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Interview with Siggi Gunn

Sigurður Gunnarsson is one of the first workers at Martak, he has worked at Martak since 1997. In this interview, we get to know Siggi and his career. He is one of our key personnel in customer relationships and roller manufacturing.

Photo of Siggi Gunn - Martak employee in Iceland

Sigurður: “I enjoy my job. I’ve always had a passion for fixing things and setting up machinery. The most fun part of my job would be talking to my clients and getting to know people worldwide in the seafood industry”.

Where are you from, and how did your career in machinery and the sea industry start? 

“I am from a small town in the north of Iceland called Ólafsfjörður, and you can say that my interest in machinery and the sea industry started in my early years on my father’s boat. My father had five sons, and all of us were interested in the boat, sailing, and especially the machine. We would be studying the engine and getting to know how it worked. I was around 12 years old when I started sailing with my father. My father was a fisherman, and all 5 of us brothers worked on a fishing ship for a while.

 

I was 16 years old when I started working on a fishing ship but soon realized that I could earn much more by studying engineering. After finishing school, I started working as an engineer on a fishing ship. My time on the sea was great, and I enjoyed sailing around Iceland and to UK and Germany. We fished around Iceland and then sailed to the UK and Germany to sell our fish. After 20 years of working on the sea, I got a job on the land. From 1987 until 1997, I worked on fish processing machines and maintenance. Then I joined Martak.”

What has been your primary job at Martak?

“Until 2016, I was the chief engineer in manufacturing our rollers for our machinery. Our rollers were manufactured in Iceland for our clients in Iceland, Greenland, and Canada. In 2016, Martak invested in new roller manufacturing technology and moved all its operations to Canada. It was a big project that I was happy to participate in. I trained the new crew and set up the manufacturing facility in Canada along with a few guys from the Icelandic team.

I’ve also had a close relationship with our clients, providing them the service they need and taking care of our customer’s relationships. My clients are the shrimp processing plants, and I take care of their maintenance, roller exchange, and anything else they might need.”

What is the most fun part of your job?

“I enjoy my job. I’ve always had a passion for fixing things and setting up machinery. The most fun part of my job would be talking to my clients and getting to know people worldwide in the seafood industry. Part of my job would be driving around Iceland to service our clients in the shrimp processing plants. We would go three or four guys to visit the processing plants to service their machines, change the rollers, and ensure everything is working perfectly. There have been some challenges over the years, and driving in the winter months in Iceland can be difficult, but I have great memories from these work trips. The shrimp in the ocean around Iceland has been steadily decreasing, and sadly our shrimp processing plants in Iceland have gone from 25 processing plants down to 5. The good news is that the shrimp is rising, and we have had some evidence about that. The last five shrimp processing plants standing are all very dear to me, and I hope to see a rise in the shrimp. I have an excellent relationship with the shrimp processing plants, and they call me when they need maintenance or new machinery, and Martak takes good care of them. My time with Martak has been great, and it has been difficult retiring, I know it will happen sooner than later, but I keep working because I enjoy it, and I appreciate my Martak family.”

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