35 years and counting

This has been a big week for me at Mila because on Monday I celebrated 35 years with the business.

Obviously, I joined straight from school and I started at Mila on the 1st August 1981 which was a Saturday – my first job was painting the loos! You could definitely say I started at the bottom, but looking back, it’s been a wonderful experience.

People talk these days about ‘portfolio careers’ and I see lots of contemporaries in this industry moving from company to company as they build their careers, but I can genuinely say that I’ve never been tempted to leave Mila.

I’ve been MD for 16 years, but prior to that I was our sales director and in the very early days I worked in the warehouse, but there were only 8 of us here when I joined in 1981 so I’ve actually done most jobs at Mila during my time.

Obviously, Mila’s a very different business now to the one it was in the ‘80s but the essence of the company has never changed.  We still care more than anything about treating people in this industry in the way that we would want to be treated.  The fact that I’m able to lead a business which has a reputation for quality, service and above all integrity remains an enormous privilege.

I was really touched this week when Martin Wardhaugh, the Chief Executive of Arran Isle, Mila’s parent company, presented me with a card and some special gifts to mark my anniversary, and particularly when he talked about my passion, commitment and dedication.  After 35 years, I do still feel just as passionately about Mila as I ever did and I’m very excited about our plans for the years to come.

There’s a nice article in Windows Active this month all about Mila’s heritage and what it means to me and to lots of other people at Mila who have also been here for more than two and even three decades.  Click here and scroll through to page 106-107 to have a look – you’ll see me and a few of my colleagues looking very fresh faced indeed!


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