time with slowing of turnover and inevitable increase costs and challenges for the changing ways we have to work to address COVID-19 and its many implications. It is inevitable that these are hard times and may get harder, although with that our business is very well placed to react and change to ensure its future prosperity.
At East West Connect we managed to maintain our workforce and staffing levels throughout this time, and avoid any cuts based on our prior stability as well as considerable works and opportunities moving forward. We believe this and our continued investment within our employees, in training, and diversity in our workstreams continue to strengthen our position and flexibility in these times, overall culminating in a strong position for the business with great support from our workforce.
East West Connect completed another good year up to June 2020 and move in to the 2020-21 year with a very strong order book, which shows a continued resilient position coupled with strong financial position in what remains a difficult market.
But even in these unprecedented times of COVID-19 we look forward to maintaining and expanding on our level of projects and staff despite the challenges of 2020 and beyond.