Meet the Team

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  • Clifford Corne
  • Linda Doherty
  • Sue Davis
  • Chris Owen
  • James Thompson
  • Andy Hubbard
  • Harry Halfacre
  • Chris Francis
  • Ryan Atkins
  • Ryan May
  • Sam German

Clifford CorneMANAGING DIRECTOR – CLIFFORD CORNE

What’s your career history?

Four years Electronic Engineering apprenticeship with the Ministry of Defence, then four years with the MoD quality control testing electronic equipment. I then worked for seven years with Ford Electronics as a Service Engineer, and later an Engineering Manager, working on industrial CCTV systems. Then in 1988 I set up the company Secure Engineering – now in its 27th year.

What are your interests outside work?

Looking forward to going back to work. Just kidding! I like anything that is well engineered and built to last, or built to a high performance specification, such as aircraft engineering and vintage vehicles. I like the internal combustion engine and steam power. I enjoy good food and good restaurants; I like fine wines and damn good whiskies. I like history, historic buildings and the countryside. I enjoy listening to vinyl recordings played on vintage hi-fidelity equipment.

What is your earliest memory of the company?

I once got up at 3.15 am to start work – oh sorry… Repairing CCTV cameras in my home workshop, getting our first order from Thames Water in 1988, and getting a £25,000 cheque in the post for a job in the Woolwich Arsenal in 1989.

Any funny stories?

About 25 years ago I installed a covert CCTV system with time-lapse VCR to monitor and record activities at a golf ball dispensing machine at a golf driving range. The job was discreetly carried out between midnight and 5am. The owner of the driving range – a very straight talking gentleman with a brass neck and colourful language, wanted to find out which of his customers was tampering with the machine to get the balls out without paying. After a few days had passed, the owner of the driving range phoned, demanding that I come and take the system out as it did not show him anything and I was ‘conning him to spend his money’. Apparently he had taken a look at the tape playback and couldn’t see any of his customers interfering with the machine, but the takings from the machine didn’t match with the number of balls dispensed.

I arrived on site, got a very frosty reception from the owner and was doing my best to convince him that the system has been sold in good faith. Whilst I was talking with the owner my colleague continued to look through the tape to see if he could find some explanation. We got a still image up on the screen. ‘Who is that?’ I asked. The owner replied ‘that’s my manager. He’s worked with me since he was a boy. It’s not him, stop wasting my time and take it all back out, I’m not paying for it.’ We then did frame-advance one still at a time, and saw the manager poke a pencil into the machine, (which dispensed balls immediately without putting any money in) give the balls to a waiting customer and put the payment in his own pocket. We watched him repeat the process with each of the next 15 customers that came to the machine, pocketing around £60. The owner of the driving range duly wrote out a cheque for the system there and then, and walked off to ‘speak to his ex-manager’ – I swear I could hear him as I was driving off down the A3.

What’s the best piece of advice that you have for a wannabe engineer?

Pay attention to the job you are doing, think outside the box to solve problems, be aware of the environment you are working in, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance – it will gain you respect.

What’s the future for Secure Engineering?

The future is ‘More Secure’. We have had a very busy 25 years so far and now with investment in new systems of work and investments with new customers, plus our new Advanced Technology Centre, it looks like we are going to be somewhat busier for the next 25 years. The Directors have spent three years with Kent Business School at the University of Kent working through the Business Improvement and Growth course known as ‘The BIG Journey’. This is a ground breaking course which teaches the 10 most effective characteristics that the highest performing businesses have in common. With all of these characteristics firmly anchored to Secure Engineering and the confirmation that we are leaders in customer satisfaction, the future for Secure is Most Secure.

Linda DohertyDIRECTOR OF FINANCE – LINDA DOHERTY

What’s your career history?

I did a business studies course in central London when I left school with a view to going into retail management. I did end up doing this for a few years at Sainsbury’s – again in London. I then came back to sunny Kent and had a few different jobs before officially joining Clifford in 1990 at Secure Engineering. (I think my mum got fed up with me running up her phone bill when I was placing orders for the business when we started in 1988!)

