Tributes, as we often say, is a family and, as such, we have an unusually low turnover of staff. This year, for various reasons, there have been more changes than usual to the Tributes Team.
In February we said ¡Buen viaje! to Sara Parilla and Aureli Panades as they travelled home to Spain after four years living and working in the UK. Covid restrictions meant that their goodbye party was online, but it was still great fun. Sara continues to work for our Customer Care team from Spain, supporting not only our Spanish and Portuguese customers, but with an impressive list of languages at her command, also customers in Germany and Austria and the UK! Sara and Aureli are both talented musicians and featured in our Tributes Band Christmas special last year. We were very sad to lose Aureli from our warehouse team but we are so glad still to keep closely in touch with them both. We have promised, one day, that we will all turn up to visit them in Spain as a special surprise – which we’re sure they will very much look forward to!
July saw us wave farewell to our lovely Catherine Hoare, as she embarked on her new life of retirement, following the example of her husband, our previous M.D. Steve Hoare, who retired in 2020. Between her lively grandchildren and many hobbies and interests, we think she is probably busier now than ever! Cath has been a much-loved member of our Customer Care team for over ten years and has had a very long connection with the company. She was very popular with our customers and she continues to be very much missed by us all.
In October we also said goodbye to Harvey Keffert, another much-loved member of our Customer Care team as he joined his expanding family photography business with his father and brother. Jason Keffert Studios has taken our beautiful product photos for many years so we are pleased we’ll still be seeing him from time to time for business, as well as at social events. You never really get to leave the Tributes family, after all! Harvey’s leaving party was one event this year when we could all get together to socialise so, although the reason for it was a sad one, it was very much a highlight of this year’s Tributes social calendar.
We were delighted to welcome Emily Fleming to our Accounts team in September this year, as Ian Campbell starts to wind down in his role as our book-keeper. Ian has been watching over our finances since the very beginnings of the company. Emily is assisting Chris Whippy who, in June this year, was appointed to the board of directors as Finance Director after completing his first year with Tributes as Financial Controller. Emily, like many of our team, is also a musician so we’re hoping we can recruit her into the Tributes Band. Look out for her in more of our music-based features in the future!
We also waved goodbye to Leah Hall from our warehouse team and Alex Bush, middle daughter of Richard and Ness, as she went back to Uni. Like sisters Tori and Ami, Alex has worked for Tributes at various times from an early age, helping out after school and in holidays and breaks from college and university. This year she was also instrumental in creating a wildlife habitat garden behind our workshop, which provided a relaxing place for the team to take breaks and eat lunch as well as composting their leftovers in a wormery!
In our Warehouse we welcomed Paul Martin, Emma Rendell and Charlie Cottenham as well as temporary staff members Mike, warehouse manager Ricky Saunders’s son Aidan, and Product Director Gavin Wood’s son Casey, who is now roughly the age Gavin was when he started working for Tributes way back in 2003! Paul has been invaluable in expanding our team in the frame workshop as they massively increased their production rate this year and also provides some on-the-ground IT support. Emma is proving to be a talented new addition to our laser engraving team in addition to her role in the warehouse.
We will soon be introducing more new appointees to our sales and customer teams as well as in our warehouse as we continue to grow and get busier.
We’re looking forward to another exciting year ahead in 2022 but with our fingers firmly crossed hoping that it will have slightly fewer challenges than the past couple of years!