Meet The Team

David Hough – Managing Director/Co-Founder

David Hough, Managing Director and Co-Founder of SMART Balustrades began his journey in the balustrade industry at 16 as a Trainee Estimator. Progressing swiftly through roles including CAD Draughtsman, Surveyor, and Contracts Manager, he honed his expertise at Laidlaw Balustrades for over a decade. With a passion for innovation, David returned to Laidlaw as a Director before co-founding SMART Balustrades.

Specialising in handrails, balustrades, contracts, and sales, David leverages his extensive experience to drive SMART Balustrades forward. As the youngest-ever Director at Laidlaw Interiors Group, his dedication and leadership are evident.

Outside of work, David is dedicated to health and discipline, starting his days at the gym at 5 am. Family time, cars, motorcycles, and good food round out his leisure pursuits. His mantra: “Work hard over the things you can control and don’t lose sleep over the rest of it,” reflects his approach to both business and personal success.

David Hough
Jonathan Hough

Jonathan Hough – Contracts Director/Co-Founder

Jonathan Hough, Co-Founder and Contracts Director at SMART Balustrades, brings over a decade of experience in the handrails industry. Starting as a trainee Draughtsman, he evolved into roles such as Estimator, Product Manager, and Technical Sales Manager, mastering skills from drawing to contract management.

As Contracts Director, Jonathan ensures flawless execution of projects, from program management to quality assurance. His adept problem-solving and communication skills shine in high-pressure situations, delivering exceptional results, including prestigious projects like the Fairmont Windsor Park countryside hotel and spa.

Outside of work, Jonathan prioritizes family, fitness, and adventure. Whether competing in bodybuilding or exploring the cosmos as an amateur astronomer, he approaches life with curiosity and determination, embodying Albert Einstein’s words: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

Nigel Higgins – Project Manager

Nigel Higgins, Project Manager at SMART Balustrades, brings over three decades of mechanical engineering and project management expertise to his role. With a foundation in HNC Mechanical Engineering and extensive experience at Laidlaw Ltd and SMART Balustrades, Nigel excels in overseeing projects from inception to completion.

His meticulous approach ensures perfection in every detail, from site meetings to material ordering, while overcoming installation challenges and adhering to regulations and standards. Nigel’s contributions span notable projects like the Mander Centre and Silverstone Race Track, and he’s dedicated to nurturing talent within the organization.

Outside of work, Nigel finds joy in family life and supporting Walsall Football Club. Guided by the mantra, “This is the beginning of the rest of your life!” he approaches each day with enthusiasm and determination, aiming for positive impacts personally and professionally.

Nigel Higgins
Josie Oliveri

Josie Oliveri – Sales Estimator

Josie Oliveri, Sales Estimator at SMART Balustrades, boasts an impressive 22-year career in the handrail and balustrade industry. With expertise in estimating, customer service, and contract negotiation, Josie consistently delivers results that exceed expectations.

In her three years with SMART Balustrades, Josie has played a pivotal role in securing large contracts, driving the company’s success forward. Guided by the belief in collective success, Josie is dedicated to propelling SMART Balustrades to new heights, one contract at a time.

Beyond work, Josie finds joy in the simple pleasures of life and embraces her half-Italian heritage with fluency in the language. She embraces the rich cultural tapestry that shapes who she is.

Daniel Richardson – Sales Estimator

Daniel Richardson, Sales Estimator at SMART Balustrades, brings six years of industry-specific expertise and a Level 2 plumbing qualification to his role. With experience in both B2C and B2B sales, Daniel excels in interpreting customer needs and orchestrating project details for seamless completion.

His dedication to continuous improvement is evident in his commitment to learning and growing alongside his team, securing large and bespoke projects while advancing his skills in the dynamic industry.

Outside of work Daniel seeks adventure, loves travelling and partaking in thrilling experiences. Daniels’s mantra to life is “every day is a learning day,” seizing opportunities for growth and development with enthusiasm and determination.

Daniel Richardson
David Unitt

Dave Unitt – Project Manager

Dave Unitt, Project Manager at SMART Balustrades, brings over eight years of expertise in handrails and balustrades to his role. Starting at Laidlaw UK, Dave mastered estimating, project costing, and draughtsmanship before seamlessly transitioning to SMART Balustrades in 2018.

His commitment to excellence shines in tasks from site surveys to CAD drawings, ensuring tailored solutions that exceed expectations. With milestones like SMSTS certification and approaching five years at SMART Balustrades, Dave’s dedication is evident.

Outside of work, Dave cherishes family time and indulges in hobbies like watching movies and TV shows, dancing to hip hop and planning DIY projects. Dave does not enjoy shopping or exercise but believes a slice of cake can solve most of life’s problems.  Dave is committed to delivering exceptional results while fostering strong relationships with clients and colleagues at SMART Balustrades.

Deanna Wright – Contracts Administrator 

Deanna Wright, Contracts Administrator at SMART Balustrades, supports our Contracts Team with administrative expertise and dedication to excellence. With four years of customer service experience, Deanna ensures smooth contract operations, from material orders to site deliveries.

Celebrating her first year with SMART Balustrades, Deanna is committed to contributing to the team’s success.

Outside of work, Deanna relishes any opportunity to spend quality time with her family, whether it’s enjoying day trips or embarking on exciting weekends away.

She embraces the mantra “Dream Big, Achieve More” to drive efficiency and foster a culture of success within the company.

Deanna Wright
Sukhi Bassi

Sukhi Bassi – CAD Technician

Sukhi Bassi, CAD Technician at SMART Balustrades, brings over eight years of experience and a dynamic approach to balustrade design and construction technology. With a Bachelor’s degree in Building Surveying and a Master’s degree in Building Information Modelling, Sukhi excels in project management and technical design.