I had a variety of roles in the early days, from Assistant Engineer on site visits to chief loo cleaner and entertainments manager! Eventually I settled for my current role as Director of Finance. I knew from early on I would have this role, as growing up I had a Post Office game complete with Bank of Linda notes and coins! My true passion is buying which I understand I have a bit of a reputation for in the Security industry. It seems this was also in the family genes as my uncle, my cousin and my sister are or have at some point worked in Procurement.

What are your interests outside work?

Secure Engineering has taken up quite a lot of spare time over the years, but I do like the odd holiday, and the more obscure the better – although Uruguay in the middle of their winter was a bit of mistake. The scariest moment was seeing the drug dealers in Trinidad openly dealing in the back streets, although landing at JFK airport which had closed due to a storm wasn’t too much fun either. The funniest holiday moment was the look on a man’s face when he was being beckoned to by the ladies in the shop windows in Amsterdam.

Hand in hand with the holidays goes photography, for which I seem to be somewhat overzealous – why take one photo when you can take four of the same thing? I blame the genes again as many members of my family have the same affliction! Other than that it’s the usual eating and drinking at nice pubs – not always fancy – the best food can be fresh fish and chips at Dungeness. I like making cocktails – my speciality is pineapple Tequila; fresh pineapple soaked in tequila for a week has some interesting side effects!

What is your earliest memory of the company?

Clifford’s first mobile phone in 1988. It was the size of a breeze block and he carried it in a Tesco carrier bag as he was so embarrassed to have a mobile – only the ‘yuppies’ had them in those days. Another memory is buying our first company vehicle from Jessops for £1. We leased our Vauxhall Astra Estate and I thought they were kidding when they said we had to pay them £1 to transfer ownership to us.

What’s your favourite thing about Secure Engineering?

I know everyone else has already said this but it’s true, we do have a really good, friendly team and it is a like a family. We have a great office to work out of, in the Kent countryside. The views of the Weald are stunning, especially at sundown.

What’s the future for Secure Engineering?

We are currently working on expanding our sales force and finding opportunities in new sectors of industry. We are looking to do more management training with Kent Business School so that our team are equipped to move the business forward. We are still learning ourselves, and continue to collaborate with educational establishments; the value chain is something we are passionate about for the good of all our customers and suppliers and staff.

SueOPERATIONS MANAGER- SUE DAVIS

How long have you been with Secure Engineering?

Gosh! I’ve been here 17 years – my how time flies.

What is your earliest memory of working here?

The humour!

What are your interests outside of work?

Food, I enjoy feeding people!

I live by the coast and I enjoy spending time walking, swimming (in warmer weather), reading & picnicking by the sea. If I haven’t seen the sea for a couple of days I get withdrawal symptoms.

Spending time with friends and family (which usually involves food of some description!) My family are spread far and wide, so spending time with them can involve a short 6hr drive to Wales, the odd flight to Canada or even New Zealand (hopefully next year!)

I do like to travel whether in the UK or abroad; I love to see variations of everyday life.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I’d travel in comfort – first class everywhere!

All the usual things like making sure the people around me are sorted and comfortable. Then I’d like to think I would do something worthwhile that would really make a difference somewhere, like a disaster relief fund, building a well or supporting local charities effectively. I’d like it to be a considered choice at the time… so I’d probably take a long holiday whilst I thought about it (first class of course!)

What’s your favourite thing about working at Secure?

The people, Secure has a friendly & relaxed feel about it. My role is varied and challenging at times but we are a supportive team, so I never feel on my own.

Chris OwenSYSTEMS DESIGN MANAGER – CHRIS OWEN

How long have you worked at Secure Engineering?

14 years as of April 2015.

What’s your career history?

I worked for nine years at a national electrical wholesaler. The processes of Account Management and developing new business  gave me my first introduction to Secure Engineering, as one of my customers. Mr Corne was keen for me to join his team and I started at Secure in 2001.

What are your interests outside work?

A lot of my time is spent with my family. I’m usually ferrying them around to football, ballet, kickboxing, karate and drama lessons!  Or relearning trigonometry, making pinhole cameras etc. I’ve been a life-long ‘armchair’ watcher of football. I used to collect football stickers, and the first full team I completed in my 1977 book was Nottingham Forest, which coincided with the year Forest won the First Division (now known as the Premier League).

