What does your role at LAKE involve?
My role is to support and oversee the whole of the company, so the work I do can range from strategic planning around the products and services that we offer, to working on a particular development, or supporting other members of the LAKE team as they work on specific projects or customer challenges. I still also do first-hand work with customers which I feel is very important as I enjoy being close to customers and being part of what we do on the front line. I like to be hands-on.
How long have you been with LAKE and what did you do before you joined?
I have been with LAKE for over 30 years, essentially since the beginning. Before that, when I first left school I joined a firm of chartered accountants, where I was employed as receptionist. After that, I worked as a management accountant and in various other finance roles including Financial Controller for a well-known manufacturer of domestic appliances.
What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
I feel very lucky because I enjoy most of what I do. The aspect that I enjoy the most is working with my colleagues. I also love providing a good service to our customers. There's something really rewarding about providing great service and helping customers deliver transformative projects, especially when the process to get to that point was challenging.
If you had to pick out three achievements or pieces of work that you're particularly proud of from your time at LAKE, what would they be?
The first achievement to list would be implementations in which I played a key role, especially those where the outcome was so positive that we still have a close relationship today, in many cases lasting more than twenty years. So much so that I have been invited to their events. Not corporate events, but personal ones. I think that speaks volumes about the relationship that was formed.
Another achievement that I feel proud of is our customer conferences. We always strive to deliver insightful content and give customers an amazing experience for the day.
I also consider the LAKE business and its status in the industry to be an achievement in itself, and one that I am very proud of. I'm so proud of what we have achieved from humble beginnings. We have faced many challenges along the way to make life interesting, but I feel really proud that we have built up a reputation for excellent customer service and innovation and that we can hold our heads up high and win business, even when competing with some of the best in the market.
What does your background, experience and knowledge mean for customers?
I'm a farmer's daughter, so I have grown up as part of a team and from my childhood. It was natural to just do any task that needed to be done. I learned so much from that as it helped me develop the ability to not need to be told what to do. I can just see what needs to be done a lot of the time.
This helped me in my first professional roles as I was always looking for things to do and ways to contribute, which led me to night school to do my exams to become an accountant. This background and these life experiences really benefit customers as I am always trying to do what needs to be done, as well as learning new things wherever possible.
What excites you most when you think about LAKE's future plans and the future of business systems in general?
What excites me is the fact that there is continuous change and I like to learn. Continuous improvement will always open up more opportunities. These last two years in particular have been really interesting. Things have moved so much quicker since the pandemic. It hasn't been easy but you don't get anything good without hard work. We have a chance now to go to another level and we are more than ready.
What do you do when you're not working?
I'm always busy. I don't find it easy to do nothing. I love making things. It doesn't matter what it is, I just love craft work. I've also been a voluntary dog walker for the RSPCA for 15 years. I've also done fund raising for them, selling homemade jams.
What is one item on your bucket list?
This is really difficult as I don't think I have anything really. I think my only thing is that I want to enjoy what I do and live a fulfilled life with no regrets.
What would your specialist Mastermind subject be?
I think I would choose to be tested on jam and chutney making!
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