For the past 45 years John Lutkevich has lived and slept portable buildings. The past 10 years have been working for Portable Offices.
John is credited with contributing his considerable expertise to Portable Offices’ success. John is notable for going ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ on his contracts but sadly, just before his 70th birthday, John will be hanging up his fluorescent jacket for the last time. Yes, he is retiring this autumn!
John unashamedly admits to being a portable buildings ‘anorak’ – forget trains and planes, it is modular buildings, cabins and portable offices that engage his attention.
He has been in the industry for almost 50 years and has known, managing director, Adrian Witty for almost 40 of those years, so his dedication to the industry has endured recessions and many highs and lows.
John has worked across the entire national network of Portable Offices’ installations. He tends to oversee the more complex, large contracts but wherever there is a challenging situation he will appear, usually with a solution.
In his words: “In effect, I ensure the smooth running of complex or major contracts and interface between the customer, trades and our managers. I am the ‘glue’ that binds the client, the product and us.
“My overall aim is to bring the contract in safely, on budget and on time. Thankfully, I have a great team working with me which means we are increasingly achieving this goal.
“I am lucky because I have gained a lot of knowledge about portable buildings and how they are constructed and this serves us well when it comes to explaining the building’s integrity to clients and where there is a complex situation to resolve.”
Over the years, he has passed on his skills and experience to the team around him and is confident that they will carry on where he has left off.
John’s job has taken him all over the country and has culminated in hundreds of thousands of miles on the clock. But, despite his travels, he admits that he is looking forward to seeing more of the UK’s attractions as a tourist. He says: “There’s never enough time to see points of interest while we are on site, so I am looking forward to visiting places and spending time there without a rush to move on.”
The long hours away from home have been shrugged off by John in the past, who says it has now become ‘a way of life’ to him. He travels the breadth of the UK and has become a self-confessed expert on purple accommodation, where everything is premier but the price! As a result, during his working week, he only gets home to his wife and six children and 10 grand children in idyllic Cornwall at the weekend where he gets little chance to put his feet up.
When at home, which is located close to Perranporth Beach, his relaxation comes from taking a walk on the beach with his wife and their dogs and indulging in a cup of coffee at a beachside cafe.
When asked what he is looking forward to in his retirement, John said: “Less driving and more family time. There’s also a list of DIY jobs that I have to attend to and have been putting off since we moved in eight years ago.
“I am sad to be leaving because Portable Offices is a fantastic company to work for and we are like a family unit. However, I feel the time has come to put my feet up, just a little.”
We all wish John the very best in his retirement.