Biography & Q&A from the Directors at Sentinel.
Luke Jones : Sentinel Director / Co-founder. Following graduation from Glyndwr University where Luke studied Health, Safety & Environmental Management, Luke started his professional career as an assistant safety advisor before finding his feet in the asbestos industry with one of the UK’s leading consultancies.
Starting as a site technician, Luke gained experience across a range of sectors, both in the U.K and overseas. Within 3 years Luke had progressed to an office based role as a Technical Lead and in 2014 became Operations Manager for the North Wales & North West Region.
In 2017 Luke launched Sentinel Environmental Consultancy with former colleague, and now fellow Director of Sentinel, Dan Roberts.
Dan Roberts : Director at Sentinel, nominated Quality Director who oversees the company’s QMS. Early years in the Asbestos Industry Dan was fortunate enough to work with a small accredited consultancy out of North Wales learning the trade through highly experienced and knowledgeable consultants. After spending 12 months within the training programme Dan spent the next 5 years as a surveyor and analyst before embarking on a new challenge of supporting the opening and growth of an office for another consultancy which soon led to a management position, prior to starting Sentinel Dan spent 5 years as a Regional Manager consistently maintaining growth, quality and retention targets across North Wales & North West Region.
Where did the Company Name originate from ?
Luke : When choosing a company name our aim was to come up with something that portrayed safety, and security. ‘Sentinel’ fitted the bill, coupled with the shield logo it was just what we were looking for.
What was the driving force around starting the new venture ?
Luke : Being conscious of the opportunities that a fresh, forward thinking consultancy may provide along with having a genuine passion for delivering a trusted service within the industry.
Dan : A combination of the challenges surrounding starting up a new business as-well as being able to have more control on providing a consistent trusted service.
What do you believe is Sentinel’s USP within the market ?
Luke : Quality of service. As directors, we will be the client’s main point of contact, always. We aim to build lasting client relationships on the service we provide.
Dan : Being a micro business our clients and any of our new trainees will have direct access to the Directors as jack of all and master of all trades. Our IT Software also offers unique flexibility and efficiency to our clients.
What have the lessons learnt been in the first few of months of trading ?
Luke : Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will Sentinel be!
Dan : Our start-up ‘to do / action list’ was invaluable, for each element of the business we knew what was required, whom had ownership of the item and target dates so overall apart from obtaining Finance within the anticipated schedule we’re on track with achieving our goals. Fail to Plan – Plan to Fail.
Where would you like the company to be in 5 years time ?
Luke : Well established and reputable within the North Wales & North West area, supported by an experienced team of consultants.
Dan : Aspiring to be Elite in our Quality and Customer Service supported by highly experienced and knowledgeable consultants
What are the most challenging projects you’ve undertaken ?
Luke : As an individual, it would be juggling tight deadlines and climates on marine projects. Surveying a 40+c ship boiler room in the UAE takes some getting used to!
Dan : For surveying I spent around 6 months surveying a Manufacturer’s site in North Wales, one of the largest employers in North Wales, the site had multiple buildings constructed from 1920’s to present day each of which used in a unique way with differing hazards and complex access arrangements. For Air Testing I spent over a year at the former Asylum Hospital in Chester which has now been Demolished conducting clearances within voids, undercrofts, ducts, and boiler complexes. From a management perspective each account had it’s own challenge, before starting up Sentinel I was responsible for looking after circa £1m of accounts.
Outside of work, where would we normally find you spending your spare time ?
Luke : Weather permitting, on my motorbike riding the Snowdonia B roads. Love all things fitness also, whether it be strength training, mountain biking, martial arts or Yoga.
Dan : Either tinkering with the classic mini car, watching Wrexham F.C or walking / sightseeing (perks of living in North Wales!)
Wine or beer, Tea or Coffee ?
Luke : I’ll take a fruit / peppermint tea over a coffee anyday, much to my colleague’s amusement! I also enjoy a craft beer or two in my local watering hole.
Dan : The body or mind won’t function without a Tea in the morning! Beer if in the Pub!
What’s your own personal motto ?
Luke : Feel the fear, and do it anyway.
Dan : Perfection is an impossible dream so be the best version of yourself you can be