As Managing Director of Storm & Shelter, Gruff has the ultimate responsibility for the company’s performance, overseeing the Production Director and his minions to ensure continuous development of company processes and policies, gearing the company towards growth and profitability. Sounds a bit grown up, doesn’t it? Consider him the hawk-eyed father figure of the team, and a man whose deep love for spreadsheets garners concern amongst his peers.
Gruff has a background in content production, with over a decade of experience in commercial production, web development, graphic design and copywriting, which unsurprisingly tends to come in rather handy. Having worked as a freelancer for a number of years, Storm & Shelter was built upon Gruff’s first-hand knowledge of project management and client relations. A detail-oriented guardian of all things financial, Gruff is also in charge of the day-to-day running of all company accounting and financial decisions required to keep it all on track.
His no-nonsense, fact-based (and smile-averse) demeanour balances out the personalities of all those creative types in the office. He has a specific glare for every occasion that efficiently inspires productivity without the need for time-consuming ‘words’.
Dropping out of the second year of a Physics degree at the University Of Manchester in desperate pursuit of some creativity (something that was surprisingly lacking in those Monday morning quantum mechanics lectures), Gruff got his foot in the door at an established production company in South Wales, set himself up as a freelance content producer and web developer, and crowbarred in some time to graduate with a BSc in Music Technology from the University of South Wales. This intense period of learning and self-development meant that he became quite a useful person to have around.
Gruff’s a charitable sort of fellow, and when faced with an opportunity to combine his knowledge in digital production and business processes to benefit the greater good, he’ll give it a good go (especially if it involves building a spreadsheet or two). In 2013, he co-founded Heads Above The Waves, a not-for-profit organisation that raises awareness of depression and self-harm in young people, and was Creative Director for Cerddwn Ymlaen, an annual 200-mile charity walk in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance. Having single-handedly built the brand from the ground up (including all design, web and fundraising aspects), Gruff put together a team of talented freelancers and produced daily video coverage of the annual 8-day event—a mammoth effort which raised £400,000 for charity over 3 years. Having survived the ordeal, that crack-team of fearless freelancers went into business together, and Storm & Shelter was born.
When Gruff isn’t in the office working, he’ll be at home ploughing through tutorials and self-development books. If he manages to actually switch off, he’ll spend his downtime binging on TV shows. He’s currently making his way through Brooklyn Nine Nine after discovering a deep affinity for the character of Captain Holt—it doesn’t matter if your smile isn’t visible on your face, so long as you can accurately describe its theoretical existence.