After 22 years at Mila, Dawn Brentegani is someone who really cares about the company. Returning to work after having her first two children, Mila fired her ambition and now she’s even studying for extra qualifications in her spare time.
It’s All About You
Where were you born, and which part of the country do you currently live?
“I was born in Northampton but I’ve always lived in Daventry, very near to where Mila is based.”
Your education and the subject or activity in which you excelled?
“Although I’m already qualified by experience, I’m currently studying for my Accounting Technician (AAT) qualification in my spare time because I constantly want to get better at what I do. I left school after achieving my O’Levels and have done various accounting exams along my way, but I’m very much a believer that it’s never too late to learn.”
Your favourite sports or interests?
“Dog walking isn’t a sport but if it was I’d be a world champion. I’ve got two adorable Jack Russells and I walk them every day.”
Your biggest regret in life?
“Not pushing myself early on in my career. I was never really sure which career path to take before I had my three children. In the last 22 years though, Mila have encouraged me to develop in my role and training, development and hard work have helped me to get to where I am today.”
Someone or something that inspires you?
“At work, it’s definitely Richard Gyde. He’s been at Mila for 35 years and he’s the person here who still makes Mila feel like a family. He really cares about this business and about making Mila a company which does things the right way and he somehow manages to get everyone else here to care as well.
Outside of work, it’s my wonderful Dad. He’s 78 now and lost the majority of his sight a few years ago but he’s shown me that with hard work and determination you can always achieve your goals. He’s already planning his second skydive for his 80th birthday, which is absolutely typical of him.”
The temptation you can’t resist?
“Chocolate, wine, and fast cars (but not all at the same time!)”
When and how you joined this industry?
“I joined Mila as a receptionist on the 3rd of May 1994. I was returning to work after having my two older children – little did I know I’d still be here 22 years later! Working on reception, I got to know all about the business and when the opportunity came to work in customer services a couple of years later, I jumped at the chance. I was ambitious though and I progressed from there to purchase ledger clerk, then purchase ledger controller and eventually to finance manager in 2013.”
The job you do in 25 words?
“I look after cash management for the business and do everything from VAT and paying suppliers to preparing forecasts and reports for our board.”
Your greatest achievement?
“I’m very proud of how far I’ve progressed in my career. I look after finance for our sister company Mila Maintenance as well as Mila UK, and I was one of a small team selected to become ‘super users’ during the implementation of our new IT system recently. My greatest achievement though would definitely be my three children and my two grandchildren. I said that Mila feels like a family and that’s even more true for me because my daughter Ami now works here in the Finance Department as well.”
The mistake you’d like to correct?
“Like lots of people, I’d like to get a better work/life balance. I genuinely love my job but I know I can be guilty of working too many hours at times so I’m trying to address that.”
The talent you would like to enhance?
“It’s definitely not a talent but I’d like to be a better cyclist. As you can imagine, cycling is very high profile here at Mila after all of Richard Gyde’s charity rides and I’m thinking of joining the new cycle to work scheme to get fit and hopefully do my bit for the planet.”
…and your future
What you would like to do if you weren’t in this industry?
“After 22 years, I really can’t picture myself in any other company or in any other industry.”
A particular ambition?
“I’d like to grow further in this role and obviously get that AAT qualification.”
The way you want to be remembered?
“Mila really matters to me so I’d like to be thought of as someone who always worked hard, did a good job and had the interests of Mila at heart.”