Directors

Duncan Keates

Managing Director

Background: Duncan began his career at 17 as a sheet metal fabrication apprentice, followed by two years of night school for coded welding. He climbed the ranks to become a Works Manager three years later. In 1998, he became self-employed, managing shop floors. In 2002, he founded Altec Sheet Metal, focusing on custom work for the rail and electrical industries, which he had a consistent need for laser cutting. To streamline operations, he co-founded ADS Laser Cutting in 2005.

Fun fact: Duncan is a devoted supporter of Leicester Tigers, where he played in the late 80s and early 90s.

Founded ADS: 2005

Stephen Keates

Managing Director

Background: Stephen graduated in 1996 with a Mechanical Engineering degree. His first jobs were split between time on an oil rig, and working part-time at a laser cutting company. After a year as a rail industry design engineer, he joined the laser cutting company full-time. He swiftly climbed the ranks and within a year, he became Production Manager and held the position for four years before co-founding ADS Laser Cutting.

Fun fact: Steve is an avid Lego collector and currently has over 50 sets in his collection.

Founded ADS: 2005

Leadership, Managers and Coordinators

Andy Smith

Technical Director

Background: With an impressive 39-year tenure in the industry, Andy has been an integral part of ADS since 2007. As Technical Director, he is responsible for driving quality, compliance, innovation and continual improvements in the working practices.

Fun fact: Andy’s passion involves cooking with his custom-built wood fire ovens all year round.

Year started: 2007

Stuart Rowan

Production Director

Background: Stuart joined the sheet metal industry at 18. He joined ADS in 2013 as Laser and Fold Manager, later becoming Production Manager. Now, as Production Director, he leads operations and manufacturing strategy, setting high standards through personal example with extensive high-volume manufacturing experience.

Fun fact: Stuart is a huge football fan and supports Liverpool.

Year started: 2013

Zeke Keates

Business Support Director

Background: Zeke began as a fabrication and welding apprenticeship at ADS. He was promoted to Office Manager, then Commercial Manager. As Business Support Director, he now provides technical support to review and verify post-production job packs, with the aim of improving business performance and reducing costs.

Fun fact: Zeke has an interest in technology and skateboarding.

Year started: 2013

Harry Smith

Production Manager

Background: Harry started at ADS as Dispatch Supervisor, managing the day-to-day running of the logistics department. He was promoted to Production Manager in October 2023 and is responsible for overseeing all manufacturing operations to ensure targets are achieved.

Fun fact: Harry enjoys spending weekends mountain biking through forests, over jumps and down steep descents.

Year started: 2021

Ant Littlejohns

Compliance Manager

Background: Ant has 20 years of experience in auditing and compliance and always ensures regulations and compliance are at a top level. He manages legal, regulatory and internal company requirements, ensuring ADS delivers its strategic plan and vision.

Fun fact: Ant serves as the Club Secretary, Treasurer, and team manager/coach for Hinckley Borough FC, a large football team.

Year started: 2021

Lynn Cox

Finance Manager

Background: Lynn is responsible for the overall financial health of our organisation. With her keen financial acumen and strategic vision, Lynn plays an instrumental role in safeguarding our financial stability and charting a prosperous course for our mission.

Fun fact: In the year Lynn was born, her sister and her were the first set of twins to be born at the Leicester Royal (New Year’s Day).

Year started: 2013

Derek Payne

National Sales Manager

Background: Derek has worked in the laser industry since 1999, when a 1.8kw co2 laser was new technology. He assists current and prospective customers to ensure they understand the potential of laser cutting.

Fun fact: In 2006, Derek attended the Sports Personality of the Year Awards at the NEC, where he met many sporting greats such as Henry Cooper, Phil Taylor, Dame Mary Peters and Gary Lineker.

Year started: 2014

Umar Sheikh

Sales Account Manager

Background: Umar joined us in 2022 with a wealth of sales knowledge from the energy industry. Umar quickly adapted to the metal manufacturing industry and settled into his role. He assists existing and new customers to understand the full capabilities of ADS and has developed great relations along the way.

Fun fact: Umar is aiming to play golf at every course in the UK in the next five years.

Year started: 2022

Sian McEneaney

Estimation Coordinator

Background: Prior to joining ADS, Sian worked in customer care for over 10 years within a variety of industries. Her current role as an Estimation Coordinator involves her handling incoming customer enquiries which she then assigns to the relevant estimator. She also liaises with customers to help configure a correct quotation.

Fun fact: Sian is an avid artist and once had the opportunity to present her artwork at the Tate Museum.

Year started: 2018

Isaac Devine

Programming Manager

Background: Isaac joined ADS as an apprentice, delving into mechanical engineering and CAD design. Now our Programming Manager, he leverages his expertise to enhance product quality and efficiency.

Fun fact: Isaac earned his Karate black belt in 2013, dedicating his teenage years to competing. In his free time, he passionately engages in 3D printing and design projects.

Year started: 2015