Hello again, and – in my capacity of Evoca UK MD – for the last time.
Most of you already know that I’ve decided to call it a day and cash in my season ticket to the airport car park. After nine years of driving around the UK from our office in Bilston; flying across Europe to Head Office in Valbrembo and to oversee our Scandinavian operations, both my body and my common sense have been telling me for some time now that ‘enough is enough’.
It’s not that I haven’t loved the job, I have: it’s rather that time and tide wait for no man. Many of you will be aware that my wife Geraldine has had a fight on her hands with illness over the last four years or so. That’s the sort of scenario that makes you focus on what’s really important in life. It makes you realise that you can’t put a price, or even a salary, on the time you spend together.
We’ve got a hell of a project to take on, too: we’ve bought a house, actually a refurbishment project in deepest Shropshire, which will consume most of our energy for some months to come… So, you see, all things considered, it’s the right time to go.
I can almost here you saying, ‘thank God for that!’
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your business and for your friendship. When you bear in mind my time as AVA Chair to my tenure at N&W / Evoca, you’ll appreciate that I have a wealth of memories to take with me to the countryside. I’ll treasure them. For instance, I’ll never forget the humiliation of trying (and failing) to tie my bow-tie at a Burns’ Night do, with the laughter of the assembled great and good ringing in my ears and my face beetroot red…
One consolation is that I’m leaving you in good hands. My successor will be Hervé Donneaud. There’ll be a profile of him in the next Evoca Today newsletter. Meanwhile, rest assured that he’s bringing with him a wealth of knowledge, from many countries, about the Out Of Home drink and snacks businesses, as well as an intimate knowledge of our products.
So, until we meet again, it’s good-bye from me and thanks again: it’s been fun.