Following the introduction of our ‘Meet the Team‘ page comes our mini blog series. Hear personally from our team members about their roles at EcoNorth and more. This week, meet Sandi Davison, PA/Administrator.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After venturing down south for a number of years, homesickness brought me back to North East England.
I love the outdoors, especially rambling along the Northumberland coastline. I am particularly enamoured with the UK’s changing seasons. This provides a multitude of opportunities to savour the natural world around me eg a gentle stroll in the spring rain and perhaps discovery of a rainbow, long days of sunshine and paddling at the beach, leaf catching in the blustery autumnal weather or snowman building on a bright crisp wintry day.
I enjoy being creative, particularly producing patchwork quilts and crewel embroideries. Some of my pieces have previously been exhibited at Reigate Art Studios in Surrey.
Sport really appeals to me, most notably tennis and the Olympics. I have been lucky enough to attend Wimbledon Tennis Championships on several occasions, including the men’s semi-final day of the 2012 London Olympics!
Summarise your role at EcoNorth
In October 2017, I joined EcoNorth as the PA/Administrator. My role comprises various elements. I am PA to the Managing Director, Vicki Mordue, which involves diary and email management and supporting HR functions. I service the regular Board, Senior Management and Monthly Team Meetings, and produce the agendas and minutes as well as collating briefing papers. I act as the Health & Safety Officer, responsible for maintaining a safe and clean office environment for the team and visitors and the safe operation of the company vehicle. I complete the company’s financial administration and support the whole team with general administration, from booking travel and accommodation to developing the filing/archiving database. Finally, I have created the annual marketing schedule and written various blogs. I also review and publish the team’s articles on the company websites.
What got you into Ecology?
When I was young, Saturdays were always spent paddling at the beach, clambering over the rocks and investigating rock pools or exploring the countryside throughout Northumberland. Summer holidays included a camping trip, initially nearby in the Lake District then further afield to Scotland and beyond. Being surrounded by the beauty and diversity of the natural world was inspiring and exciting, not to mention a peaceful interlude from the bustling city in which I grew up.
As an adult, my love of nature has led to a variety of adventures. These have included rambling along the Pembrokeshire coastline, climbing Ben Nevis and Snowdonia, watching the sun rise over Uluru in the Australian outback and taking a cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands.
What do you most like about working as an Ecologist Consultant?
I have become increasingly aware of and concerned about the negative impact of human behaviour on the world, including my own. Working at EcoNorth gives me the opportunity to learn about ecology and nature more generally from my colleagues, who are highly qualified experts in this field. I have even have the opportunity to be involved more directly eg I attended a bat training session at Linton Lane Nature Reserve with the team then participated in my first bat survey at a local site.
In addition, I work in a dynamic and ever-evolving environment. My role requires a high degree of organisation, time management and flexibility to ensure all aspects of work are completed comprehensively and in a timely manner. This ensures my job remains interesting and keep me on my toes.
Describe the project you have worked on that you are proudest of. What did you do that worked out particularly well?
I am most proud of my involvement in EcoNorth successfully achieving ISO Health and Safety certification (BS OHSAS 18001:2007) in May 2018. I was tasked with delivering an effective administration system. This required significant time management to complete the necessary work in the limited period available, as well as tenacity and determination to ensure all details were fully addressed and completed. Furthermore, an eye for detail was essential to ensure all documentation was created in a standardised format then accurately recorded and filed. The audit process, conducted by Ocean Certification, was hugely successful and EcoNorth was awarded certification with no major or minor non-conformities being identified.
What do you see for the future?
I am looking forward to getting to know and working with our new staff members – Ben, Thomas and Henry – who have recently joined the EcoNorth team. This will bring fresh energy to the team as a whole, open new doors for the new staff members and inspire current staff to further develop their skills and take on greater challenges and responsibilities.
I am excited about attending the team building session being planned for February 2019, to help Northumberland Wildlife Trust with their tree plant project in Kielder Forest.
The development and implementation of EcoNorth’s ISO 9001 Quality Management System, due to commence later this year, is a project that I would be eager to be involved with.
Finally, what advice would you give to anyone starting out?
I would encourage anyone starting out to:
- focus on their own life journey and to follow their own passions;
- delight in the positive events that occur in their life and view the more difficult ones as opportunities to learn about themselves and/or others;
- treat everyone, personally and professionally, with kindness and respect at all times.