In Profile – Peter Davidson

In the July edition of Fuel Oil News magazine, we chatted with Peter Davidson, executive director of the Tank Storage Association, to find out more about the person behind the TSA – from fond memories of his father and his beginnings as an apprentice, to his love of four-legged friends.

Give your career history in 25 words or fewer.
Apprentice, automation engineer, regulatory specialist, safety manager and, since 2016, executive director of the TSA.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Informal. Honest. Detailed.
What were your childhood / early ambitions?
To follow in my dad’s footsteps to be an engineer. He started his career with the RAF as an electronics engineer – I still have many of his old exercise books (his writing was so tiny and neat) and also his slide rule, though I don’t have a clue how to use it!
Describe your dream job (if you weren’t doing this?).
Working for a dog rescue charity – I have a real passion for animals of all kinds, but especially dogs – I cannot remember a time when I didn’t have dogs in my life. To give something back to these amazing, loyal and talented creatures would be perfect, though I would probably want to take all the strays home!
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Everyone within a business is important and should be treated with the same courtesy. Everyone has a view and important points to make, and we should never be dismissive.
Share your top tips for business success.
Attention to detail but try not to overcomplicate what does not need to be complicated. We have an amazing capacity to make things more difficult than they need to be. Not everyone is an expert – and that should be borne in mind when communicating.
Also, be polite and respond to people in a timely manner.
What’s your most recent business achievement of note?
Working with the fantastic secretariat at the TSA to build a modern, professional and well- respected organisation, whilst adhering to our core values of integrity and trust, representation, excellence, improvement and innovation, and teamwork.
Tell us your greatest fear.
Policy makers not listening to all those involved when planning and executing the energy transition. All stakeholders in the energy supply chain have a critical role to play in achieving the Government’s ambitions for reducing carbon emissions. Government needs to ensure it doesn’t just listen to those who shout loudest.
Which is most important – ambition or talent?
Talent – do what you do best and do it well.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The variety – one moment can be spent discussing secondary containment measures in tank farms, and the next discussing a response to a government consultation or call for evidence for a select committee’s inquiry. This also means I get to work with some incredibly knowledgeable people and learn something new every day.
Which is the quality that you most admire?
Honesty, integrity and openness.
What are you most likely to say?
What do you think?
What are you least likely to say?
No, that’s wrong.
Describe your perfect day
A good cup of coffee, a long walk with my wife and the dogs in the sunshine, a relaxed, funny and chilled afternoon and evening eating and drinking with friends.
Do you have a favourite sports team?
Mercedes Formula One Team – Lewis Hamilton is a local hero where I live!
What’s the biggest challenge of our time?
Climate change – we need to act quickly, but proportionately.
Cheese or chocolate?
Share your greatest personal achievement
From a humble and shy beginning as an apprentice, developing to become part of an amazing trade association.
What’s your pet hate or biggest irritant?
People who do not care about, or think of, the impact the decisions they make have on others – whether in business or in their personal lives. If we all took a moment just to think “what is the right thing to do?” it would be a better world.
If you were elected to government what would be the first law you’d press for?
Criminalising and instigating severe penalties to anyone that deliberately harms animals.
If your 20-year-old self saw you now, what would they think?
He’s not done bad, but will I really look like that in 30 years?!
What is number 1 on your bucket list?
To visit Japan.
What 3 things would you take to a desert island?
Books to read, a dog for companionship, and something to light a fire with!
Tell us something about you that people would be very surprised by
I have a keen interest in watches, and my collection is growing at an alarming rate!
Who would you most like to ask these questions of?
My dad, but sadly the opportunity is no longer here.
If you would like to speak with us for a future ‘In Profile’ – the monthly feature which gives readers the opportunity to ‘meet’ an industry figure and, hopefully, to discover another side to them beyond the well-known facts – or to suggest someone you’d like to see featured get in touch with us: