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Damon Kinnair
ELV Manager

"I have no issues with getting my hands dirty," says Damon Kinnair, EMR's ELV Manager for the South West and Midlands. "I spent last week sitting in a crane in Plymouth and I can run weighbridges or depollute cars, whenever I’m needed."

Meet Damon Kinnair headshot

Damon – who oversees six vehicle recycling sites in the South West of the UK and five in the Midlands – has spent 12 years learning the ropes and managing teams in EMR’s busy end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recycling facilities.

And his hands-on approach has helped him make significant improvements to EMR’s performance in these areas: “When I took over the regional role for the South West in 2020, we came together as a team – all six depots, the commercial manager, the area general manager and myself – and launched a campaign to drive up the volumes of ELVs we were processing.

“We went from 50 cars a week to well over 400 and a lot of that came from our facilities at Plymouth and Chard, building up relationships with our customers there, so that EMR would always be their ELV recycler of choice.”

The experience and success that Damon achieved during this time gave him the ambition to go further: “As our improvements in the South West progressed, I asked if I could do the same for the Midlands, and that became my remit too,” he says.

Indeed, Damon is currently also offering support to sites in the South East – including East Anglia, Greater London, Kent and the South Coast: “I can’t get to every one of those sites regularly because my whole life would just be commuting, but they know I’m always available on my phone.”

All of this is a far cry from where Damon began his career, managing an amusement arcade in Brixham, a coastal town in Torbay, Devon:

“I went straight from school to doing 40 hours per week there. I was repairing machines and cleaning them and then progressed to an assistant manager role within a couple of years. Then, when the manager of the site left, I was asked to step up. I spent four to five years managing it.

“It’s such a small town and I knew I wanted something more in my career. EMR is such a large company and they have given me that opportunity.”

One clear sign that Damon had bigger ambitions while working at the arcade was the fact that, during this time, he paid to get himself a number of health and safety and risk assessment qualifications.

“Having these accreditations is, I think, a big reason why I got the role with EMR in the first place,” he says.

And, with Damon continuing to search out any new training opportunities available, he is aware that a number of substantial challenges exist for the business and his colleagues:

“As more electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles hit the road and – eventually – need to be recycled, EMR is going to have to make sure we have the right people, with the right training and equipment, to recycle what is a very different technology.”

Fortunately for EMR, in Damon, they have found a leader with the work ethic, ambition and passion required to help the company through this transition successfully.

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