Its with a heavy heart that I write this but at the same time I feel an enormous sense of pride and responsibility which leads me to put pen to paper (in the electronic sense anyway).
I remember vividly a young lady turning up on our doorstep in the office before last. This was almost ten years ago. She asked if we had any jobs at the time. We didn't. There was something however that compelled me to have a chat with her. We went through into our meeting room in our Queen Street office and talked about the ecommerce site she had been helping to manage and digitally market. She was a confident young lady who really knew her apples. I was impressed. In fact I was so impressed I went to James and told him I needed him to meet her. He came through and we all chatted for the next hour or so. We were both so blown away that we created a new role there and then and offered her a job. That young lady was Kristen Sousa.
They say that some of your best hires come from these 'fated' opportunities and I believe thats what happened to us that day. There are few days where Kris isn't the last to leave the office. Before I had the responsibility of kids, her and I would often still be working gone 8pm, developing Optix and working out how to take it to the next level. She's been a rock I've always relied upon.
Unfortunately times change and people need new challenges and Kristen is no different. So the time has come for Kristen to move on. Those of you who know her will know that she hails from Bermuda and having spent over ten years in the UK, she is considering a return to the isles to be with her family. A short break is needed first but its likely that you'll still see and possibly hear from her still as its difficult to say goodbye quickly when you've worked together with someone for so long. Although Kris is actually leaving the business in August and is off to Cuba and then Europe for a bit, we're remaining very close and she will no doubt be around for a bit longer when she comes back even if its on a part time basis.
I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to a special person for both Optix and me personally. Kristen and I have worked side by side for a very long time now and I often think of our relationship more like one of a close sibling. She's been an integral part of our team and development and will be sorely missed. She'll tell you herself that all my best ideas are actually hers. She seeds them in my mind and happily sits back quietly while I tell everyone I actually came up with them. She's probably not far wrong. She actually told me about Twitter 🙂
There will always be open arms for you in our office Kris whatever you choose to do next. Please don't be a stranger. If you go on to work for someone else then they will be very lucky to have you. If you work for yourself then I'll look to join forces and collaborate where possible as I know that whatever you do you'll put 150% into. Good luck.