Ken Smith, chairman of EH Smith, has received a specialist Lifetime Achievement Award.
Aged 96 and still working five days a week, Mr Smith was recognised at the Birmingham Post Business Awards 2014, having led the company for 55 years.
John Parker, EH Smith’s chief executive, said: “Ken’s leadership and guidance over the years, through some great times and also some tough ones, has ensured that the company remains on solid footing and is growing year on year.
“It is a company based on heritage and innovation, and his strong entrepreneurial spirit has ensured we are continually looking into untapped areas, both in existing and new markets.”
Overall, Mr Smith has been with the company for 77 years and took charge of it in 1959, following the death of his father Howard, who founded the business in 1922. He has seen EH Smith grow from strength to strength through the decades, enduring booms, busts, recessions and war, and remembers as far back as accompanying his father Howard on a horse and cart while making deliveries in Birmingham.
“Receiving this award is a great honour, but it in no way means I am stopping,” said Mr Smith. “We are constantly growing, moving into new areas and trying new things. My appetite for that is as fresh as the day I first stepped into the business.”
The company recently won three awards at the Builders’ Merchants Awards 2014, including Independent Builders’ Merchants of the year (6+ branches), Showroom of the Year for its Solihull Kitchen & Bathroom Showroom, and Branch Manager of the Year, which went to Neil Grice.