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IHE says goodbye to longest serving staff member
- Monday December 18, 2023
On 31 December the IHE will say a fond farewell to its longest ever serving member of staff. Julie Clarke, our current membership officer, retires after 42 years of dedicated service.
Joining the IHE in 1982, Julie has carried out a number of roles, with her primary position being that of membership officer. It has recently been calculated that during her time with the Institute she has worked under four chief executives, 22 presidents, suffered four office moves and has dealt with (a staggering) almost 250,000 membership applications. For any member who has ever telephoned in, Julie was most likely the calm helpful person who answered the call and worked tirelessly to resolve the issue.
Julie will be sadly missed by us all and the membership at large. She has been ever present in terms of dealing with questions and queries and has always remained a calm and friendly influence in the office.
After such long and dedicated service to the Institute, which has remained unwavering, she truly deserves a long and peaceful retirement, and she will always be welcome in the office where she can catch up with all of her friends and ex-colleagues.
Julie has been the right arm of our deputy chief executive, Chris Dobson, for the past eight years. He recently took the opportunity to obtain an insight from Julie of her time working for the IHE.
What are your first memories of when you joined the Institute?
I remember being really impressed by the huge computer on my first day at the IHE’s office, then located on Ebury Street.
This enormous computer was something totally new to me and was housed in a locked room, which only authorised personnel were able to access.
Mind you, I do remember it crashing on a regular basis, but that was soon rectified and eventually it was running smoothly without too many problems.
What were your first thoughts of the IHE?
As I had never worked for a professional institute, it took a while to get used to, but it offers a great balance between administrative work and personal interaction – one that I have particularly enjoyed.
What challenges have you faced?
I can’t really think of any real challenges. I have always tried to remain positive, and I always think that things will eventually work out fine; you just need to give it time.
What changes have you seen over the years?
I’ve seen many members of staff come and go and I have totally enjoyed working with all the different characters and personalities. It’s been a real pleasure to get to know colleagues like Cheryl Brown who has always been there to support me when I’ve struggled with IT issues (which as everyone knows, is not my strong point).
It has also been a pleasure to get to know our two new members of staff, Jane Wetton and Marcia Jones. I‘m so pleased that I’ve had the opportunity to work with them these past few months and see them learn their new job roles. I have every confidence that they will go on to enjoy the job as much as I have.
There have also been a number of CEOs over the years, and it’s been great working with the current CEO, Steve Spender, getting to know him a little better and seeing his work ethic.
And last but not least, I have now spent nearly eight years working with Chris Dobson as my manager. Chris is the best manager I have ever had the pleasure to work with. He is hard working, conscientious, committed and dedicated. But he is also thoughtful, kind, caring and has a great sense of humour and I will miss my Monday morning catch-ups with him. I have many good memories of working at the IHE and wish it every success in the years ahead.