External building inspection and investigation business MAF Associates, which has grown by more than 500% in less than two years thanks to unprecedented demand for professional expertise in the sector, has appointed Joanna Lowe as Associate Director.
Having worked in customer support and human resources roles for most of her career, mostly in robotics and materials handling, Joanna was looking for a new challenge and had considered the housing industry, but after seeing the role at MAF, she was attracted by the ethos and ambition of the business, which has expanded from three employees to 15 in just 18 months.
‘I had three interviews lined up and MAF was my first, but after meeting the team and hearing what they were aiming to achieve, I was blown away,’ explained Joanna, 53, who lives in Market Harborough. ‘There is clearly a huge demand for expertise in the cladding and facade surveying and engineering sector, and I was very impressed by the way that MAF is growing to meet the needs of the UK property sector, without compromising on its commitment to overall excellence, and strong customer relations in particular.’
MAF was launched by Managing Director Mike Fox in 2010, initially focusing on the provision of expert witness services for insurers and construction companies. As one of the few fully qualified cladding experts in the country, demand for MAF’s services grew rapidly after the tragic events of Grenfell in 2017, and he has subsequently grown the business to meet this demand.
Mike explained: ‘While it was obvious that we needed fully qualified cladding surveyors and building engineers, it’s just as important to have the right back office team to support them, which is where Joanna comes in. She may be new to this sector, but she has decades of experience in customer service and support, which means she knows how to keep everyone organised. In the same way that an army marches on its stomach, my mobile teams can only function if schedules and client liaison are organised efficiently by Joanna and her colleagues.’
With building owners, property management companies and insurers rushing to remove illegal cladding, meet updated fire-system regulations and install new BS8629-compliant evacuation support systems, Joanna’s primary role is to ensure the company’s systems and support teams are fully equipped to keep up with its rapid expansion. She will also coordinate training and professional development for everyone in the team, as well as leading the company’s bid to attain ISO9000 quality certification.
Outside of the office, Joanna, who was born in Hertfordshire, is a keen linguist and lover of travel. Having lived in Spain for many years, she is a fluent speaker of Spanish and Catalan. During lockdown, she took up amateur photography and has recently invested in some state-of-the-art equipment to take her to the next level. She also enjoys spending time with her husband of 32 years, who she met in Benidorm, and her two grown-up sons.
Before founding MAF Associates, Mike Fox worked for three decades in the construction sector, including posts with roofing, cladding and building products companies. Since 2015, he has built MAF into one of the UK’s leading building inspection and investigation businesses, providing detailed reporting and analysis for insurers, building management and construction companies. The company’s clients include many household names, and the aim of the MAF team is to build trusted, long-lasting partnership with all clients.
For more information: www.michaelafoxassociates.co.uk