We spoke to Gemma Warner, Account Director in PCC's Lead Supply division.
Now then Gemma, we’ll get right to it. What's your role and what does that involve?
So, I’m the account director of our Kellogg’s lead supply account. My role involves understanding the client’s objectives and supporting the team to achieve them while making sure they are commercially successful for Paragon! The team produce point of sale goods for Kellogg’s Cereal & Snacks, and also Pringles for the UK and international markets. The client will come to us and tell us about a new promotion, which markets they want to launch it in, and our job is to then create and print their marketing for these products and do it in a sustainable way.
What's your career background before joining us?
I actually started off as a book binder, about 15 years ago. I used to hand finish books for Liberty’s of London, and that’s how I know print. I then became an estimator and an account manager, looking after retail accounts like Starbucks and BT. Having been in the print industry for so long, you also end up working with people you’ve worked with before – so already within Paragon I probably know about 10 people from previous jobs.
Did you know about PCC before you joined us?
Awkward, but it was a name we couldn’t mutter! The business was intimidating to be honest, always in the print news with new acquisitions, but that’s why I wanted to come here - because you’re evolving really quickly.
Well hopefully your hatred’s evaporated now. What are your first impressions so far?
It’s been really good! Everyone’s very friendly and interested in my retail experience – there’s a lot of investment in staff. I’ve already been looped into lots of conversations and feel like I have a purpose here. Everyone’s super lovely, and they’ve been really engaging.
Very glad to hear that. What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve not been here very long, so I’m working on understanding who my team are, who my client is, and what we can explore together. The team have delivered an excellent service for our client already and that’s opened up more opportunities. With this role, no two days are the same and right now, one of the things I’m working on is looking at how we can procure spoons.
Sometimes it’s difficult to explain what we do here to friends and family, so saying you’re procuring spoons must sound very odd to an ‘outsider’.
Yeah! Because I work on a lot of Point of Sale, I usually say something like, “you know in supermarkets when a product is in a nice display and it stands out – I make those.”
Good call. Anyway, I’m going to move on from the work questions now. What did you have for your tea last night?
I had a pint of Camden Hells. I literally didn’t have any dinner. Well, I had a packet of crisps, which I think were cheese and onion. The pub we were in didn’t have any salt and vinegar.
Good lord. I hope you’re ok. What’s your favourite biscuit and why?
Hmmm. Biscuits. I’m not a very sweet person, more savoury really. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a biscuit. If I had to buy some, it’d probably be a chocolate hobhob. They feel like they’re healthy because they’re oaty.
Fair enough. Do you have any irrational fears?
No. I’m very, like, zen. I don’t buy into that. How about an empty wine glass?
Anyway moving on. Where’s your favourite place you’ve ever been?
Probably Sicily. I went there for my friend’s wedding – they got married in a hotel that overlooked the mountains and the sea. It was beautiful, and there was a lot of cheese.
So you’re a cheese fan? If you could only have one cheese, which cheese would you choose?
Yeah I love cheese. If I can have one, it would probably be cheddar because it’s so versatile. Maybe Mexicana?
Excellent choice. Who’s your hero?
Ooh. Jeff Goldblum.
Why Jeff Goldblum?
I just love him, and Jurassic Park’s my favourite film. I’ve got a picture of him in my bedroom. He’s very…fluid.
Another excellent choice. Most people say their parents or someone like that, but Jeff Goldblum’s a good answer. What superpower would you choose to have?
I’d heal people - no one should suffer. Actually that sounds a bit dark, but it’s also a practical superpower because I can then charge people for my services.
Who would be the worst celebrity to get stuck in a lift with?
There’s so many to choose from - I think I had a list of celebrities I hated at one point. I’m going to say Chris Pratt. He’s the worst Chris in Hollywood.
Speaking of which, have you ever met a celebrity?
I sort of met David Beckham once. His agency was next door to my old workplace. A fancy car pulled up outside and I was wondering what kind it was, so I got up close to the window to have a look, and he rolled it down and was just sat there looking at me. That was quite embarrassing.
Hey it happens to the best of us. Thanks Gemma!