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Jack is our Katie Blake Furniture Chairman. Jack started the business back in 1981 from his back bedroom in Shoeburyness Essex. He remembers not having enough money for the petrol to visit a customer in Birmingham and decided to drive all the way there and all the way back at 50 mph. You will not believe how little fuel you use if you do that it saved a fortune. A fortune at that time was a fiver. Now the company employs 30 people and many more in the Far East where Jack seems to spend most of his days. Jack should be retired now but he still enjoys his work and he has excellent staff around him and the Company is going from strength to strength
We are pleased to announce that Steven has been promoted as Managing Director. Steven joined the Company five years ago after leaving Alexander Rose as an area representative and joining Glencrest and Katie Blake managing the East Anglia area as a Salesman. It was soon evident that Steve was a good catch for us as he increased business dramatically in that area. Since then he has gone on and two years ago become Sales Director under Jack Whiteley our Managing Director at that time. Jack is giving up his position as Managing Director and continuing as Chairman and Founder of the Glencrest Group of Companies. 2018 has seen an increase of 40% over last season which is incredible says Jack, I take my hat off to Steve who has done incredibly well and deserves his new Position Heading up the Company.
June has been with the Company over 30 years and there’s not a lot she doesn’t know about the business. She decided to retire 2 years ago and with her husband Alan went down to Spain. She enjoys Spain and says the weather is mostly beautiful and the cost of living much cheaper than the UK. We missed June who for 25 years handled the accounts single handily including Credit Control. I could see June was bored with nothing to do all day but read books and drink wine, terrible existence. So, I suggested she handle our Credit Control which with modern technology she can easily do from there. She is doing a great job and anyone overdue will hear her dulcet tones on the telephone and by email. Controlling money is very important as any business knows and for Companies like us having to pay the Far East before anything is shipped it makes cash flow very important. Welcome back June.
Natasha is about to have her second Baby and has just gone on maternity leave. Natasha is part of the Glencrest, Katie Blake family and we will miss her whilst shes gone. When she is here she looks after the stock using our bespoke software for both incoming and going out goods, it’s a big job and Natasha is good at it. Natasha has been with the company for over 10 years starting as a junior and now of course she’s a Mum and a Manager. Huury back Natasha we need and miss you.
Cory looks after our administration, including the accounts and credit control. She has lots of experience and does an excellent job dealing with customers and difficult staff on the odd day. She’s very bright and enjoys a challenge and that’s good because every day there’ something new. Great to work alongside Cory enjoys her job.
Neil looks after our UK Production of cushions and parasols. We still make 90% of our cushions in the UK so we can control the quality better. Cushions and Parasols is still a major part of our business and Neil has more than 15 people to manage at Wickford. Neil has been with the company over 20 years.
Adam is in control of cushion filling and production. He ensures that the fillings are up to specification and he also maintains the stock levels. Adam has been with the company for over 15 years.
Gedas is from Lithuania, and is a very hard working and smart young man. He has been with the company for over 6 years and looks after our parasol and parasol base stock. Given we sell over 100,000 parasols and bases every year he is a busy man. If you order Parasols Gedas will have been involved. Gedas also helps with cushion production.
Rachel is our Quality Controller in South China where she pushes very hard insisting that our standards are kept. As unusual position for a lady in China but we found Rachel during a visit some years ago and she has proved very successful.
Rosalind has been with the Company for some time now and is an important member of our staff. She does lots of different jobs the most important is looking after the importation of our containers and all the shipping that goes with it. This year has been a nightmare and her job has become a lot more complicated. Rosalind also helps with customer’s orders and deliveries out across the country from our warehouse. We often find Rosalind working late to catch up and she often comes in at the weekend working alongside Corry who we think is moving in.
Sue Cribbs works in our busy office supporting all stations. Sue is a Girl Friday and can take over any task. Her hobby is Marathon running and has achieved a great deal of success raising thousands for charity. Sue has a wealth of experience and is an important member in our team.
Amber will be at Solex hosting our stand. She is in charge of our stand visitor competitions
Fred is our Quality Controller in Ningbo. He is extremely vigilant, at one time he turned down over 40% of production in one of our Factories. That is now down to 5% which is excellent. Fred’s background is in engineering and he has learnt a lot over his 30 years in manufacturing. Good Quality Controllers are difficult to find in the Far East added to which many companies do not want the expense of a quality controller as it doesn’t make profit. It’s quite difficult to convince factory owners that the savings they make on returns and credit notes is soon covered by a good controller. Quality is a major part of our production as Katie Blake is considered to be one of the top brands in Europe.