After more than 20 years in the industry, 16 of which with Merridale as contracts manager, Kathy Withers has decided to retire and enjoy some well-earned downtime.
Following a varied career that involved being a pub landlady and managing freemason premises, alongside raising two daughters, Kathy joined P M Services in 1991 as part of the accounts team. Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, she also worked at D Berry & Co, facilitating their computerisation of stock control, accounting and business management systems, and C H Jones (Keyfuels) within their accounts department.
In 2001 she joined Gilbarco (Marconi) as an administrative assistant to their commercial department which was initially based at Walsall and later moved to Witton, Birmingham. Here Kathy’s role involved meeting with customers to discuss their fuelling equipment, contractual maintenance and negotiating such arrangements, as well as the additional task of managing over £400k of maintenance agreements for commercial customers. She also worked in front-line support for the many trade shows that the commercial department took part in. Reporting to Stephen Hannan, Commercial Sales Manager, Kathy had secured significant growth within the commercial marketplace.
With the Witton office closing, Kathy left Gibarco alongside Stephen to join MIS Fuel Monitoring Ltd, now Merridale Ltd, to continue in a similar role. One of Kathy’s significant achievements during this period was the increase in revenue for contractual (Extended Warranty) business by some 700% between 2006 and 2021. Additional revenue was also generated by the promotion of routine inspection and calibration visits. During her time with Merridale, Kathy also spent a period of time assisting Frank Hare as treasurer of the PEIMF. However, one of Kathy’s favourite roles was to support Merridale at tradeshows such as The CV Show, both the Birmingham and Paignton Waste and Bus shows, and the Emergency Service shows.
Stephen Hannan said “Since 2001, Kathy and I have worked very closely as a mutually supportive team focussed on developing long-term business relationships, this being achieved by ensuring that we acted continuously in a professional manner. The practice ensured that the sales team not only recommended the best quality and most suitable products to our customers but ensured that customers understood and received the best possible attention.”
“Kathy has contributed throughout by always ensuring that our proposals to potential and existing customers are fully understandable and accurate. Her admirably high standards continued into the Merridale order processing system where Kathy ensured that the requirements of the customer were identified correctly to the various teams at Merridale.”
“It is sad that this working partnership has now come to an end.
Everyone at Merridale wishes Kathy all the very best in her retirement and thanks her for her service to the industry. She was a credit to the team and will be missed by colleagues and customers.”