Our story

RodneyWilliams Southern was founded by Rodney Williams and his wife Linda. Plymouth-born Rodney began his career as a carpenter before moving into general building and starting his first business, R.J and N.J Williams, in 1967. He launched Williams Southern in 1986, directing his focus on forecourt and later retail construction.

Rodney built many forecourts together with a multitude of extremely challenging projects across the south of England in the 80s and 90s, including the Mayflower refuelling facility and Astra Zeneca head office near Plymouth. LindaHe changed roles from Managing Director to company Chairman in 2011 but sadly passed away in May 2013.

We continue to be UK leaders in the design, construction and modification of petrol filling stations, with a strong portfolio in retail and general construction as well.

Our team

We have over one hundred employees; thirty based at our self-built head office in Plymouth, with dozens more partnering sub-contractors and specialists supporting our teams onsite all over the UK. Their passion and desire to be the very best have earned us a reputation for excellence with clients including Esso, BP, Shell and Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, M&S and more.

John Whittaker, Managing Director 

About_JohnAfter graduating with an Honours Degree in 1989, John became a foreman/engineer with a Lancashire-based petrol station construction specialist before moving client-side as a project manager with an oil company in 1994. He joined Williams Southern in 1999 as a Contracts Manager before becoming a Director in 2005, Shareholder in 2008, and has been Managing Director since 2011. John is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the business with a current annual turnover in excess of £30 million.

Richard Williams, Operations Director

About_RichardRichard started his career as a draughtsman in Plymouth before joining the business at the age of 20. He’s since worked as Buyer, Contracts Manager, Operations Manager and now as a Director he’s responsible for all day-to-day operations of the company including procurement, IT, innovation, marketing and leading the retail arm of the business.

Kevan Throgmorton, Senior Commercial Manager – Retail

Kevan graduated in 1996 with an Honours Degree in Quantity Surveying.  He has over 20 years’ construction and commercial experience in residential development, waste water process, flood alleviation, civil engineering and retail construction. Having formerly worked for TJ Brent, Miller Group and Mowlem Civil Engineering Kevan joined Williams Southern in 2006 as a Project Surveyor. His responsibilities include commercial management of all construction aspects of the business, whilst focusing on retail and convenience. Our commercial team currently includes six Commercial Managers and a Commercial Assistant.

John Hoare, Senior Commercial Manager – Petroleum

JRH Portrait photo for website 100x100John graduated in 2000 with a degree in Building Surveying and the Environment. He then worked for a leading main contractor as a Quantity Surveyor for five years. He joined the company in 2005 and became a Senior Manager in 2012. Whilst surveying current contracts John is responsible for all aspects of commercial management & procurement within the petroleum side of the business and works closely with our site teams to ensure projects are delivered within budget to our client’s expectation.

Steve Fitzgerald, Senior Contracts Manager – Retail

SF photo - 100x100Steve joined the company in 2010 bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience with him having worked in retail construction for over 15 years. Specialising in construction, refurbishment and conversion in the convenience store sector, Steve is now responsible for the retail construction side of the business, which he has helped to expand dramatically over the last five years. His team includes Safety Co-ordinators, Contracts Managers, Site Managers and trade staff – all dedicated to this line of work.

Andrew Cunningham, Senior Contracts Manager – Petroleum

ARC Portrait photo for website 100 x 100Having been with the company since 2001, Andrew has been involved in a vast number of challenging contracts and has an intimate knowledge of the workings of all our petroleum based projects. Having played a major part in many of the safety and quality awards we have received over the years, his experience and reputation is second to none. With over 20 years’ experience in construction, refurbishment and modification of petrol stations for many clients,  both oil companies and supermarket retailers alike, he works with our Safety Manager, four Contracts Managers and 12 Site Managers together with their associated trade teams.

Caroline Humphries - Senior Finance Manager

CH Portrait photo for website 100x100Caroline joined the business in 2009, having worked as an Audit Manager for our accountants and hence had a ready-made knowledge of our financial systems as well as experience of advising similar sized businesses on their accounting and financial needs. Following her degree in Economics she went on to qualify as a chartered accountant in 2003.  Caroline and her team are responsible for all financial aspects of the company. In addition she also manages the day to day running of head office and the human resource function for the company as a whole.