Vinny O’Dowd retires after 38 years with Bethell!

After 38 years with Bethell, Vinny O’Dowd will be retiring at the end of March following an extensive and celebrated career in the industry.

Vinny joined the industry straight from school as a Trainee Site Engineer working with Wimpey, one of the industry’s most renowned major construction companies of the time. He then joined Kilroe Building as a Site Manager in 1986 to further his career, eventually transferring to Bethell in 1991 when the Kilroe Group acquired them.

From the outset at Bethell, Vinny has been a key influential senior manager working from Contracts Manager to Operations Manager, Contracts Director, Estimating Director and then the role of Managing Director from 2010 to 2021. Throughout this time he has contributed towards countless infrastructure solutions whilst amassing extensive knowledge of innovation of safe working practices that he has continued to distribute within the Bethell team. This contribution to the industry was recognised by CECA North West with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023, underlining Vinny’s input over his nearly four-decade tenure.

Vinny played a lead role in launching Bethell’s renowned Apprenticeship Programme in 2004, providing over 200 employment opportunities to young people, and demonstrating a clear commitment to developing engineers for the future supporting strong social value ethics. After his tenure as Managing Director concluded, Vinny moved to a part-time Director role, where he provided key support to Bethell’s estimating and pre-construction function.

Being pivotal in moulding Bethell’s reputation as a leading civils provider in highly regulated environments such as airports, petrochemical, nuclear, private industry, highways and water utilities, Vinny led Bethell in securing a place on Manchester Aiport Group’s (MAG) Civil Engineering Framework and becoming a key partner in MAG’s £1bn Airport Transformation Programme.

Additionally, Vinny was heavily involved in Bethell securing a place on United Utilities’ Asset Maintenance Period (AMP7) Framework which will see Bethell delivering major projects up to the end of AMP8 in 2030, and hopefully beyond, having led a strong working relationship with UU since the early 1990s. Vinny has built and maintained Bethell’s reputation as a trusted delivery partner; successfully completing projects with numerous blue-chip clients such as INEOS Inovyn, Aldi, Storengy, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), and numerous educational establishments and NHS Foundation Trusts.

Group Chief Executive Tim Kilroe said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to have worked with Vinny for over 30 years. His loyalty, dedication, trustworthiness and hardworking ethics are a ‘10 out of 10’ on all counts and there is no doubt that in my opinion, he is one of the most talented individuals in the industry.”

His loyalty, dedication, trustworthiness and hardworking ethics are a ‘10 out of 10’ on all counts and there is no doubt that in my opinion, he is one of the most talented individuals in the industry.

Tim Kilroe, Chief Executive, Bethell Group

As Vinny embarks on a new chapter in his life, his departure will serve as a poignant reminder that true excellence extends far beyond the confines of achievements on paper: it lives on through the lasting legacy created, not only for the organisation but across the construction sector, providing innovative solutions. A legacy that will drive forward Bethell’s continuous growth as it continues to exceed customer expectations and deliver works in line with its core values, underpinned by the culture he established.

Thank you Vinny, from all of us at Bethell, with best wishes for all future endeavours!