Earlier this year, Director of Finance Linda Doherty celebrated her 50th birthday. In October 2015 another milestone was reached with 25 years’ service completed with Secure Engineering.
Linda was Clifford’s first official employee in 1990, although she had been working for the company since its inception in 1988 on a casual basis.
In the early days of Secure Engineering, the office was located in a farmhouse reception room, with a large roaring fire in the winter and chickens running round the yard. 25 years on, chickens are still roaming free, as our current office is situated on a working farm with vineyards.
As the only employee, Linda’s role was particularly varied and included being receptionist, accountant, warehouse manager, office manager and HR manager, to name a few! Engineering duties were included, from working on site to taking the photocopier apart when it failed.
Linda expands on her highlights and memories from the last 25 years:
* Our first real office, which was a ‘one room shoe box’ in Maidstone.
* Taking on our first engineer (my brother-in-law) in 1990 and first salesman in 1991 – my friend’s partner.
* Becoming a shareholder in 1995 – I have a lot to thank my Vauxhall Nova for, as the sale of it bought my shares!
* Attending my first security show – IFSEC in 1995, and being one of the few females around the show representing their company. Scary but eye-opening.
* Taking part in the Open University’s 10th Anniversary of Small Business Survey at Cambridge and recently taking part in their 30th Anniversary survey.
* Becoming a Director of Finance in 2000 – that Nova still paying ‘dividends’!
* Moving to Friday Street Barn, our current location in 2000.
* Being interviewed by the Daily Mail in 2005 for a business article, and having it printed in the Sunday Business section.
* Being nominated for Installer of the Year in 2007. Spending a small fortune on hotel rooms in London, tables at the function and other expenses only to be pipped at the post – still a good learning curve!
* Achieving ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Excellence in People’ Awards and winning ‘Employer of the Year’ at the Kent Business Awards in 2009.
* Meeting Simon, Mark and James from the University of Kent in 2007; the start of an enduring partnership between education and business, which led to taking part in the BIG Journey in 2011 at Kent Business School. This is the nearest I got to attending University and I’m still there – they just won’t leave me alone!
* Reaching the 25th Anniversary of Secure Engineering in 2013; a great achievement.
* Seeing our name on CCTV cameras all around the county of Kent – and feeling proud that the Secure Engineering team has worked on them all.