Her responsibilities include managing projects from design to installation, resolving challenges, and ensuring smooth execution. Sukhi’s expertise in technical detailing and Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows her to deliver innovative solutions and streamline processes for optimal efficiency and quality control.

Outside of work, Sukhi is passionate about interior design, sampling good food and is the self-appointed “queen of socials” – often arranging team-building events. With a playful spirit, she brings fun to the workplace while embodying the ethos of keeping SMART Balustrades classy, sassy, and a bit bad-assy since 2021.

Darren Cox – Production Operative

Darren Cox, Production Operative at SMART Balustrades, brings a dynamic energy and a can-do attitude to his role. With a background in sports, Darren applies the principles of dedication and excellence to his fabrication work, ensuring smooth production processes.

Renowned for his speed and organisation as a packer, Darren efficiently prepares products for delivery, making him a standout performer. His competitive spirit, honed through experiences in boxing and pigeon racing, drives him to achieve excellence in all he does.

Known for his reliability, commitment, and sense of humour, Darren fosters a positive team environment. Aspiring to venture into fieldwork and balustrade fitting, he is determined to achieve his goals through hard work and dedication, continually making valuable contributions to SMART Balustrades.

Darren Cox
Lee Thompson

Lee Thompson – Project Manager

Lee Thompson, Project Manager at SMART Balustrades, brings over two decades of construction industry experience and a passion for excellence to his role. His journey has evolved from an AutoCAD Designer to roles such as Project Manager and Sales Representative, with expertise honed at companies like Laidlaw Interiors Group and Komfort Partitioning Ltd.

Lee manages a diverse portfolio of projects, overseeing every detail from order placement to completion. His skills in site surveys, design drawings, and procurement processes ensure the successful delivery of each project. With proficiency in sales, design, estimating, and management, Lee excels as a versatile handrail and balustrade specialist.

Noteworthy projects like the F1 Arcade, St Paul’s, and the RSPCA Animal Centre showcase his dedication and expertise. Lee is committed to fostering a supportive team environment, mentoring younger colleagues, and contributing to collective success.

In his downtime, Lee enjoys running, movies, mountaineering, and hosting barbecues with loved ones.

Mark Parker – Installation Engineer

Mark Parker, Installation Engineer at SMART Balustrades, brings a wealth of practical knowledge and hands-on experience from various roles in the building trade. From groundwork to roofing, bricklaying to steelwork fabrication, Mark’s journey reflects continuous learning and adaptation.

Without formal exams, Mark earned his stripes at the “University of Life,” later obtaining City & Guilds in bricklaying and NVQ Level 2. His diverse skill set includes bricklaying, roofing, fencing, and block paving. Outside of work, Mark enjoys walking his dog, mountain biking with his grandchildren, and cherishing Friday date nights with his partner.

With seven kids and seven grandkids, his home is filled with laughter and love. Known for his problem-solving skills and willingness to help others, Mark believes there’s no such thing as a stupid question—sometimes the seemingly silly ones lead to the best solutions or a good laugh.

Mark Parker
Mick Cox

Michael Cox – Installation Engineer

Michael Cox, Installation Engineer at SMART Balustrades, brings a diverse background and relentless work ethic to his role. Initially aspiring to be a historian, Michael’s career has included roles from baking and crafting horse saddles to plastering and warehouse supervision. He also pursued higher education in computer programming and holds a 2nd level sports injuries certificate from Wolverhampton University.

As a steel fitter with two years of experience, Michael prides himself on reliability, quality workmanship, and representing SMART Balustrades with integrity. His punctuality, honesty, and strong work ethic are cornerstones of his approach.

Michael enjoys tackling complex tasks and seeing projects come to fruition. Outside of work, he loves walking with his wife and indulging in music, with one of his tracks even making it onto American radio. Looking ahead, Michael aims to continually improve his craft, driven by a commitment to hard work, punctuality, and respect.

Paul Heston – Production Operative

Paul Heston, a Production Operative at SMART Balustrades, brings a diverse skill set and a passion for problem-solving. With a career that began in Die Casting and advanced to roles like Tool Setter and Team Leader/Supervisor, Paul honed his skills in quality control and effective communication. He later excelled as a Welder Fabricator and Supervisor, specializing in high-security projects.

Paul’s unique journey includes experience as a Prison Officer, adding to his operational and security knowledge. Returning to fabrication, he became a Lead Fabricator, demonstrating proficiency in all aspects of fabrication and on-site installation assistance.

With certifications in technical services, manufacturing operations, and health and safety, Paul combines hands-on experience with formal education. In his current role, he oversees all aspects of fabrication, from cutting and welding to programming machinery and ensuring quality standards.

Outside of work, Paul is a devoted family man who enjoys football, live music, and family outings. His passion for the game and his team, Wolverhampton Wanderers, remains strong.

Paul Heston
Tom Dopierala

Tom Dopierala – Production Manager

Tom Dopierala, Production Manager at SMART Balustrades, brings over 18 years of welding and fabrication expertise, with the last 8.5 years focused on balustrades. In his role, Tom oversees the meticulous fabrication of balustrade components and coordinates all factory activities to optimise workflow and efficiency.

Specializing in TIG welding stainless steel, Tom ensures superior craftsmanship and quality. His journey from welder/fabricator to Production Manager highlights his dedication and leadership, inspiring his team to achieve excellence.

Outside of work, Tom enjoys mountaineering, finding both challenge and solace in the great outdoors. He also indulges in building Lego structures at home, appreciating the creativity and relaxation it brings.

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