A Yorkshire hygiene company has appointed a new CEO to help it “open doors” to customers around the world.
Brian Waligora, a former senior manager with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, has joined Leeds-based Surfaceskins, which has created a revolutionary antibacterial door pushpad, to drive it commercially.
Specifically designed to eliminate cross-contamination within hospitals, Surfaceskins is the brainchild of two industrial engineers and scientists at NIRI (Nonwovens Innovation and Research Institute), a University of Leeds spin out company.
By replacing traditional doorplates, Surfaceskins act as dispensers that, once pressed, work in seconds to reduce bacteria levels by over 90 per cent.
Surfaceskins work in conjunction with existing hand-gel dispensers and hand-washing, by not only eliminating doors as an area of contamination, but also promoting better hand hygiene compliance giving a boost to infection control measures.
After a series of laboratory trials supporting the efficacy of Surfaceskins as well as several in situ trials at schools and hospitals in the North of England, Surfaceskins has already secured worldwide pre-sales orders of more than £2.5m in Europe, The Middle East, Asia, Australasia and recently, Africa.
Mr Waligora said: “I had left Enterprise after 25 years and was looking for my next venture, when a friend asked if I would like to accompany him to an investment pitch.
“Surfaceskins was the idea being pitched and I quickly realised that I wanted in. I come from a family of doctors and hand hygiene was drummed into me from a very early age.
“We continue to scale our production output to keep pace with the incredible interest in the product and my focus is on opening doors to new markets not just at home, but across the world.
“Whilst Surfaceskins was designed with hospitals in mind, it is tailor-made for a host of other end users, including fast-food chains, restaurants, schools, care homes and cruise ships. Its potential is simply vast.”