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McGimpsey Removals breaks the male succession tradition

May 29, 2019
It is something of a tradition in family-run removals businesses for sons to take over from their fathers as retirement approaches. For daughters however, that succession is far less common in what is often still seen as a male dominated profession. Deputy Editor David Jordan spoke to one company which is bucking the trend.

McGimpsey Removals has announced Melissa Campbell as its new Managing Director here pictured with Directors (l-r) Stephen, Pete,r Campbell and Paul.One of Northern Ireland’s most successful moving companies, McGimpsey Removals, has announced the appointment of Melissa Campbell as managing director. Melissa, a former chartered accountant with KPMG, joined the business in September last year and took up her new role in January.

The Bangor-based company is a family business run by the McGimpsey brothers Campbell, Peter, Stephen and Paul since its formation in 1987. The brothers are still very much involved in the running of the company, each taking responsibility for different areas of the business including worldwide moving, corporate relocation, arts and antiques as well as moves within Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

So, what makes a bright young accountant want to join the removals industry, I asked? “I just saw it as an opportunity and grabbed it while I could,” said Melissa, whose father Campbell McGimpsey previously occupied the MD’s chair. “My dad and his brothers have been running the company for 35 years and although they have no immediate plans to retire, they know there will come a time when they’ll want to hand things over to the next generation. Having them here while I look at the business with a new perspective has been a real asset. Their experience of the industry, coupled with a fresh approach to how we do things, is proving a great combination.”

I asked Melissa what it was like to take over as managing director in such a male dominated industry?  “I’ve loved every minute,” said Melissa. “There has been a real buzz about the place since I took over and our team have been very supportive - I think they’re quite excited about the future. I believe it’s important to have a balance of both men and women in any business, no matter what industry you’re in.”  Before taking her seat in the boss’s chair, Melissa was keen to learn what life was like on the front-line of the business, spending time with the crews on the vans as well as trying her hand at surveys and preparing estimates.

Would Melissa encourage other women to take management roles in the moving industry?  “Absolutely. Women all over the world are proving that we’re as strong leaders as anyone else, so why not? Removals is a fast-paced, creative and complex world to work in – it’s definitely a job I’d recommend to anyone who is ambitious, enthusiastic and wants to try something new.”

Women’s role in the workplace has changed dramatically in recent years as old traditions and prejudices are consigned to the history books. Maybe our male dominated industry has already turned the corner and more women will be tempted to get involved?

Photo: McGimpsey Removals has announced Melissa Campbell as its new Managing Director here pictured with Directors (l-r) Stephen, Pete,r Campbell and Paul.

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