A manager who has been at Whitchurch’s Grocontinental since he was a teenager has been shortlisted for a prestigious national industry award.

Steve Plant, 33, is head of operations at the business and has been selected by The Frozen Storage & Distribution Federation (FSDF) for the final stage of its Future Leader Award.

The award recognises talented young people within the industry who have demonstrated they have potential to make a positive contribution to the industry and become future leaders.

Linda Grocott, Grocontinental’s managing director, said the firm is delighted with Steve’s achievements throughout his career so far.

“Steve is a very good example of our home-grown talent,” she said. “He joined us at a young age and, having worked in a number of key areas of the business, he has accumulated a wide and in-depth knowledge.

“He now leads a team of 140 people who work in the most intense area of our 24/7 business and is always looking to make operational improvements and identify different ways to motivate and support his team.

“He is also a great role model for young people setting out on their careers, and particularly those embarking on apprenticeships, as they can see the huge potential rewards from hard work and positivity.

“We are thrilled that he has been shortlisted for the FSDF award, and whatever the outcome, he should be extremely proud of his achievement. We all wish him lots of luck for the final presentation.”

Steve originally joined the company at the age of 13 to pack yoghurts in his school holidays and, since joining on a full-time basis, has held a number of positions before becoming an established member of Grocontinental’s leadership team.

Steve will now join other shortlisted candidates at Belton Woods Hotel in Grantham later this month where he will be interviewed and required to make a presentation to a panel of judges.

The overall winner of the award will travel to a global convention in Miami where they will have the opportunity to meet and network with key industry figures.