Fleet News

The last word: Chas Ball

Chas Ball, chief executive, Carplus

What is your biggest achievement in your current role?
Establishing our partnership with the  Scottish Government in 2010.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Dave Williams (Leeds, deceased), a friend, systems trainer, life coach and innovator who helped me to work out my life ambitions.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I promote teamwork, create a relaxed environment and reward commitment and innovation.

What is your dream holiday?
Walking in Orkney. I fell in love with it when I lived there in the 1980s.
 
Who was the last person you received a text message from?
My wife Gill.

What is your favourite sitcom?
Miranda.

What is your favourite film?
Lost in Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanssen. It’s got a brilliant setting in Japan and gentle humour.

When was the last time you used any form of public transport?
Now. I am travelling from Euston to Manchester Piccadilly (Virgin Pendolino), and then to Huddersfield on TransPennine.

What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
I ran a book and magazine distribution business in the 1970s and we bought 10 vans that we should have leased. I learned the importance of maintaining a healthy cash flow.

If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?

A trip to the Falkland Islands where I spent a year as a volunteer teacher many years ago so I could go back to West Falkland and Pebble Island.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Funds to travel in Europe for the whole summer in 1968 and experience first-hand the impact of political upheaval.

Who was your childhood hero?
John Lennon for his music and willingness to confront hypocrisy.

What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister for the day?
Cease the moves to privatise and fragment the National Health Service.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Education is more than exams and qualifications. It is “a lifetime growing wiser”.

What is your favourite book?
Radio Romances by Garrison Keiller. It’s  funny, with great insight into the transition from newspapers through radio to television in small-town America.

What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
Curry (vegetarian) because we have such good choices in Leeds, Bradford and
Huddersfield.

What is your best childhood memory?
When I was 14 I went on a French exchange and survived a month speaking no English and having no home contact.

When did you last feel guilty about the environment?
I recently travelled from Glasgow one evening to Southampton with Flybe so I could work with a client in Dorset early the next day. Our policy is to travel in UK by rail apart from some exceptions (eg. work in the north of Scotland).

You are going to a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
Toothbrush, radio tuned to BBC World Service, writing materials and paper.

What has been the pivotal moment in your life?
Meeting Gill, my life partner, and getting married in 1999.

What is your least favourite food?
Meat.

What is the one object you couldn’t live without?
A portable radio.

If you could work in another profession what would it be?
Waste and recycling, where I worked in the 1990s.
 
Which superhero from comics would you most like to be and why?
Football legend Roy of the Rovers.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Buying expensive chocolates for my wife on the odd occasions I go on business trips abroad. Which I then eat.

What is your dream car?
Citroën DS19.

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