Andy Wrigley, Sales Director set for retirement

28th September 2017

October 31st sees the end of an era for Warren with the retirement of our Sales Director, Andy Wrigley. Andy joined the company in May 1985 in a sales role and joined the board of Directors in January 2001. At the time Andy joined Warren had just relocated from West Drayton to the current Leicester base, although the company was to retain an office in the South. We sat Andy down with a coffee to talk us through his thoughts and feelings on the last 32 years of his working life.

Your greatest achievement?
Being at Warren for 32 years.    

The most challenging times?
Three come to mind really; the Chilean earthquake of 2010 when we had tremendous difficulty is obtaining stock from the mills affected. Another one was the demise of our largest account in 2005 with the subsequent losses we incurred, and I would have to include Brexit and the challenges we are currently facing. 

Your funniest memories?
In days gone by we played football matches organised by the Mayr-Melnhof Mill at their Eerbeek site in the Netherlands. On one such occasion we were given a tour of the mill prior to playing at a local pitch a short distance away. Not long in to the first half we all noticed an awful lot of smoke coming from the mill. There were some very anxious looks from the smokers in our team as they contemplated the cause of the blaze. Fortunately for them the cause was found to be an electrical fault and not their smoking activities, and I’m pleased to say there were no injuries (except on the pitch that day) and the mill survived relatively unscathed.  

The most significant changes you have seen?
The ever-changing role I.T. plays in all our working lives. I would have to say the advent of smart phones and certainly email have made a huge difference to our working lives. I used to come back from holiday to the odd note on my desk from the Boss but now I check my work emails daily when I’m away but I would rather do this than come back to my inbox full of things I need to deal with.

How you’ve handled the run up to retirement?
To avoid that massive change from full-time employment to nothing I reduced my hours earlier in the year and began a three day week. It felt strange not getting up for work on that first Monday but you just have to adjust your mind and body to the slower pace and the extra time you have to do everything. 

What immediate plans do you?
I want to enjoy having the time to catch up with friends. I am often at my partner’s at the weekend and this has meant less time to see mates but I will have more time now. I am a frequent gym user and I plan to continue with that too but I will have the flexibility of going during the daytime too.    

What long-term plans do you have?
I have an allotment, which isn’t something I ever thought I would have! I was never in to gardening but two older guys I know have allotments and when they heard of my retirement plans they decided to put my name down for an allotment and when a vacancy came up I thought why not? It’s been fantastic though; all the things I’m passionate about-fresh-air, exercise and tasty fresh produce. I enjoy cooking and to be able to pick vegetables and cook with them hours later has just been a joy.

I plan to contact a local hospice after having a leaflet put through my door and spotting an appeal for volunteer drivers. It will be nice to give something back. And who knows…I might even make plans to marry!

Do you anticipate having any difficulty in adjusting?
As the time approached I started to panic but I’ve got my head round it now and I think being able to reduce my hours was a big part of that.

What will you miss most?
The people. Without a doubt. The industry has changed hugely but it’s always been the people for me and I know I’m going to miss the interaction.  What I definitely won’t miss is the motorways and the traffic queues!

Will you be watching Warren from afar, and will you keeping in touch?
Yes-absolutely. I’ve made so many good friends along the way, I will definitely be popping in from time to time.

Do you have a message for your colleagues, customers and suppliers?
It’s been a wonderful journey…but like all good things, it has to come to an end. I would just like to wish every one of them happiness in life and success in business.

As well as Andy's retirement, we are also going to be waving goodbye to another colleague, our I.T. Director, Phil Richardson retires at the same time. 

And finally sentiments from our Chairman, Barry and FD, Anne – “Words cannot express the devotion and loyalty these two pillars of the company have given at all times, they have always been hard working and great fun to be with and to top it all have become lifelong friends. They will be sorely missed by everyone.”

 

  


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