The Murray Family Story

October 31, 2023

Technical Sales Manager Tracey Murray joined the Donaldson Family as an admin assistant when she was 18 years old. Thirty-three years later her career has evolved and her daughter, Charlie, is enjoying her own career progression with us at our Donaldson Timber Engineering (DTE) Buckhaven site.

Inspired by her mum, Charlie started out in our admin team, then only a year later she became a Trainee Design Technician, “After finishing studying administration at college, I joined as an admin assistant and within a year I was an i-joist designer. I’ve been here almost two years now and enjoy being able to learn from so many knowledgeable and experienced people, including my mum” she explains.

There are already echoes of Tracey’s own career path in Charlie’s. “I started with the Donaldson Group when I was only eighteen mainly doing admin, moved on to estimating, did a bit of design and then started going out to see customers, onsite visits assisting with site sizes and such like, and I’m still here after thirty-three years!” says Tracey.

And it was the fact that there were real opportunities to develop and grow which prompted her to encourage Charlie to join her as part of the Donaldson Family, “the opportunities that could lie ahead for Charlie here were a big reason why I encouraged her to apply. There are so many different companies now within the Group there’s plenty of places to go and Donaldson Group are always very keen to provide the opportunity to grow and learn across the group, too” Tracey explains.

Charlie also appreciates that she can turn to her mum for advice and support – and that together they can explore ways to make things even better for our customers, “after designing a job before I send it off, I check in with my mum who is more often than not working on other parts of the same project and we can chat together and co-ordinate things like deliveries, which help make the customer experience better” she says.

Families supporting each other and other families is something that’s not just talked about here but is put into action every day in multiple ways. Whether it’s family members guiding and helping each other, or the Donaldson’s themselves championing family values and matters within the Group.

Having spent her entire working life within the Donaldson Group, Tracey’s seen a lot of changes over the years, but she says one thing remains unchanged, the feeling of being part of a family working together as one. “There’s been so much change, but one of the things that has remained is that feeling of family. When any member of the Donaldson family comes to the site, whether it be Mike or Andy, it’s just like any other day. We are all working together, sharing our knowledge and experience, to help build positive futures not just for my daughter, but for many generations to come” she says.

The Leitch Family Story

October 31, 2023

Father and son, Tam and Ricky Leitch have – between them – been part of the Donaldson Family for a total of 47 years. Sawyer Tam started out at our Leven site back in 1989, and today, he and Ricky – who works as a Side Loader Driver, often picking up timber for his dad’s saw – both work at our Donaldson Timber Engineering (DTE) Buckhaven site. Working together means a lot to them both – as does being part of a company where family matters – as they explained when we spoke to them about their experience being part of our family of colleagues.

Tam’s career with us has been varied and he’s been able to move to different roles which have better fitted in with where he was in life and what he wanted to achieve at any given time. “I started off as a labourer, then went on to be a sawyer before moving to the office where I was a foreman and charge hand for about fourteen years, but as I got older and had my own family, I moved back to the shop floor.”

This flexibility and family-centred approach hasn’t just benefited Tam, as he explains. Ricky isn’t the only other member of his family to work alongside him, “I’ve got a few family members here, a nephew and cousin who are all on the shop floor, and my other son, Steven, also works here part-time.”

Like his dad, Ricky has already enjoyed a varied career with the Donaldson Group, starting out as a labourer before moving into his current driving job. Proud Dad Tam is confident that this is just the beginning, thanks to the support and development opportunities on offer. “He’s been already progressed from labourer to driving the side loader in the yard and he could even go further – it’s good to see that the group invest in development and can help you definitely do more; just ask to get your chance at it” explains Tam.

But it’s not just the company that’s helped shape Ricky’s career, he says working with his dad has been a huge help, especially when it comes to finding new and better ways of working. “That’s the thing with family, (we) share (our) experience and each of us will listen to each other and then, we can agree together on whether something works or not and what to do next” says Ricky, “I feel that we can communicate better as a family, and I’m happy to be able to work in this way and learn from him”.

Tam agrees, “We’re able to work closely together and come up with good ideas, we can easily agree on a certain way of doing things which helps us deliver better results together. Ricky benefits from my experience and if he thinks he can improve on things, then we find it easy to talk to each other and often decide to do things differently”.

