You have been with Hill Robinson from the start, what is your connection with Nick and Niall?
I have been with Hill Robinson for 17 years, though my first connection was with Niall 20 years ago as we both worked together in the same management department of another yachting company.
One day, Niall had asked me to discuss something after work in a TABAC bar down the road. I found it a bit of a strange choice but it soon became apparent why, as he explained to me his ideas of a yacht management company that he was going to start up with his friend, Nick Hill- who he knew from their time working on yachts as captains. This became a regular meeting point for us to discuss ideas and set the stage for getting the company going.
Together with Nick, Niall and another soon to be colleague, we all went out for Japanese food and drinks one night in St. Laurent du Var. I received my first “job contract” on half a beer mat, signed by all four.
Throughout the years, what were the most important milestones for you?
Since Hill Robinson started, we were officially a team of only four people. We were the jack of all trades-partly being a yacht manager, accountant, marketeer, business development and even receptionist. So definitely, one major milestone for me was the first 5 years in the company. Nick would joke that we would be able to retire if we reached 5 years , so it shook me to reach that 5-year mark and reflect on how far the company had gone.
As the company expanded over time, I took on the specific role of managing Yacht Accountants. Ten years in the company, the staff had planned a surprise lunch for me to celebrate. However, not so much of a surprise as the email about “Trina’s surprise lunch” was accidentally sent to me as well! All eyes on me at the office, I tried my best to play it off as though I did not see a thing. Within minutes, a colleague that had access to my emails slyly deleted it.
I didn’t want everyone to know that I already knew about the “surprise lunch”, so my plan was to act my way through the morning and give my impression of being pleasantly surprised. Little did I know, no acting was necessary. I walked into the restaurant and once I saw everyone there waiting for my entrance, I couldn’t help but burst into tears! That moment was special and it meant a lot to me.
What is it about your job that has kept you for nearly two decades in the company?
I absolutely love my job. I love the different tasks that come up in yacht accounting but especially the Hill Rob family of colleagues/friends. Nick and Niall are still the bosses, though they are also personal friends with years of BBQs, dinners and great moments together. The staff are important to HR and in return I think that’s what makes people happy and dedicated to the overall success of the company. It’s worth saying that almost the entire yacht accounts team has been here for over seven years!
How has it felt for you to see and experience the immense growth of Hill Robinson throughout the years?
I can’t believe we are now heading for 17 years! I’m still very proud of where the company has got to today and am looking forward to its future opportunities.
How do you see the company in a few years?
I know Hill Robinson will continue to thrive and expand in the next few years. However, even after all of these years of considerable growth, Hill Robinson remains as a “family”. People that care and are dedicated and proud about the successes of the company.