Stuart Mawhinney has been appointed Managing Director by Duct Products, following the retirement of Des Collins.

Collins co-founded the Northern-Ireland-based company in 1987 but his journey in the industry started back in the late 1960’s when, at the age of 15, he worked as an apprentice draughtsman at McFarlane Sheet Metal. It was there he met Ronnie Grant, with whom he went on to co-found Duct Products.

Since then, the company has become a ventilation market-leader in Northern Ireland, continuing to grow even after Ronnie’s retirement in 1998, eventually culminating in its acquisition in 2011 by Elta Group.

Collins remained as Managing Director, working to manoeuvre Duct Products into the prominent position it now occupies.

Elta Group CEO Mark Rickard commented: “As all who have met Des will attest, he is a force of nature and a true icon of the industry in Northern Ireland. It’s been a pleasure to work with him, and he’s certainly leaving a huge gap for others to fill.”

Stepping up to that challenge is Stuart Mawhinney, who brings a wealth of experience to the role having worked as Sales Director at Duct Products for over 15 years. He has been integral in securing a number of high value contracts, and hopes to continue where his predecessor left off.

Stuart Mawhinney commented: “The growth of Duct Products can be directly attributed to Des’ determination, alongside his ability to spot opportunity and act decisively when it matters. I’ve learnt a great deal from him, and while he will be hugely missed on both a professional and a personal level, we’re excited about what the future holds.

“We supply a lot of our equipment to schools and hospitals, so while 2020 has been a challenging time for all businesses, we’ve been able to continue working throughout the last few months. This has put us in a position of relative strength within the Northern Irish ventilation market, and when this is combined with the support of a global company like Elta Group, the future looks extremely positive for Duct Products.”