Canadian Finishing and Coatings Manufacturing

 November 14th, 2021

CFCM John Kirby 400

With a career with AkzoNobel's International brand spanning 42 years, John Kirby was part of an elite group. He was one of four people at the company who have been awarded the coveted and prestigious Golden Propeller.

"It was for exceptional service and long service," explains John, who was AkzoNobel's General Manager of the Central Europe protective coatings business before he retired in 2004.'

"I ended my career looking after Protective Coatings in the UK and Ireland, Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia." 

Kirby is one of the brains behind Interplan, International's breakthrough maintenance and repair service. He joined The Courtaulds Group in 1962 and transferred to what was then known as International Paint in 1972, where he initially worked as a Project Engineer, which essentially involved redeveloping International's Felling site.

"The thing that I remember most is the people and how happy everybody was to work together," he says.

"Every year, we had a protective coatings weekend conference. I always put a bit of profit to one side, to the horror of the accountants, and we've been to Paris a few times, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Brussels, Dublin, Edinburgh and London. Team building was so crucial for success.

"We had a great time, and we enjoyed each other's company. Everybody was happy to work there, particularly in protective coatings."

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