From Marketing to MDF

October 15, 2019

Henry Dixon
MDFR Board Member and Investor

15 years as a soldier and working in the Defence sector. Then 25 years building one of the UK’s leading business-to-business marketing communications agencies. Now what?

The honour and pleasure of serving as the High Sherriff of Clwyd (the four counties of Conwy, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire) for a year allowed me to put off any decisions, but the role only lasts a year … and the ‘what next’ question was the topic of extensive family discussion.

One theme was soon identified. The impact of Climate Change was already evident – and its potential impact on our lives and, more importantly, on the lives of our children and grand-children is becoming ever clearer. Even five years ago it was clear that we needed to change the way we generate and consume energy and resources and look for alternatives that are more sustainable.

But it’s all very well being on the side of the ‘green angels’ – should I devote my time and energy and resources to a business, I’d also be pretty keen to ensure that the needs of rather picky ‘financial angels’ were met as well.

I’d had initial contact with Craig and MDFR some years ago and was therefore pleased to get the opportunity to reconnect. From our first meeting, I’d been impressed by the potential scale of MDFR’s business opportunity and the scope and resilience of IP that had been developed. I’d not been in a position to get involved originally … but perhaps now?0

Follow up meetings with Craig confirmed my view that here was a business opportunity that had real potential to reduce waste and demand for timber from our forests, contribute to the circular economy and make an industrial scale contribution to the environment. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats seemed well understood and addressable. The numbers made sense and here was a business that I’d be keen to support.

But. what did I really know about MDF, its manufacture and how MDFR might make a difference? Before committing, wasn’t there a need for a bit more focused due diligence? Input from someone who’d lived and breathed MDF all their life would be useful … and by chance or serendipity, I happened to know someone who fit the bill.

6 months later, I’d joined the Board and am delighted to be playing my small part in helping MDFR fulfil its potential.

Meanwhile, I’ve also become involved in a project to generate vast amounts of renewable marine energy and protect coastal communities from rising sea levels … but that’s another story.