A former celebrity agent and marketing expert has been recruited by a rapidly expanding renewable energy firm to fuel future growth.
Steve Williams, 41, from Colwyn Bay, has become a director at St Asaph-based Carbon Zero Renewables which is predicting a quadrupling of turnover this year.
The firm has created 10 jobs over the past 12 months and is now looking to recruit a further six people to cope with demand.
In his time as a celebrity agent Steve has represented the likes of ex-Coronation Street star Bruce Jones and former TV Gladiator Diane Youdale who was better known as Jet when she starred in the cult television series in the 1990.
His role at Carbon Zero is to set up a new training arm of the company called YouTrain.
Among the contracts they have secured is providing online training for companies to help them reduce their carbon footprint and dramatically reduce their energy bills.
The firm is also running Safety, Health and Environmental Awareness (SHEA) training courses to contractors who work on behalf of Welsh Water along with courses to train people to install smart meters.
Although born in Bangor, Steve was raised in Colwyn Bay and is a former pupil of Eirias High School.
After leaving school he studied leisure at Llandrillo College and, following a stint working in insurance, returned there in 2006 and gained a degree in business management as well as being elected Student Union president.
He said: “After leaving college, I set up my own marketing company and I went on to manage some celebrity clients, such as Bruce Jones and Diane Youdale. I’ve worked with quite a few others too.”
According to Steve, the opportunity to join the award-winning Carbon Zero Group was too good to pass up.
The first half of the year has seen a doubling of the company’s turnover on the same period in 2014.
While solar energy is a core part of the business, the growing demand for car charging points is also putting Carbon Zero on the road to success.
Steve, who’s also a member of Colwyn Bay Town Council, was appointed after Carbon Zero signed up as partners to the Energy and Utility Skills, a sector skills council, as training providers working alongside them.
He said: “I initially did some marketing work for Carbon Zero and that went really well.
“I could see there was a big future here and the company founder Gareth Jones made me an offer to become a director and it was something I couldn’t really refuse.
“It gives me the opportunity of creating a new market for Carbon Zero by developing the training side of the business, YouTrain, which has huge potential.
“I’m speaking to local and national businesses to help them to educate their employees about saving energy via a simple online course and general day to day training needs.
“The E-Learning course we offer takes about 45 minutes to complete and it’ll create an awareness of energy saving.
“Businesses can make big savings on their bills if their employees adopt a common sense to energy saving – and all that money is added to their bottom line.
“It’s about basic things like only illuminating the space you’re working in or turning your computer off while you’re on your lunch break.
“For some firms it could make the difference between them staying in business or, at the other end of the spectrum, the money saved could help fund expansion plans and recruitment.
“We are also running SHEA training courses and will be running courses for the Water Utilities Passport for contractors who do work on behalf of Welsh Water as well as general training such as first aid in all languages including English, Welsh and even Polish.
“In addition, we will also be providing training for the smart meter Government roll out and see this as a great opportunity for Carbon Zero and YouTrain to create both job opportunities and provide training to up skill the people of North Wales to help meet the installation demands for the smart meters nationally.
“The scope to develop this side of the business is massive. We aren’t re-inventing the wheel when it comes to training but we feel there is a great opportunity for what we will be offering.”
Company boss Gareth Jones said: “Steve’s got a fantastic skill set and it’s a pleasure working with him so it is a really good fit. He will bring a lot to the table and is an asset to the company going forward. Steve has a wide bank of clients and associates to whom we are talking to.
“Energy conservation training is a massive area and this is a great opportunity for us to develop another complementary arm to the business.
“There are lots of government schemes that make the types of courses we’re offering a necessity for businesses.
“It’s a simple equation. If companies save more money they can make more profit which they can invest back in the business to grow.
He added: “So far it’s been a fantastic year for us as a company and we’ve doubled what we did last year and created 10 jobs in doing so. We’re currently recruiting a further six people to cope with demand.
“I feel we’ve got the opportunity to actually quadruple our turnover this year which is really exciting.”
The new training company, YouTrain, has already appointed a new training and development manager called Mark Hughes. He will be responsible for delivering courses and seeking funding opportunities for customers.