What would be your dream site to design a security system for?

Following on from the last answer, it would be designing a CCTV system for Nottingham Forest’s home ground. The advancement of IP and megapixel cameras has lead to technology such as the Dallmeier Panomera camera – ideal for providing detailed coverage of large sections of the crowd – of which there are regularly over 25,000!

What’s your favourite thing about working at Secure?

We are an independent Systems Integrator; I have support from the Directors to design the best solution for each identified requirement. There are no product-based agendas, hidden partnerships or financial incentives to bias us to choose any particular product. We simply look for quality, and the best value for the client.

Engineering Manager - James ThompsonJames ThompsonENGINEERING MANAGER – JAMES THOMPSON

It’s said that you were Secure’s first ‘apprentice’! How long have you worked for Secure Engineering?

I started in 1997, age 16. Left in 2008, and came back in 2009.

What is your earliest memory of working here?

A very small office compared to now and vans getting parking fines for parking outside when loading. Also doing lots of repetitive maintenance on railway stations!

Any funny stories?

A guy dodging a ticket inspector at a train station jumped over a wall that he shouldn’t have. He was wearing a light linen suit. When he had climbed the wall and looked up at the camera he was covered in thick black anti-climb paint that we had been asked to put on the top of the wall.

Do you have a family?

I’m married with two daughters; Olivia and Beatrice.

What are your interests outside of work?

Very different than 10 years ago… nowadays any types of home improvement shall we say! (A case of having to!)

What’s the best piece of advice that you have for a wannabe engineer?

Turn up on time, keep keen and keep at it!

Project Manager - Andy HubbardPROJECT MANAGER – ANDY HUBBARD

How long have you been with Secure Engineering?

I started in January 2011.

How did you become part of Secure Engineering?

Secure’s Engineering Manager James and I have been friends since school. James noticed that there was an opening for an experienced Engineer here, so he suggested I should apply.

What do you like most about working here?

The friendly helpful nature and atmosphere, it’s a very nice company to work for.

What’s your career history?

I’ve spent 16 years in total in the industry of security, CCTV, fire, alarms and access control. I attended an ITEC electronics college after leaving school. I then got an apprenticeship with Wright Fire and Security doing alarms, CCTV, access control etc. They were bought out by Initial Electronic Security in 2004. I worked for them for about 18 months. I then worked for Sygma Security for about five years as a Project Engineer and then a Project Manager, before moving to Secure Engineering.

Do you have a family?

A wife and a young son.

What are your interests outside work?

I like golf when I get a chance to play it, IT, building computers and that sort of thing, gadgets and electronics.

HARRY HALFACREHARRY HALFACREENGINEER – HARRY HALFACRE

How long have you been with Secure Engineering?

I started in October 2013.

What’s your career history?

I joined the Corps of Royal Engineers at 18 and trained as a bricklayer. I achieved the rank of Lance Corporal, and stayed in the army for 10 years, with various postings and tours. Now it’s time for a new adventure with Secure!

Who have you worked with at Secure, and what sort of work have you been doing so far?

I’ve pretty much got to work with everyone as it’s been a busy period, this also means I’ve managed to get my hand in at both maintenance and installation.

What do you like most about working here?

My favourite thing is that every day is different, there’s always something to do and keep busy; never a dull moment.

What are your interests outside work?

Digital photography, rock climbing and skiing.

Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?

I use both Twitter and Facebook but leave Twitter for celebrity gossip and Facebook for the social things.

Chris Francis CCTV engineerChris Francis CCTVENGINEER – CHRIS FRANCIS

How long have you been with Secure Engineering?

I joined Secure Engineering in December 2014 as a security systems Engineer.

What’s your career history?

I was in the Army for 24 years, progressing to the rank of Colour Sergeant. I specialised in Covert and Overt Technical and Tactical Surveillance and Telecommunications, which included UHF, VHF, HF and Satellite Communications. I then trained to become an electrician, before moving into fire alarm installation, and then finally to Secure Engineering.

What do you like most about working here?

I like everything really, it’s all great! There’s a good team environment, good people, and the work is different every day.

Who have you worked with at Secure, and what sort of work have you been doing so far?

