Unsung Hero

Stuart Davies - John F Hunt 

Stuart has been a part of our John F Hunt Power team for over 13 years and has always demonstrated exceptional levels of customer service, work ethics and, above all, commitment. And we think it’s just about time to give him public recognition for all his dedication.

As an Operations Director, Stuart manages team workloads to meet goals and deadlines, no matter how hard or tight they are, and gives his best, every day, to make sure that we, as a company, always deliver the highest levels of service. But his substantive contribution to John F Hunt Power goes above and beyond his call of duty and position within the organisation. You frequently find him behind the scenes, making sure this business machine works at its best.

Having implemented effective and innovative procedures, he doesn’t look at situations as difficulties but challenges instead; and always goes that extra mile to overcome them, never settling for less than excellence when it comes to the levels of service provided.

The teams he manages look up to him with the highest degree of professional admiration and this year alone he has integrated three new depot managers into the business despite losing four months to a severe illness.

Thankfully, he has now made a full recovery and we are relieved to have him back. His absence made us realise how integral he is to our success, a moment of reflection in a busy world perhaps.

Stuart might be (still) an Unsung Hero for the generic public but his actions sing loudly and clearly within our John F Hunt Power team.

Piotr Jasinski - GL events UK 

In an organisation like GL events, it’s virtually impossible to single out an individual for commendation. However, Logistics Manager Piotr Jasinski is a true unsung hero. His work is often unseen; but Piotr’s crucial contribution underpins the success of every GL events UK project.

Piotr joined GL events fifteen years ago, without a word of English, when he started out cleaning event hire equipment. He filled a variety of yard and site labour roles, gaining his uniquely broad experience of the company’s kit and operations.

Piotr next took a secondment to deliver major transport operations during GL events’ supply of the London 2012 Olympic Games. He took immense pride in this complex role, explaining: “The task was almost too great to contemplate but we jumped in and made it work; coordinating thousands of trucks from Europe and containers from around the globe, from Dubai to Brazil and China. The sense of achievement and pride in being a part of this team was incredible.”

As Logistics Manager, Piotr now oversees all aspects of transport planning and delivery; but his colleagues would name Piotr as GL events UK’s unofficial problem solver. He explains: “My understanding of the company’s equipment, projects and processes was gained right from the bottom, so I understand how everything comes together. This helps when the going gets tough: when a client needs to make last minute changes, this has a knock-on effect throughout the supply chain, but we can always be agile and develop a solution.

“If you think as a team and understand that every project is equally important, you can thrive in this industry.”

GL events UK Operations Director, Darren Woodhouse, explained: “Piotr’s knowledge and dedication are outstanding. He takes GL events’ quality delivery personally and thrives on challenges. He takes responsibility, day or night, and delivers far above and beyond his role. He’s the definition of an unsung hero.”

Laurence Jones - Showforce 

Laurence Jones joined the Showforce crew back in 2004 and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of our most respected crew chiefs. When crewing was no longer an option for Laurence due to injury and not wanting to lose such an experienced member of the team, Showforce created a position within the office for him. From recruitment and training to managing crew and their welfare onsite, Laurence has been instrumental in building our market leading back office operation.

He created the role of Crew Manager, which he held for several years prior to his promotion to Operations Manager, identifying the need for a main point of contact between the office and crew. The role is responsible for overseeing everything from site visits and equipment to recruitment and inductions. This is now a global role and today we have four Crew Managers based throughout our UK and Middle East offices.

Always keen to take on new challenges Laurence successfully completed his NeBosh in 2017 becoming a fully qualified and accredited in-house instructor for both all our crew members SPA training and to anyone externally who is looking to complete the training.

Highlights in 2019 include onsite project management and responsibility for crew welfare at Glastonbury. Onsite for the project’s entirety, with an office behind the Pyramid Stage, Laurence was in radio contact with the client and able to deal with all schedule changes immediately, liaising with the crew boss and crew chiefs. He also organised the crew’s camp, complete with a communal chill out space, ensuring they were well looked after throughout.

Laurence is also a firm favourite with many of our clients, including George P Johnson’s, Head of Technical Production, Mark Bannister who has provided a glowing testimonial.

Testimonial from Mark Bannister, George P Johnson:

“I have worked with Laurence for the last 10 years.  I knew him as one of the strongest, most able crew chiefs that Showforce had – well respected by the crew, eager to take on the coaching of newer crew and with a client facing ability that is rare.  When Laurence injured his back and was no longer allowed to work onsite it was clear what a huge personal blow this was to him, not to mention the loss to Showforce of a great Crew Chief.  During that early period whilst he was still adjusting to a new role in Operations Support, I insisted in him coming to Singapore to support us with a large event there – I knew that his ability to motivate and encourage crews would be needed and he didn’t let me down, the install and derig was a huge success and having Laurence on site (albeit not allowed to lift or carry anything!) was a huge part of that and it was clear to see how much it meant to him to be called on to travel half way round the world and tasked with doing what he does best.  

Fast forward 6 years from that job and Laurence is now the mainstay of crew operations at Showforce.  I see him onsite at all our events, even if it’s just to check in that everything is going well.  I always notice that he spends the same amount of time with the crew guys on site as he does talking with the production managers and clients – a touch that he has never lost and which stands him apart from other back office crew ops guys.  Laurence is big part of the reason that GPJ only use Showforce for our crew – nothing beats a safe, dedicated, caring pair of hands.”

Laurence, is without doubt, a true Unsung Hero in the world of events!

