So the day has finally arrived.

Friday 21st March 2014 is the final day I shall spend with Richard Handscombe as my Head of Sales and Marketing or, in my words, The Boss.

I have been working for Richard and the MEETinLEEDS team for over 4 years now but I can remember my interview like it was only yesterday.

Trotting to the University of Leeds campus in my Sales Executive 4 inch heels, I took my seat in the interview waiting area in University House and calmed my nerves by remembering the interview advice granddad had given me earlier: “Stay calm sweetheart, and crack a few clean jokes if you can”.

Walking into the Cloberry room (where the interview took place), I remember taking one look at Mr Handscombe and thinking: “This guy is way too suave; I’ve got no chance here!”

However, somehow (probably down to granddads advice) Richard decided to give the girl from Castleford a chance and hired me!

Nat-Blog-for-28-03-2014Over the past 4 years Richard has not only put up with my strange childhood stories; my numerous house moves; my constant demands for a cup of tea; but he has also been my personal mentor and role model. To me, Richard displays all the qualities of not only a great manager but a great leader. The way in which he empowers and trusts each member of our small team is what pushes Matt, Lisa, Ryan, Harriet and I to perform the way we do – fantastically! He has created the MEETinLEEDS brand, a brand that sets itself apart from the rest by not being frightened to try new things or to think outside of the box. More importantly, Richard has developed a working culture where I do not only see my team members as colleagues but as great friends. To say the team will miss Richard is an understatement!

Just a few of the things I will miss about Mr Handscombe:

  1. Our in depth chats regarding Henry and Anne – the fact we share a mutual love of all things Tudor and spend at least 10 minutes every Monday morning discussing this
  2. The way he accepts that I make him cups of tea with suspicious looking floaters in
  3. The way he subtly lets me know when I have applied too much fake tan


To be honest, there’s nothing I won’t miss about Richard and I hope he’s ready for the home visits and numerous emails he will be receiving from me after today. He might be retiring but I still have course work that needs checking over! (I’m currently studying towards a degree in Business Management, something again that Richard encourages and supports me with!)

So there’s nothing much left to say apart from on behalf of me and the team, thank you Richard Handscombe, mainly just for being you.