Portland Fuel is run by a team of people who have bought, sold, transported, stored and traded fuel for the majority (and in some cases all) of their careers. With in excess of 100 years’ experience in the fuel industry, they are all proud to be known as genuine experts in the field.
For more information, please click on one of our team members below:
James started work at what was then, Mobil Corporation’s UK Refinery (Coryton) in 1994. Having been shouted at by Production Operators for 2 years, he transferred to BP and went on to have a number of roles in Planning, Sales, Logistics and Trading. In 2003, he joined the Bayford Group of Companies (Gulf Petrol Stations, BE Fuelcards) as Group Operations Director, looking after their £500m pa operational portfolio. During this time, he also became Chairman of the Association of UK Oil Independents which represents the petroleum interests of Supermarkets, Importers and Wholesalers in the UK. In 2009, he set up Portland Fuel Price Protection.
James is a graduate of Cambridge University and is married with 3 children. He lives in York.
Joe joined Portland in January 2010 and is our Commercial Director. He is an economics and sociology graduate from York University and on leaving York, he used his qualifications to great effect by erecting marquees for a living for several years. He topped up his knowledge with a spell in the City and jobs in the oil industry covering Depot Operations, Fuel Cards and Pricing.
Joe is an active cyclist and enjoys keeping fit. We once swapped his “maxi-muscle” powder for a slim-fast and somewhat predictably, he didn’t notice the difference.
Steve is our Trading Director and is the person responsible for finding and placing the fixed prices that Portland offers their customers. Steve has worked in the oil industry for several years and prior to that, was in banking (although we try not to hold it against him). We are also fairly sure that he is one of the only commodity traders around, who started his career as a car mechanic.
Jon joined BP as an 18 year old in 1996, back in the day when people from Southampton were allowed to leave Hampshire. He went on to have roles in Operations, Logistics and Marine Support. But he got thirsty and so in 2003 joined Scottish & Newcastle breweries as their youngest UK Product Manager at the time. He then worked in the drinks industry for 13 years (Beer, Energy Drinks and Wine – that’s some hangover) until 2016 when he got a call from his original boss in BP (James Spencer) asking him to join Portland.
Karen joined us in March 2014 from an obscure Christian cult in the belief that selling diesel via fuel card would cleanse her soul. We haven’t disabused her of this notion yet and are just happy that we have someone who can speak in joined up sentences and does not grunt down the phone.
Karen is a Grandmother (no-way!) and lives in York. In the summer of 2014, she went on a Hen do to Portugal and since returning has looked distinctly uncomfortable whenever the subject is brought up.
Patrick joined our graduate programme in September 2014 quickly made his mark on the business by offering to wash up more than once a month – a first for any graduate we have ever come across. Patrick is also that rare breed of Rugby League player that can speak and write. In fact he even has a maths degree from Sheffield Hallam, which he did in his spare time whilst playing professionally for Hull FC, Sheffield Eagles and now, York City Knights. He will complete the graduate scheme in the Autumn of 2017 and at that point, his washing up duties will be formalised.
A graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, Mike likes music, mopeds, football and big game hunting (we made the last one up). He joined the company at the same time as Patrick Smith in 2014 and with only one graduate position available, it was decided that ultimate selection would be based on a gladiatorial fight to the death at our annual Christmas do. So enjoyable was the spectacle for the rest of the team however, that it was decided to keep both Mike and Pat in the company, and the annual combat session between the graduates has become a well-loved Christmas tradition.
Juliette graduated from Oxford University in 1992, although she would rather not be reminded of that fact. She is Portland’s Company Secretary and is a KPMG trained tax accountant. Outside of work, she is the treasurer of a local playgroup and enjoys reading, spending time with her children and being in charge. Company Secretary.
Simon joined us in May 15, having called time on his musical career with San Francisco punk outfit The Dead Kennedys (tambourine). Knowing that a career in the fuel industry was the only logical next step, Simon joined Portland and now heads up our sales team – covering fuel cards, fixed price supply and analytics.
Obviously we’ve taken quite a punt in employing someone to do all of that with no previous industry experience, but his CV did say that in addition to his musical career, he had spent 22 years in the oil industry with the likes of British Benzol, Total and GB Oils.
Jürgen is an engineer by training and is responsible for our operations in Germany and central Europe. With 30 years of experience in the Logistics and Freight Forwarding sector, Jürgen was immediately able to identify the value of fixing fuel prices for up to 12 months and thus achieve budgetary certainty. He lives in Essen with his wife and daughter and like most Germans, finds the concept of Motorway speed limits as rather puzzling.
Jake is an alumni of Leeds University and is another trainee on our graduate scheme. Originating from Hull, Jake has gone through a miraculous transformation since joining the company in July 2016. At that point, Hull had not started its year as UK City of Culture and fittingly, Jake came to work in clogs, smelt of fish and smoked woodbines. However, since his home city has become City of Culture, Jake comes to work in top hat, tails and spats – whilst listening to Shostakovich on his Beats (by Dre) earphones and quoting some of the lesser known early works of Shakespeare.