TRIBUTES have been paid to Geoff Snow, founder and non-executive director of the family-run Snows Motor Group, who has died.
Geoff, 85, passed away on August 23 and family, friends and business partners have spoken of their admiration for him.
Born in Andover, Geoff joined the Royal Navy as a boy seaman in 1948, just three years after the end of the Second World War, drawing a weekly pay of five shillings at HMS Vincent in Gosport.
He founded Snows, initially an office supplies company, 55 years ago, but soon expanded the firm into the retail and motor market.
With dealerships in and around Portsmouth, Snows deals with more than 20 of the UK’s largest motor manufacturers and 10,000 commercial customers.
In 2007 Geoff retired and his son Stephen took over as chairman.
Geoff leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Joyce, son Stephen and daughters Jacqueline and Jenny, nine grandchildren and a great-grandson.
Stephen said: ‘My father was a pioneer on the south coast with an absolute belief that the customer is king. Whilst as a family we grieve, my father’s legacy very much lives on in the company name and the pioneering culture he instigated and oversaw with his trademark driving spirit.’
Mark Trapani, group managing director, added: ‘Geoff was a special man in so many ways.
‘He recognised talent and gave people opportunities to blossom.
‘He was a great inspirer who allowed you to get on with anything you were prepared to commit to. I for one will miss him enormously.’
Shawn Gates, group financial director, also paid tribute.
He said: ‘Three generations of my own family have served Snows.
‘It has been a rewarding experience working for Geoff and many families owe him a debt of gratitude for what has been achieved with the group over 55 years.’