Since WordPress apparently allows me the easy ability to show images in sets of 3 I’ll use it as a standard to tell you about myself.
I was born in South Africa, long before they used this flag though. I left at the age of 2 and first returned in the late 80s just before the end of apartheid. I have been back many times since and have enjoyed 2 awesome holidays. I grew up in Wales and therefore I am Welsh. That’s more of a geographic than a political statement but it does mean that I am not English and that Wales’ 2 recent grand slams (update in 2012, 3 recent grand slams! and updated again in 2014: 4 recent grand slams and again 5 recent grand slams!) have meant a lot to me. And finally my passport says that I am British which I am proud to accept. As a Brit I am often critical of my country but recognise that in matters of nationality you can’t pick just the good bits, it’s a package, and there are enough good bits about the UK that I am proud to be British.
However, and this deserves its own paragraph, I am a fervent remainer and have difficulty reconciling myself with the monstrous act of national self harm and international nihilism which is Brexit that I’m increasingly inclined to identifying as Welsh so that I don’t get associated with the excesses of English nationalism currently abroad.
I’ve enjoyed a varied career with several companies but I guess 3 stand out as giving me the opportunities and experience which shaped me and my later life.
I joined Shell straight from university (after my abortive PhD) where I worked at Shell Centre (in the downstream building which is now a block of flats) in an operational research group in the computer centre. I spent most of my 4 years there working on LNG projects using mainframe computers and mechanical terminals which were state of the art in those days. It’s a measure of how the world has changed that I remember we had a capital authorisation for £1000 to buy a new desk top calculator; that was 1970. It was Shell which introduced me to foreign travel and I spent two long periods in Japan supporting contract negotiations. After Shell I moved to Mobil Oil (now part of Exxon Mobil) with which I worked first in New York and then Indonesia.
In 1976 I persuaded Dow Chemical in Hong Kong to take me on. I worked there for 3 years travelling over most of Asia and Australia and New Zealand before relocating to Dow Europe in Switzerland where I spent 13 splendid years visiting just about every European country and moving from function to function before settling in marketing. I went about as far as I could with Dow before it became clear that I would have to move on again. I was head hunted by FMC to run its newly acquired flame retardants business in Trafford Park, Manchester. By contrast with my stay at Dow it was not a happy time and I was made redundant after just over 2 years.
Most people come out of redundancy better than when they went in and that was true of me. Linx Printing Technologies of St Ives near Cambridge offered me the position of Sales and Marketing Director and that gave me the chance to work for a much smaller company, to run a substantial department and to be a part of managing a global business. It was tremendous fun; I travelled widely and developed contacts in the world of industrial printing which have stayed with me ever since. After 4 years at Linx I moved to one of its arch competitors, Willett International, but 2 years later found myself on the receiving end of an acquisition and was made redundant again.
That was 2003 and since then I’ve held an interim management position in Spain (to which I have twice returned; now three times) and worked on my own for a year (i2i-management.com) before joining Qi3 in 2005. Coincidentally I was elected a County Councillor in the same year and the combination of the two jobs pays the bills and keeps of the streets.
and here’s a long overdue update ….
I was re-elected to the County Council in 2009 and I left Qi3 earlier this year to return to running my own business, i2i-management.com. I served a term as a non-executive director at Cambridgeshire Community Services, an NHS provider trust from 2009 to 2012. I am also a non-exec and part owner at Labfax, a small supplier of labels, labelling equipment and systems and at Gransden, exclusive distributor of Lock N’ Pop pallet stabilisation systems in the UK and Ireland.
and another one …
I was re-elected again in 2013. I no longer work for CCS and have split, on good terms, from both Labfax and Gransden. I am working with (not for) Milner Strategic Marketing (www.milnerltd.com) as director of its Cambridge office, I have a number of coaching clients and I have been Chair of Histon & Impington Parish Council (www.hisimp.net) since May. 2013.
and yet another one …
I made it 3 re-elections in a row in 2017 when I enjoyed a convincing result (the Cambridge News said that I ‘crushed’ the opposition). In the last 2 years I had been chair of the Health Com at CCC but unfortunately the Tories regained a majority and took this for one of their own. I stepped down as Chair of the parish council although I continue as Chair of the Finance Committee. I am still working a little but not too much and am trying to spend more time taking good photographs.
and another one …
I stood down from the County Council at the 2021 elections when I was pleased to see that my successor was elected with a bigger majority than I’d earned in 2017. I have continued as a parish councillor although I will step down from that role this year. I have been and still am a trustee of the Eastern Learning Alliance which is the latest evolution of what started as being a governor at Impington Village College in 2006 (strangely missing from the above narrative) but that will also come to an end this year. I continue to work a little, I am still doing my best to take better photographs and am optimistic that this year (it is 2022) I will be able to do a little more travelling as we, hopefully, emerge from the worst of Covid.