To celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, we caught up with two vital members of the UK team. Together Toni Rayner and Alison Wilson have 12-years’ experience working at Recite Me helping drive the business forward from start-up, through acceleration growth and beyond.
Toni Rayner, Operations Manager (main picture, left)
Toni started out her working life with the intention of a career in the travel and tourism industry but went on to successfully obtain a degree in Business and Marketing.
She started her working life alongside Caroline Theobald CBE who introduced her to the world of Business Enterprise.
“I was so grateful to have that kind of mentor when I was first starting out, it was worth its weight in gold!”
From this Toni spring boarded on to the Difference Engine programme helping start-up businesses gain investment. That was where she met Ross Linnett and was introduced to the world of web accessibility.
Toni Started her online accessibility journey with Recite Me in 2011 and she has never looked back since.
Toni has grown and helped craft the business with her role as Operations Manager and Executive Assistant to CEO Ross. Her main roles and responsibilities include the day to day operations of the business, providing support to senior management, project management, and finance.
Toni commented, “Starting out in 2011 as an administrator and growing with the business to become operations manager overseeing the day to day business activities and being Executive Assistant to Director Ross Linnett is something, I am very proud of. Along the way, I have been lucky enough to work with an amazing team and watch Recite Me grow from a team of 5 to a multi-national company.”
Alison Wilson, Business Support Manager (main picture, Right)
The first 20 years of Alison’s working career was in manufacturing at a global Japanese excavator manufacturer, Komatsu UK. Starting off as a YTS in the Production Control department, Alison eventually ended up as Head Scheduler for the full manufacturing process, along with Capacity Planning to ensure that Komatsu UK was staffed accordingly to meet operational requirements.
For the last 3 years of her time at Komatsu Alison moved into a marketing role. This was a financial incentive marketing department with the ultimate aim to increase its market share strategically in various countries.
One of Alison’s roles in marketing was to oversee large distributor events at the plant. Skills learned such as planning, forecasting, costing, resourcing all came in handy when organising such big scale events.
This event experience was a foundation for her next career stint working for events companies, at the same time working with software companies on an admin basis, implementing and improving day to day processes.
Alison commented on her 20 years at Komatsu, “My key achievement when working at Komatsu has to be bringing 650 people from 33 countries to the Komatsu plant over 5 days! That totally tested my planning skills along with my ability to actually deliver the event.”
Alison started working at Recite Me 3 years ago with a wealth of knowledge to support the business. Recite Me was in an early growth phase, which was ready for detailed processes and long-term strategic planning, perfect for Alison to hit the ground running.
“At Recite Me I was able to develop my own role and soon found there were areas within the business I could step in and make a positive impact. Be that taking the load off others, doing tasks that just hadn’t been done before but were needed, introduce planning and data gathering.”
As the business continues to grow, Alison will be passing on her latest project account management, to a new member of staff which has been organised and processed to be efficient and effective to support business growth.
“I am looking forward to be moving on to other areas of the business that requires review and potential change as the business grows even bigger. I find this very exciting, challenging and a little scary! But that’s what drives me.”