A huge congratulations to Claire Jones who is the latest member of staff to join the Long Service Club having recently celebrated her 20th anniversary at OGL. Claire was presented with an Amazon eVoucher, engraved glass trophy and meal for two from Neil Morris on behalf of all the Directors.
Claire looks back on the last 20 years:
"It’s really hard to put into words (and remember) the past 20 years! All I can say is that from the moment I was interviewed by Debbie and Sharon I knew I wanted to be part of a company that supported ambition and women in the workplace and I’m very fortunate to have been given opportunities to work my way up to managing my own team. I have so many memories of spending time with Neil, Ashok, Jan, Lee and Debbie and you can’t help but soak up their enthusiasm and experience. I remember going to sign my first major deal with Neil to replace 2 servers at a customer who is still with us today (Plastics Plus), but even as a rookie, I remember he let me lead the negotiations and either sink or swim; to me at the time the figures we were talking were huge, I think about £50k, but the meeting went really well and I think I just about kept my head above water!
"As my role evolved from admin, system sales, account management to now managing the Software Account Management team, there have been a lot of changes, including having my 2 children during that time, who are now 16 and 12. I’ll never forget sitting next to Adrian James watching the shocking coverage of the planes going into the twin towers, or overcoming the financial crisis in 2008, where I remember Debbie giving a speech about ‘pulling together will get us through’: it did, and it still does to this day, even as we navigate our way around a global pandemic! Technology has changed so much since I started and has made us all much more efficient and connected; I used to drive around the country with printed maps on my passenger seat before the sat nav days, having to phone customers to direct me to their door! Julie Grey, Sue Bullock and I also used to compile, copy, print off instructions, fold and bundle 150 payroll disks in my car to take to the post office! Thankfully weather reporting is also more accurate; it might have avoided the time Matthew Walters and I were stuck in Birmingham at 4pm and finally made it home at 1am as a result of snow!
"The one constant at OGL though is the people. Reflecting back on 20 years, I was very fortunate to work with Andy Neilson, Bruce Watson and of course the incredibly perceptive Sam Fletcher who influenced many of my recruitment decisions. Some of you may not be aware that Sam Blaze and I used to work together at OGL many years ago before she returned again and I’m extremely proud of Georgie Jennings who was my first apprentice a few years ago and is now back in a Project Leader role for the P4 team. My leadership motto has always been ‘you’re only as good as your team’ and I’m extremely grateful of the wonderful team I have in Sam, Matt, James, Carl & Jemma, every day the gif's keep giving 😊 there have been days over the last year where we’ve had to pick each other up and keep soldiering on and it makes it all the better to have their support as well as the fantastic management and director backing too."