And when it comes to the future, Tam’s confident that he and his family – and countless other families who work here – have a bright future ahead, thanks to the support of the Donaldson Family “I’ve seen many changes over the years, new machinery, new technology along with new people, but through all the changes, the family remains… I’ve seen many local families grow up with the business too – for me, that’s what makes the Donaldson Group different and that’s why I’m sure my family will always have a secure future here”.

My Donaldson journey is probably a little bit different to most, because although I’ve been with Kitchens International for a decade, we’ve only been part of the Donaldson Group Family since 2021.

I have to admit I couldn’t help being a little apprehensive about the acquisition to start with, but I needn’t have been! The Donaldson Group culture is very similar to that of Kitchens International, it is a very creative and supportive place to work, where everyone pulls together, and bounces ideas off each other. Group processes are slightly different to what I was used to, but people took the time to help and support me as I adapted.

The biggest change for me was moving from working on just one brand to five! I’m now responsible for Optima Kitchens, Smith & Frater, Stonecare, MGM Kitchens and Kitchens International. I thought it would be overwhelming, but I’m really enjoying the variety. I worked exclusively on Kitchens International for a long time, and I know the demographic very well, but it’s been really exciting to work on new brands and learn new things. I think I’m a lot more engaged.

I studied Business Management at uni and was considering a sales or marketing role within the licensed trade after graduating. Whilst studying, a part-time role came up with Kitchens International, so I took it and before I knew it, I was working there full-time. Initially I was effectively working as a designer when they bought creative development in-house. It was a nice role to start in – I was designing point-of-sale materials and print ads, I established the social media channels, worked on the website, and was involved with events.

Fast forward 10 years and I’m delighted with how my career has progressed. I’ve learnt a lot of new skills, met a lot of interesting people and been given a lot of incredible opportunities. My biggest highlight with the Donaldson Group has been joining the Group marketing team. I’d been going to team meetings for months, but wasn’t formally part of it, so officially joining the team was really nice. There was a welcome lunch and a night out, so it felt like a real celebration.

As Head of Marketing, I oversee the creative development of all of our Interior Divisions brands; plan and manage events (that could be a dinner or exhibition, or sometimes it’s working at events with key contacts); develop strategy and annual plans; manage budgets; analyse how our website and socials are performing; prepare award submissions; and get involved in the future development of team members.

It’s a varied role and – cliché alert – no two days are ever the same; we work on similar key tasks, but for different brands with demographics, objectives, and target markets. I spend a lot of my time working closely with branch and studio managers, for example, working with them on objectives such as ways to increase engagement at branch level. My biggest achievement in my current role has to be developing and designing a kitchen selector tool for Kitchens International, it’s revolutionary within our sector and gives us a real edge. I’m very proud of it.

There are plenty of opportunities here – alongside the support and training you need to make the most of them. With a dedicated budget for training, we have freedom to choose specific courses that will benefit us and our role. Everyone has a quarterly review where we identify two things we’re doing well and two things that we can improve – and we’re given the support we need to actually make those improvements and develop new skills.

Just a year ago I only had experience of managing one brand, but since we became part of the Donaldson Group, I’ve become heavily involved with planning for all of the Interiors brands and have been promoted to Head of Marketing for the division. That’s pretty good career development if you ask me!

Ready to launch your marketing career? Take a look at our latest graduate opportunities to find out more.

Jordan, a Design Technician at Nu-Style Products in Aberdeen, joined the Group in June 2019 and has since been helping our customers to bring their vision to life via 3D renders.

He has always had a keen interest in the construction industry and spent many summers and weekends doing numerous jobs including design, labouring, kitchen design and producing surveys and drawings.

His role at Nu-Style Products involves producing designs and drawings for customers for a range of products including bespoke furniture design, as well as our main washroom products such as vanity units, cubicles, IPS panels and lockers.

“One of my favourites parts of my role is visiting sites, meeting with customers and really immersing myself in bringing their designs to life. We’ve recently started inducing 3D drawings for more complex designs and I really enjoy this aspect as the client gets to see a true, 3D representation of the products we will be supplying to them.”

Sandra – ABM & Kitchen Designer

Sandra has been part of the business for over 13 years and works in our merchant business MGM Timber. Currently part of our Grangemouth team, the now Assistant Manager previously worked at our Dundee and Glenrothes branches as an administrator.

March 3, 2022
Sandra’s making kitchen dreams come true!

