23rd November, 2020, Melanie Harriss
Jo Brown, secretary and receptionist, is celebrating 25 years at Stephenson Smart, this year.
Jo joined Stephenson Smart’s office in Fakenham on 25 January 1995, she remembers the date exactly as it was also her 27th birthday!
When Jo joined, Stephenson Smart had recently merged with Maurice Peel to occupy the office on Oak Street where EP Youth is now – years later moving across the road to larger premises. Jo worked with Maurice Peel, his wife Margaret, and former Stephenson Smart partner Nigel Ward to run the office which she says was very different from how it is now:
“I was, and still am, employed as a receptionist/secretary. When I started, I worked on a manual typewriter with carbon paper. I looked after bank reconciliations, small accounts jobs and VAT returns.
The main change over the last 25 years is that I have gone from being in a very small team to now being part of a team of 13 people. The introduction of computers also means the job I do now is very different in a lot of ways; Stephenson Smart have embraced changes in technology and that means I now access a wide range of accounting software to help support our clients.”
Jo was born and raised in North Norfolk and always knew she wanted to work in an office environment.
“I used to get books and pads out when I was younger and set up pretend offices. I started my career as a YTS apprentice in the office at English Garages and did my work experience at Hayes + Storr. I really like my job now at Stephenson Smart though, I mostly enjoy dealing with clients and the people I work with. I also enjoy the work and the fact that it keeps on changing with technology, I like a new challenge.”
Martyn Benstead, the current managing partner at Stephenson Smart in Fakenham, added:
“Jo is a valuable member of the team and a face and voice all of our clients know, as she is often the first port of call. I would like to thank Jo for her 25 years of service to Stephenson Smart and look forward to continuing to work with her.”