When I was younger I was fascinated by how you could take things apart, study them and put them back together. (I blame my Dad tinkering around with his old lawnmower in the shed!) This set me on the path to having an engineering career, which would allow me to be curious, explore, discover, and solve.
I have gained over 20yrs experience as a Chartered Chemical Engineer. I focused on plant optimisation, project management, plant management, and risk assessment. I have worked in the food, resin, chemical and nuclear industries.
As my journey has progressed, I have learnt many techniques in critical thinking, lateral thinking and problem solving that formed the basis for my experience and how they can maximise productivity, efficiency, safety and quality.
As part of my role, I gained valuable experience as a trainer for, new plant operation, team development, HAZOP and ERP systems. I am also a mentor for IChemE, for fellow chemical engineers as they progress their own careers through to obtaining chartership.
I have always valued the fusion of creativity and process. It has enabled me to innovate and solve many design and operation problems. So often this value is not realised in the workplace, people are under-utilised and siloed into roles that only encourage "we have always done it like this" and "no time to reinvent the wheel". Not enough space to ask questions and properly understand information. It was this that drove my desire to maximise the value of people through development training. So in 2018 I co-founded Sara Penrose Limited.
The first word I said was 'Philips' - The hazards of growing up close to a Philips factory in Hastings, East Sussex I suspect. But that has led to 2 important themes in my life
Firstly a long and detailed interest in logistics and transport. So much so that I completed a degree in transport management and planning at Loughborough University. This has seen my career journey progress from Traffic Clerk to Commercial Director in 25 years. I am probably most proud of developing multi million pound accounts for the likes of Morrisons, Waitrose, Brakes and Ocado in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), primarily fresh produce. Leaving a reputation for solid solution design, high care, good service and sustainable business. As well as working with a superb collection of professionals along the way.
Secondly whilst I was learning to read from the side of lorries, my fellow classmates were reading Billy Blue Hat books, which I detested. So, I have always embraced the unconventional. I was informed that my school standards were not meeting the metrics requited. It was therefore a real pleasure to receive a highest pupil achievement award in year 13 and particularly rewarding in my career to write multiple best practice guides for the Department of Transport, where the standard is shall we say fairly high . There is nothing wrong with following your own path after all.
In 2018 I co-founded Sara Penrose Ltd, a training business for the following reasons:
- I have seen so much talent remain untapped in businesses - what a waste!
- People are a business’s best asset - why would you not want to maximise that asset?
- Raising quality, improving efficiency and driving growth all relates back to the level of skills in a business
- Training should be linked to business objectives - always
- Fusing process and creativity is a great way to drive performance (as I said, I like the unconventional)