We are delighted, excited and proud to announce this is our 30th Anniversary; we opened our doors on the 24th of March, 1993.
We plan to celebrate this milestone in various ways throughout the rest of 2023, but we wanted to begin by acknowledging the reason for our success over the last three decades – our people.
Businesses don’t survive, grow and thrive without good people, and Excel Vending is no exception; we’ve been blessed to have great people working in the business since 1993. Of course, there are too many to mention in a single post, so we thought we would start with those who have been the main contributors to our past success and those who have worked at Excel for over 15 years! Some have retired after long service, and sadly some have passed away, but all have played a significant part in our thirty-year history.
Mark Edwards, our much loved and well-respected Sales Manager, was with Excel from May 2002 until his sad and untimely death in February 2013. Mark was a team player who worked tirelessly to promote our brand, and many of the blue-chip customers he brought to the business are still with us today. We still miss Mark’s infectious personality and good humour in and around the office.
Likewise, Jim Martin was taken too soon. Jim was our Senior Accountant and worked in the business from April 2003 until he died suddenly in 2019. Jim played a big part in our success; his professionalism and diligence earned him the respect of everyone involved with the business.
Both Mark and Jim played pivotal roles in developing the Excel brand; they would love to have been part of our 30th Anniversary celebrations, just as much as we’d have loved to have them here with us. Our thanks go to both of them, and our thoughts remain with their respective family and loved ones. Their contributions will not be forgotten, and they are deeply missed.
Carol Williams Carol worked with Excel from July 2005 until retiring in November 2019. Although now enjoying her well-earned retirement, she was instrumental in implementing many of the procedures which help make us efficient today. Carol remains a dear friend, and her contribution to the company remains evident.
Nancy Armstrong was our cashier for 15 years before retiring in 2011. We knew our money was always safe in her capable hands. Back then, “cashless” was unheard of, and Nancy worked away getting all the coins ready for banking. Changed days indeed, as now, more than 80 % of our transactions are being collected by card payments. Like Carol, Nancy has remained a good friend.
Pat Veldon is also enjoying his well-earned retirement. Pat joined Excel Vending in 1995, just two years after we started trading, and he remained a loyal and trusted Engineer and team member until 2020. Pat loved his work and met every challenge enthusiastically, including building some of his own tools for the job. Pat witnessed the changes and technological advances in unattended retail over 25 years, which we’ll explore in a future post; for now, we thank Pat for his dedication and exceptional work.
Isabel Sloan is another retiree with a huge contribution. Isabel started working with us in May 2000 and retired in 2020. She worked as Operator, so many customers will recall her happy disposition when she frequently visited their premises.
James Stewart was another long-serving and much-appreciated team member. James started work with Excel in 2005, having worked his way up to Stores Manager. We wish James well and thank him for his 17 years of service and commitment to Excel Vending.
Our longest-standing member of staff is Peno Qureshi. She started at Excel Vending in December 1999. Now in her 24th year, Peno is known to most of our customers; she is our Hot Drinks Merchandiser and continues to work hard to ensure customers are fully appraised of the hot drink options. She is a popular team member and has become a fixture at Excel with her hard work and dedication.
For the past 16 years, since he joined us in November 2007, Iain Russell has worked hard in our Stores department. He’s one of those responsible for ensuring our Operators receive their orders daily. As you can imagine, Iain has seen many new products being launched and many being discontinued, something else we will explore in a future 30th-anniversary post!
Logistics Manager Fiona Thompson joined us in February 2007. Sixteen years on, Fiona ensures our installations of new machines run smoothly. Exceptionally well-organised, Fiona is well respected by customers and suppliers and is a valued team member. Maintaining installation schedules is more complicated than she makes it seem, and we appreciate all that Fiona does for us daily.
One year later, in 2008, we welcomed three new arrivals; in May, Tricia Connelly joined, and the following month Michelle Hamill came on board, and Darren Hall soon joined them. All three remain at Excel and make enormous contributions to our daily operations.
Tricia Connelly is our Operations Manager; she ensures things run smoothly, and she does it well. Tricia started as a route operator and quickly moved through the ranks to Team Leader, Operations Supervisor and now Operations Manager. She is fulfilling her potential and significantly supporting our continued success.
Michelle Hamill has also exceeded expectations and impresses us daily in her role as Service Coordinator. Having won several awards over the last 30 years for customer service excellence, it is clear how important it is to Excel. Our record for customer service is second to none, and Michelle plays an integral part in ensuring we deliver what we promise daily. Our customers enjoy dealing with Michelle, whose infectious laugh and positive outlook make her a real team player.
Darren Hall, Senior Engineer is another long-standing member of the team and an efficient engineer who has witnessed many changes in vending technology over the years; nonetheless, he manages to keep abreast of them and proactively manage his territory.
We wanted to celebrate these people first as we begin our 30th Anniversary year. All of them have played an enormous part in the business’s success, and their contributions have assisted us in reaching this momentous Anniversary.
Of course, many other team members ensure we continue to succeed, and they are equally valued for their ongoing contribution. We had to limit naming the individuals to over 15 years, or it would have been a very long blog!
We are fortunate that people who join Excel tend to stay – more than 70% of our current team have been with us for over five years, which is wonderful. John and I have always been fortunate to have a fantastic team around us, helping us meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.
The brilliant team at Excel Vending (throughout the decades) is the reason why our valued customers continue to renew their contracts year after year.