Joanna Brookes


Van Leeuwen VUnited Kingdom
Position Business Development Executive
Employed by Van Leeuwen since 2019
Age 48

Joanna Brookes has been working in the British steel industry for over 15 years. After taking a sabbatical, she ‘returned’ to Van Leeuwen in 2019. ‘Prior to its acquisition by Van Leeuwen, I worked in Benteler Distribution’s sales division,’ says Joanna. ‘So I really have been part of the company for a long time.’

Joanna regularly works from The Deckhouse. In 2022, the Van Leeuwen UK team moved to this brand new head office just 1,500 meters away from the previous head office location (also see next page). The head office is located in Midlands, a region in Britain where the industrial revolution had its start. ‘People here are modest, hardworking and form a tight community,’ says Joanna. ‘They are used to newcomers, who have been coming to this region looking for work for decades. It is a diverse community that is open to change.’

Hospitable atmosphere

Joanna characterizes the atmosphere at Van Leeuwen United Kingdom as hospitable. ‘Most of our employees are born in the United Kingdom,’ she says. 'But some of our team members also come from the Netherlands, China, Brazil and various other countries. Furthermore, our colleagues represent a large variety of ethnicities and religions. This is logical, given the country’s history. At Van Leeuwen there is ample room and respect for mutual differences.

For example, our manager wishes us Happy Solstice, as well as Merry Christmas! The way employees treat each other, shows that they are able to easily bridge cultural differences and work together as a single, large team.'

Digital marketing

As Business Development Executive, Joanna focuses on attracting new customers and projects. During the corona pandemic she was tasked to review and improve Van Leeuwen United Kingdom’s LinkedIn page. ‘I decided to look beyond LinkedIn, so now I manage all of Van Leeuwen United Kingdom’s social media channels, and digital marketing now forms part of my work. Furthermore, my team members and I closely worked together on a new cross-media digital marketing strategy.' (See next page for more.)

100 kilometer pipeline

Naturally, optimal customer service and excellent project execution come first and foremost at Van Leeuwen UK as well. In 2022, Van Leeuwen UK worked together with a large global customer on a long-term project for the construction of a 100 kilometer pipeline in the United Kingdom. It is the largest project ever acquired by Van Leeuwen UK. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2023. In total Van Leeuwen UK will be supplying almost 10,000 metric tons of PE and FBE coated pipes, including 862 coated pipe bends. The Operations team specifically put together for this project looks after all steps in the supply chain. From receipt, storage and inspection of materials up to and including coordinating the loading of materials for transport directly to the customer’s storage yard when they are needed.