Lauren Lytle - Event Genius by Festicket

It’s 3am in late November, and while the UK population sleeps, Lauren is at home staring at her laptop screen. Despite a full day’s work, and countless hours of overtime in the last year, sleep would have been impossible, she says. With the operations team she has built around her halfway across the world in Saudi Arabia - to launch Event Genius’ most ambitious cashless RFID implementation to date - Lauren is determined to be on-hand to answer any questions or troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

This is our unsung hero - Lauren Lytle. At the beginning of 2018, Lauren upped sticks from her home in Austin, Texas and her job as Senior Client Operations Manager & Director of International Operations at Front Gate tickets, to join Event Genius as Head of Operations. Fast forward to a cold morning in December 2019 and everyone in the office is tucking into one of Lauren’s signature breakfast tacos - lovingly cooked for 30 people.

“The incredible thing about Lauren is her dedication to developing her staff despite being rushed off her feet,” says Event Genius’ newest operations team member James Tyson: “Regardless of how busy Lauren is, she’s always happy to pop out her headphones and answer a question. A quick “Don’t apologise” and a smile is usually how she starts her answers.”

Since crossing the pond, Lauren has overseen more than 50 cashless RFID events, numerous product updates, delivered a 400% year-on-year increase in events served and two product innovation award wins, whilst regularly working 100+ hour weeks at events. This year she will spend her Christmas holidays in Ghana for Event Genius’ first cashless event on the African continent. Equal parts warmth, professionalism and country music, we think she deserves some recognition from the outside world.

Chris Mear - Pearce Hire 

“We believe that Chris Mear, Hire Assistant at Pearce Hire, should be nominated for the Unsung Hero award. Chris books in hires with a calm efficiency and good humour but this alone isn’t why we think he should be nominated in this category. In the thick of Festival Season Chris really comes into his own when he’s a vital cog in our business.

Often smiling and permanently unflappable, Chris calmly orchestrates the logistics to move massive amounts of equipment from site to site while keeping our stock database fully up to speed, sources additional equipment when we run short (and points out where we don’t need to!) and is the first to volunteer for those last-minute jobs which save the day. We’ve lost count of the number of times Chris has come in early or left late to make sure that our customers get the service they require.

A technical wizard, Chris anticipates tasks that need doing and is normally one step ahead at solving problems. Despite being the youngest in the office he’s talked to as an equal due to his ability to quickly understand and solve problems. Chris’ knowledge runs from power equipment, through lighting and sound and he is continually learning so that he can serve our team and our customers better. Chris’ attention to detail is frequently remarked upon by those who deal with him from within Pearce Hire and from our customers.

Chris’ endeavour doesn’t end when Festival Season ends, he also runs our annual stock check which is a traditionally mind-numbing task which takes the enthusiasm out of almost everyone-but not Chris.

To sum up, we believe Chris is the embodiment of an Unsung Hero, nothing he does is flashy and attention seeking but without his vital contribution we’d be much worse off.”

Abbey Thomas - Serious Stages 

Abbey started with the business in 2013 at age 18. Joining the production team in our office, she instantly made an impact organising the difficult and complicated accommodation logistics process, where 100+ crew are in hotels up and down the country every night moving between sites. 

Over the last six years she has made huge strides each year within the same production department and most recently this year was made our Production Manager. In this position Abbey co-ordinates approx 100+ people and has overall control of site crew, crew accommodation, plant hire and crew transportation as well as dealing with clients before and during the summer to ensure contractual terms are agreed, extras are taken care of, technical aspects such as rigging plots and calculations are processed and signed off.

She has become one of the top 10 most influential, responsible and valuable people within the business and is a vital part of our operations and client management systems from the office end.

At just 25 years old she is very mature and has an ambitious approach, with her whole career ahead of her. We hope to keep her happy and growing with the business by investing in her development to help take Serious Stages forward. Her key strengths lie in people and client management, accuracy under pressure, a fantastic work ethic and attention to detail.

What she has achieved in her career with us so far at such a young age is outstanding and we would love to put her forward for the 'unsung hero' award.

Tom Wild - Project Power 

The company wouldn’t exist without Tom. He routinely goes above and beyond, and this is most apparent when on a Saturday night (out of hours) a key generator cluster started to experience problems at SpeedMachine 2019. The primary set (not one of Project Power’s!) was losing power but in a sync pair, no power outage was experienced. For some people, that would be the end of the matter but not Tom - rather than rely on the single machine, he immediately dispatched a generator engineer to the site. When this didn’t resolve this issue, he personally sourced another alternative. The second generator (again, not ours!) started to fail so Tom thought nothing of getting the generators he needed from Bristol to the event site himself; this involved a four hour drive having twisted the suppliers arm to borrow their truck to ensure that the generators, fuel tanks, and load bank would be delivered swiftly. Due to an unprecedented catastrophic mechanical failure, the second generator failed but Tom was arriving on-site to save the day. Lessons were learned and high standards were set. This type of failure had never happened before and the generator supplier was apologetic. Tom has expanded Project Power's services and in-house product offerings; he bought a new generator fleet (and lorry!) so we can be reactive to potential problems. 

A literal driving force, Tom is behind the rapid growth of Project Power. He works long hours and never asks his team to do something he isn’t prepared to do himself; he’s more than happy to get involved to ensure the client’s needs are not only met but surpassed at every opportunity. This same attitude and dedication extends to all staff. He personally makes time to check in with people, thank them for their hard work and makes sure that everyone is happy and well looked after.

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