Name: Sandy Damm
How long have you worked at Cygnus?
I joined Cygnus in Summer of 2022 as Group Chief Executive Officer.
What is your job role?
My primary role is to spearhead our ambitious growth plans within the fire protection market. At the moment, I’m focused on understanding the sector, the players and the products, developing existing teams, bringing good people on board and getting the right foundations in place.
We have recently launched our SmartNet fire detection and alarm system, so it is an exciting time at Cygnus.
What attracted you to working at Cygnus?
What I liked the most was the challenge. It’s a company which needs developing. It’s UK centric - 95% of the business is from the UK. We need to become more international, which is a process I enjoy working on with companies. We are family owned, and I have good relationships with the owners. All the stars were aligned: I was what they were looking for and the group was a great opportunity for me. We make the world a safer place and that’s important to me.
What do you see in the future for Cygnus?
We are building a five year plan to make sure we are in good shape for future growth. I can’t reveal too much at the moment, but we will certainly focus on international development, delivering a first class customer experience and becoming more sustainable. There is room for plenty of improvement in the building and construction sector.
What are the biggest issues facing the industry at the moment?
Our industry is not the most interesting when it comes to attracting the younger generation. Attracting and retaining talent in a sector which isn’t that exciting is a challenge and an area where we can lead the way. I believe we can do more to attract people from outside the industry rather than always look to competitors. I believe in diversity – diverse teams make better decisions.
Another important topic is sustainability. We are committed to sustainable safety and on a journey to reduce our carbon emissions. We are working hard to reduce the energy we consume and secure energy supply from sustainable sources. We are changing the way we work and focusing our business development on greener and more sustainable products and services.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
I feel very fortunate to have had many mentors or models in my career steps, most of them had a very positive impact. I couldn’t name one in particular.
What five guests would you invite to a dinner party? Dead or alive…
Janet Leigh, Cary Grant, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Humphrey Bogart & Tony Curtis. I would be very silent and simply enjoy the fun of the banter, anecdotes, and learning how they navigated their life experiences.
What is your favourite book?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
What is your perfect holiday? Sun or Snow?
Mountains: back to nature, walks with friends and family followed by a nice dinner. Any season!