With a career spanning over 30 years, HVAC Manager, Darren Gray reflects on his journey

Darran Gray
Darran Gray

Away from work, Darren Gray is a big Newcastle United fan and over the course of the last year, like many of us, he has become an avid walker. When he is not watching the toon play or out for a long stroll, Darren is a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) manager at HLA Services.

Beginning his career as a 16-year-old apprentice and now with 30 years of service under his belt, Darren joined HLA Services 10 years ago, having worked with our director, Paul Smith, serving their apprenticeships together having become pals at a tender 10 years of age!

“30 years in the trade – how time flies! I vividly remember my early years learning the skills to become an engineer and have never looked back.

“I jumped at the opportunity to join HLA Services and began working as an engineer installing and maintaining services such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing.

“Two years ago, I became a HVAC manager, alongside fellow managers, Tim Mole and Marcus Thomson and we call upon a good mix of old and new skills, to achieve team goals and maintain top quality customer service.

“I get immense satisfaction from the role, in particular, building trust and loyalty with our customers, which can only be achieved by consistently delivering a top-class service. I also enjoy the office environment, working on contracts, pricing jobs and managing the full process.

“We have a great team and everyone has really stepped up during the pandemic, particularly adhering to COVID-19 regulations and our focus on staff wellbeing. We are all encouraged to get some fresh air and a walk during our lunch break, something many of us will keep up after we emerge out of restrictions.”