30 Sep Meet the team: Jon Bower
This week we are starting our Meet the Team series, to begin the series I sat down with Jon Bower, our Business Development Manager to get to know him better!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 59, 60 February next year. I’ve been with Kingdom since 1999 so I’m the second longest-serving person here behind our MD, Susan. I’m very happily married with two children; my son is 30 he’s married and lives in London and my daughter Abi is 25 & lives at home.
What does your typical workday include?
My typical workday is extremely varied. As I’m now working from home regularly since the pandemic from Tuesday to Thursday, quite often it would be contacting customers by email or by phone, processing orders, following up on quotations, checking samples etc. Or, I’m visiting customers at their premises (which I’m starting to do now.) On Fridays, I come into the office to catch up with things here, arrange work and make sure everything is okay from that side.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I help my wife quite heavily with her successful craft business, so I’m often seen preparing, drying out, rubbing down or painting bits of driftwood, or beachcombing where we live to keep our ‘stock’ up!. I also run quiz nights for charity, so I’m often researching and doing background work to put those together, although they’ve been a bit lacking of late but I have got one coming up on November. I do a bit of gardening and I play golf very badly!
What’s your favourite thing about working for Kingdom?
I like the variety of the job that I do, and in particular, the product range that we sell, it gives me a huge opportunity to sell into a number of different industries, a lot of different products. I very much like the set up at Kingdom, it’s a small, well-run, family business that I’ve seen grow over the last 10 years, hugely, and it’s nice to be a part of that. I very much like the people that I work with, it’s a very good team effort and that comes from the top – down and that’s very much evidence for anyone who comes here and we have a huge emphasis on customer service, which to me Is the most important thing.
When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?
For years I wanted to be a journalist, I’ve always liked English and from when I was very little, I used to always write stories and poems. Journalism was something that always appealed to me but I think perhaps the cut and thrust of the journalistic process was perhaps not quite me but I still write and put together poems and that is probably why my outlet is my quizzes. When I was at college I did an ONC & HNC in Business Studies, and one of the modules was Law, which I really enjoyed. I think I would have liked to have gone into a career with something to do with Law.
(little chit chat about how different journalism and Law is…)
It’s slightly connected because it’s all communication which I like to think, hopefully, is a skill I have. As Business Development Manager it is critical, you’ve got to be able to converse with people from multi-millionaire managing directors to the guy that sweeps the floor, you’ve got to treat them all as important – which they all are, in their own way, and you’ve got to be able to adapt to that and be very flexible and knowledgeable about people. Having done this sort of role in sales for forty-two years now, I’d like to think I’ve picked up a little on the way!
What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched?
The last book I read was the last book in a series by an author named Jonas Jonasson. The book was The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, which is an exceptionally funny book which my daughter-in-law got me, I wasn’t a huge reader, I read that and then the follow-up book and the other 2 in the series, I read these through lockdown. At the moment I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
The last film in the cinema was the Rise of Skywalker, the last Star Wars film, which I saw in Florida at Christmas. The last film I watched at home was Incredibles 2.
Describe your job in 3 words.
Challenging. Enjoyable. Fulfilling.
Give us a fun or interesting fact about yourself.
On a cruise with my wife, we entered an onboard quiz, just the two of us and another couple came and asked if they could join us and the person who joined us was a guy named John Sandon (and his wife) who is one of the regular experts on the BBC TV Series Antiques Roadshow. They did about 5 quiz nights with us throughout the cruise, his wife had an unbelievable memory on different things, I think she was a lawyer, we won twice out of the 5 times.
Who is your favourite person at Kingdom?
I would probably say, Martin. Because we started at a similar time, we’ve grown through the company together, endured some really terrible times, and endured some horrible people and have got through that and come out the other side and he is a very good friend, so I would have to say, Martin.
Stay tuned every week for more from the Kingdom team!