I’ve worked with all of the Engineers in the time that I’ve been here. I’ve worked on installation, including Analogue and IP CCTV, and intruder alarms, plus maintenance and repair of security systems.

What are your interests outside work?

Shopping, DIY, gardening; all the usual things! I enjoy spending time with my family; my kids are grown up now, so my spare time often involves visiting them.

Ryan Atkins trainee CCTV engineerTRAINEE ENGINEER – RYAN ATKINS

How long have you been with Secure Engineering?

I joined Secure in February 2015 as a Trainee Engineer.

What’s your career history?

I left school at the age of 18 and joined a Building Controls Company, helping to design and produce their CAD Drawings. I then joined a Fibre Optic Lighting company in March 2013 where I was also producing CAD Drawings, as well as doing installation and maintenance. I moved from there to Secure Engineering.

What do you like most about working here?

My favourite thing about Secure Engineering is the variety of work I have been involved in. Every day brings a different challenge.

Who have you worked with at Secure, and what sort of work have you been doing so far?

I have worked with everyone in the Engineering department and been involved in both installation and maintenance.

What aspect of electronic security are you hoping to learn more about?

I’m hoping to learn more about the software side of CCTV and Security systems.

What are your interests outside work?

My interests outside of work involve football, Motorsport and cars. I’m a huge Chelsea FC supporter, I follow Formula 1 and am a big fan of Volkswagens, both old and modern.

Ryan MaySALES & ADMIN CO-ORDINATOR – RYAN MAY

How long have you worked at Secure Engineering?

I started in March 2016 by accident !

What’s your career history?

My very first job was working in Argos Extra as a Christmas temp. I then had a job at the Maidstone Leisure Centre for 6 ½ years. I met some amazing people there, in fact one of which has just asked me to be Godfather to his daughter!
From there I went on and helped out a bit doing stage lighting and few other odd jobs here and there until I eventually found my way to Secure Engineering.

What drew your attention to a career with Secure Engineering ?

I was going for an interview next door at the call centre and was driving around for ages but couldn’t seem to find where to go. I walked towards Secure Engineering to seek directions and as I entered the building I was greeted by two friendly people and asked them whereabouts the call centre was located. We chatted for quite a while and seemed to get on really well. It was only then I realized I was speaking to the Directors for the company, Clifford Corne (Managing Director) & Linda Doherty (Director of Finance). They must have liked me as the next I knew they were suggesting I popped back after my interview over the road with my CV ! I said goodbye and went to have my interview at the call centre, after which I went home and picked up my CV to hand in at Secure Engineering. During the time it took to do that I had received a call from the call centre offering me the job. What a dilemma ! I took my CV into Secure Engineering, an interview followed and by the end of the week a job offer was in place. Without a shadow of a doubt I said yes and haven’t looked back since.

What do you like most about working here?

It’s friendly atmosphere and amazing staff. Everybody gets along so well, it’s nice to work in a place where not just your colleagues but also the Directors are always there to help you progress.

What are your interests outside work?

I absolutely love music, so in my spare time I like to write and produce music.

Sam GermanTRAINEE ENGINEER – SAM GERMAN

How long have you worked at Secure Engineering?

I Joined Secure Engineering in May 2016, as a Trainee Engineer.

What’s your career history?

When I left school at the age of 16, I started work in a leisure club gym, as a gym instructor. I worked there for 2 years and then I moved on to a Re- Pointing company where I stayed for nearly 3 years, and from there I moved to Secure Engineering.

What do you like most about working here?

I really like being part of such a great team at Secure Engineering and I also enjoy the variety of work that we get involved in.

Who have you worked with at Secure, and what sort of work have you been doing so far?

I have worked with all the engineers here at Secure Engineering, and have been involved in a range of activities ranging from installation to maintenance of both CCTV and Security Alarm Systems.

What aspect of electronic security are you hoping to learn more about?

I am hoping to learn more about programming and software side of both CCTV and Alarm Systems, and am also interested in whats new in this industry.

What are your interests outside work?

My interests outside of work are motorcycle racing, mainly Speedway and also football. They take up most of my spare time, either playing football or watching Chelsea FC, and also either riding motorcycles or working on them.

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