Name: Sandra Robertson
Job Title: Assistant Manager and Kitchen Designer
Company: MGM Grangemouth

Sandra has been part of the business for over 13 years and works in our merchant business MGM Timber. Currently part of our Grangemouth team, the now Assistant Manager previously worked at our Dundee and Glenrothes branches as an administrator.

Since joining the Grangemouth branch over 10 years ago as Assistant Branch Manager, she has also taken on the role as a kitchen designer, which she really enjoys, as it brings out the creative side in her and she finds it really satisfying. Sandra says her favourite part is “being able to take a customer’s dream kitchen and bring it into reality.”

All of Sandra’s colleagues agree that since starting with MGM Timber she has come a long way. Not only by developing her personal skills, but also her professional skills in sales within the company – which is constantly leading the way in introducing new and exciting products into the market. Sandra is a huge asset to the Donaldson Group and a great example of the opportunities that are open to people who are part of the business.

David – Sales Manager

David joined the group in 1985 straight out of college as a management trainee. The management trainee programme was designed to train new recruits in all aspects of the business from the saw mill, to designing and assembling roof trusses to accounting and sales. David quickly identified sales as the area in which he was best suited to excel in, and has since been a Sales Manager for James Donaldson Timber.

January 12, 2022
David has climbed the career ladder (and a few Munros!)

Name: David Seath
Job Title: Sales Manager
Company: James Donaldson Timber

David joined the Group in 1985 straight out of college as a management trainee. The management trainee programme was designed to train new recruits in all aspects of the business from the saw mill, to designing and assembling roof trusses to accounting and sales. David quickly identified sales as the area in which he was best suited to excel in, and has since been a Sales Manager for James Donaldson Timber.

Despite being in the business for over 30 years, David says that every day is still a school day with its own unique challenges, yet he wouldn’t have it any other way. We also know that with over 30 years experience, he’s a great teacher for younger and less experienced colleagues too.

When we asked David what he values most about working for the Group, he said that is the fact that as a family business, the Donaldson Group “values the employee’s input and rewards them accordingly”, also adding that “the same treatment is levied for both suppliers and customers.” The result of this is evident in the loyalty and commitment the staff, suppliers and customers have for the company. David has been with the company for over 32 years and has been working with colleagues, suppliers and customers who have been with the company long before he joined.

When he is not selling timber for a living he spends time with his family including walking his dog. If you want to climb a Munro in Scotland – David is your man to ask for advice! He’s certainly climbed career heights in his role at JDT and we’re delighted that David has been a core part of the team there for so long.


Mark – Chief Risk Officer

Mark isn't only a valued member of the Donaldson Group, he's also a very loyal one. So loyal in fact that (as he likes to point out) he was in the company before the internet was even invented!

December 5, 2021
Our Chief Risk Officer is making his ‘Mark’ on the Donaldson Group!

Name: Mark Murphy
Job Title: Chief Risk Officer
Company: Donaldson Group

Mark isn’t only a valued member of the Donaldson Group team, he’s also a very loyal one. So loyal in fact that (as he likes to point out) he was in the company before the internet was even invented!

Mark started at Donaldson Group in 1986 as a management trainee. Throughout his three decades with the Group, Mark has taken on a variety of roles and is now the Group’s Chief Risk Officer, which involves supporting the expansion of the Group into a more diverse product range and service offering through the ongoing delivery of a risk management strategy, as well as continue to identify and mitigate risks.

What Mark loves about Donaldson’s is that he gets to work with some amazing people at all levels within the business. Mark commented that he likes that “everybody has the opportunity to contribute and the best ideas happen when people get involved.” It is this collaboration in fact, that helped the Donaldson Group win the Lord Cullen award for health and safety. Mark is very proud that he and the team implemented a system to make the unloading of roof trusses safer for our customers, which was adopted as best practice by the HSE and the Trussed Rafter industry.

In Mark’s role, he ensures that the Donaldson Group always acts with Integrity. For him, that runs across many factors, from the way we treat people, source our products, comply with legislation, sell, produce or deliver our products. Mark feels he can therefore say with confidence that we conduct our business in the right way.

Outside of work, Mark can be found walking his three rottweiler dogs – in fact he loves the breed so much he even has a Facebook group for rottweilers. We’re lucky that Mark is as loyal to us as his lovely dogs are to him!