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It is with great sadness, that the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners reports the sudden death of Peter Holt. Peter, who was 69, died last Tuesday, 6th May, whilst attending the ISSA/Interclean exhibition in Amsterdam. He was about to participate in the exhibition’s 25th anniversary celebrations when he collapsed and died of a heart attack. CPR was immediately administered but, tragically, this proved to be unsuccessful.
Peter recently retired from his role as Managing Director of Truvox International, a company he joined in 1991. David Overell, his successor, says that Peter was tasked with turning round the company, which was in decline at the time. With his wealth of experience in overseas business, Peter quickly formulated the strategy of developing an export customer base, and, at the same time, marketing the manufacturing capacity of Truvox to potential OEM customers.
This strategy proved successful, and within a short space of time Truvox was busy manufacturing for some of the leading industry players, as well as building a core base of loyal customers in markets as far away as Australia and the Far East. The home sector was not forgotten and Truvox also regained its share of the UK marketplace in rotary machines.
In 1997, Peter led the project to acquire Trewax Manufacturing from its then owners, which completed in September that year. The move proved highly successful and saw Hydromist extractor products join the established Truvox range, consequently increasing turnover.
New products were also developed, both in-house and using vendor partners, and these also proved there was a place for a small, high quality manufacturing company within the global cleaning equipment market.
The Truvox range of brands and products was further strengthened in 2003 by the acquisition of Cimex International, another target identified by Peter. He saw the great potential offered by Cimex’s 3-brush system, and personally oversaw customer development in both the USA and Japan.
His work to strengthen the Truvox business continued and, in 2006, he led the team from Truvox that managed the company’s acquisition by Tacony Corporation, (completed in January 2007). This gave Peter the opportunity to develop the international arm of Tacony’s Commercial Floorcare Division, marketing and promoting the PowerFlite, Tornado and CFR brands to a global customer base.
He sat on the Tacony CFC board, and made a major contribution to the success of the CFC division between 2007 and 2009.
Peter made the decision to retire at the end of 2008, having grown Truvox into a key player in the global cleaning equipment market. He stayed in an advisory capacity with Tacony until the end of 2009, but remained in contact with both Truvox and Tacony senior management throughout the years and was a regular visitor to Truvox in Southampton.
He was passionate about both maintaining a UK manufacturing base, as well as the need to expand beyond Truvox’s traditional customers. Many of the people brought into Truvox by Peter remain with the company, while some have moved onto key positions with other major companies in our industry.
Prior to joining Truvox, Peter had a long career of 20 years or more with Johnson Wax Professional Trade Division, progressing through the ranks to senior management. He was responsible for starting up the Johnson Wax business in the Middle East, based in Cyprus, where he proved to be a very successful negotiator. On his return to the UK, Peter held a variety of both senior sales and marketing positions. Since leaving Johnson Wax, Peter had been an active member of the company’s 20 Years Club.
After his time at Johnson Wax, Peter joined Lever Industrial and took the lead in its cash and carry business, eventually playing an active role in the transition to DiverseyLever.
Peter was a very active member of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, being admitted as a Freeman in 1992. Following his admission as a Freeman of the City of London, he was admitted as a Liveryman of the Company in 1999. He was promoted to a Court Assistant in 2002 and elected a Warden in 2009. He was elected Master in 2011, and Deputy Master in 2012.
Peter leaves his wife Linda and daughter Emma.
15th May 2014