SYNTHITE of Mold has announced the sudden death of its long-standing managing director. Kevin Jones, 64, passed away unexpectedly following a very short illness on Saturday 17 October.
A well-known figure in the local business community, Kevin, who was born and brought up in Flint, joined formaldehyde manufacturer Synthite in 1987 as a chemical engineer.
He became engineering manager, then general manager following the company’s relocation of operations from West Bromwich to Mold in 1991, and managing director in 1999.
During his tenure, the business consolidated its base at Alyn Works, Denbigh Road, and diversified.
Developments Kevin oversaw included expansion of its oilfield chemicals and resins manufacturing; plus major investments into state-of-the-art plant.
He also introduced the trading of methanol – a raw material for Synthite’s core product, formaldehyde – on the open market; brought in-house the company’s haulage operations, employing drivers and buying a fleet of bulk tankers, plus launching a contract haulage service for third parties.
Kevin also brought about the purchase of BIP(Oldbury) Ltd (British Industrial Plastics), a moulding powders manufacturer in Oldbury, West Midlands, from administration, saving hundreds of jobs.
In 2010, Kevin was appointed to the board of Synthite’s parent company, Tennants Consolidated Group, a manufacturer and distributer of chemicals and chemical products globally.
Latterly, Kevin instigated the purchase of the loss-making operations in Ireland and Mold of Dynea, a resin manufacturer and Synthite customer, when they were put up for sale. Also based at Alyn Works, it now operates as TS Resins.
Kevin was also chair of the Alyn Works Liaison Committee, of company managers, local councillors and residents’ representation, which disseminates company updates to the local community.
A former pupil of Flint High School and Holywell High School sixth form, Kevin graduated in chemical engineering from the University of Bradford. His studies were sponsored by British Steel at Shotton.
He worked for British Oxygen, Unilever, Warwick International and Croda International before joining Synthite.
He took a keen interest in rugby and had played for Clwyd District 7’s, Delyn Youth, Ruthin and the former North Wales Counties district team. For a number of years, he also coached the British Steel Shotton rugby team.
His wife, Donna, works at Synthite as management systems co-ordinator and their daughter, Sarah, is an assistant accountant with the company.
Kevin also had a son, Chris, who is an engagement manager in Manchester.
Donna said: “The family has been very touched by the many kind messages and memories of Kevin.
“Synthite was an important part of Kevin’s life and he was proud to have built it into a successful, forward-looking business that gave work to people from the local community.
“Kevin particularly enjoyed the celebrations earlier this year to mark Synthite’s centenary, including a special dinner with 130 employees and guests, where he spent time reminiscing with former and current colleagues.”
Covid regulations mean that the funeral will be attended by close family only, but the cortege will drive past the Alyn Works site on its way. Anyone who wishes to pay respects is invited to stand at a socially distanced space near the site on Denbigh Road on Tuesday 10 November at approximately 11.30am.
In lieu of flowers, his family are asking for donations in his memory, with all proceeds being split equally between Nightingale House Hospice, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.
To donate, please visit: http://bit.ly/kevinjones82
Formaldehyde is a basic building block of the chemical industry and is used in the manufacture of a vast array of everyday goods, ranging from furniture and floorboards to interior trim for motor vehicles.
Company secretary David Kelso, who joined the firm in 1991, has been appointed as acting managing director.