News: Ready For Retirement

After 40 years of working in the family business – 25 of those years as Managing Director, Barry Porter of Porters Home & Building Centre in Mackay (Qld) has retired.

Barry Porter retires after 40 years in his family hardware business

“I have achieved all of my business goals and the business is in the best shape it has ever been in during its 123-year history,” said Barry. Barry admitted that much has changed in the business since he began work as a humble hardware clerk in 1966. “My father believed we should start at the bottom and work up. On my first day, I was given my own pencil and a dark blue apron. In those days, Porters operated from the same Brisbane Street location but didn’t cater to a DIY market – it was purely trade business,” he said.

After a few years as a store clerk, Barry was promoted to the position of sales representative and in 1970 was charged with the responsibility of developing the company’s retail market. In 1973 he was appointed to the Board of Directors and in 1978, was appointed as Assistant General Manager working alongside his father. In 1981, upon his father’s retirement, he became the company’s Managing Director.

In addition to his business roles, Barry has played an important part in the local community, including life membership of Apex, Chairman of the fund raising committee for the Mackay Regional Theatre Fund which realized the Mackay Entertainment Centre in 1988, and most recently Chairman of the Shaping Mackay Revitalisation Board. Barry’s younger brothers, Gavan and Paul, have assumed joint managing director roles. Since Barry joined the company in 1966, the business has grown by a staggering multiple of 35 times and employs more than 260 staff.