Ian Buckley Finishing school at 18, Ian Buckley wanted to turn his passion for cooking into a career and enjoyed 10 years working as a head chef in many of the Midlands’ most respected restaurants.  Now, three decades later and with 15 years’ service at Atlas Coatings, Ian’s drive and commitment towards quality and excellence in every aspect of his life has resulted in an impressive career.  Ian tells us more: “I did well at school but like a lot of lads at that age, I was unsure what I wanted to achieve.  I’d always loved cooking and food so it felt like a natural step to turn that love into a career.  I spent three years at catering college and quickly moved up the career ladder to become a head chef – it was hard work, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Getting married and starting a family didn’t lend itself well to the anti-social hours of the food and restaurant industry and at 26 took his first step into the world of engineering. Ian picks up the story: “as it happens, JCB was opening a new facility in my local town so it was an obvious chance to change my career path. I joined on the shop floor and took every opportunity to advance my career and get as much formal training as possible. This paid dividends and within a few short years I was holding a management position. Really, it was at JCB where I gained my passion for powder coating and engineering and took this skill-set into the automotive industry. Ten years on and I joined Atlas Coatings – the rest as they say is history!”


Throughout his varied and accomplished career Ian has always grasped every opportunity to advance his knowledge whether that’s been through formal training or learning the skills of the trade through more experienced colleagues. Today, Ian is passionate about giving other team members at Atlas Coatings the same opportunity, as he explains: “no two days are the same in Atlas Coatings and that’s what makes this job so unique, every day brings a new set of challenges and opportunities and I’m ever mindful that I have a real responsibility to support and develop other members of the team through the complexities of our business. I consider myself to be a very fair and considered manager and I get a real buzz out of seeing people advance their own careers through my leadership.”


Ian has total involvement in all aspects of the business and thrives on being set challenging targets and KPIs, this transparent approach continually motivates Ian to go above and beyond to deliver for the customer.  Equally, Ian is passionate about exploring other methods of management to bring the best out in the apprentices: “my role with the apprentices gives me a huge amount of satisfaction. I’ve got a huge passion for fast cars and bikes so having the opportunity to work closely with the apprentices to build the race cars as part of the Apprenticeship Scheme is an absolute joy. I know what it’s like to be a young lad starting out in your career and I see this as a fantastic opportunity to give our apprentices a real, yet fun, insight into the world of engineering. Seeing the apprentices come together as one team gives me a huge sense of professional and personal pride.”


As Ian looks towards the next five years of his career, he has his sights firmly set on future proofing the business and with a strong investment strategy underpinning the firm’s ambitions, Ian concludes with these thoughts: “Truth be told I have got one eye on retirement in a few years but in the meantime there is a lot to do and a lot to achieve. The business is in incredible shape and as part of the Bri-Stor Group we have strong backing to implement some infrastructure improvements that will further enhance our offering in this market. I’m proud to be an Atlas man, and while it took me a few years to get here, I treat every day as my opportunity to inspire and influence the next generation of powder coating experts.”

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