09 November, 2011
Cornish Mutual's longest
serving member of staff has celebrated his 40 year milestone
working for the rural insurance company.
57-year old Facilities and Projects Leader Derek Endean
(pictured) was first employed as a cover note clerk by the
Truro-based company at the age of 17.
Over the 40 years, Derek who lives in Probus has held a number
of positions at Cornish Mutual including supervising the fire,
household, motoring and accounts departments.
He was promoted to Administration Supervisor in 1999, before
taking up his current role which includes having responsibility for
ensuring the smooth running of the head office, dealing with
contractors and suppliers, staff procedural issues, health and
safety and environmental sustainability.
Derek says technological advances have been the biggest change
over the years, "We've gone from writing out insurance cover notes
and policy amendments on pieces of paper to everything being
computerised, and with an increasing use the internet and email.
It's funny to think that when I started, we used to have these huge
and heavy Dickensian-sized ledger accountancy books and policy
documents that we used to have to manually update."
For Cornishman Derek, the company holds a special place in his
heart because it is where he met his wife, Sue. She worked as a
telephonist for the company for around five years.
Derek laughs, "It was the archetypal office romance! We've now
been married for 33 years and have two sons, Stephen and Matthew,
as well as a grandson, so in a way I guess we have Cornish Mutual
to thank for that. I was also born in Truro, just a stone's throw
from the company's offices at the time."
The rural insurance firm now has around 23,000 Members across
Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset and Derek says that although
the figure has grown, the personal touch has not changed, "When I
worked in underwriting I got to know our Members by their first
names because many of them had been insured for years. This
face-to-face contact hasn't changed to this day."
So what has kept Derek at Cornish Mutual? "It's always been a
very good company to work for and we've got a stable workforce. The
management has always supported its staff and taken a keen interest
in you as an individual - it's always been a great working
relationship. You feel valued and I really enjoy the work.
"Cornish Mutual invests a lot of time and resources in its
people, giving them plenty of personal development and career
progression. There is now a huge emphasis on training and
qualifications and when I started all those years ago, very few
people had those opportunities - there wasn't the structure or
budget there is today."
Derek says that, apart from meeting his wife, the 40-year
highlight has been the recent team conference day, "For only the
second time in the Company's history we managed to get all
employees and board members under one roof and because it was
combined with charity fundraising, interesting discussions and
other activities, it was a really great day."
Alan Goddard, managing director of Cornish Mutual, adds: "We are
delighted to be celebrating Derek's milestone with the company - 40
years is a long time and his knowledge and experience is truly
valued by everyone here. It is a wonderful thing that mutual
insurance companies are able to boast such long-serving and loyal
employees and that we are able to give that continuity of service
to our Members. I would like to thank Derek for his unstinted
commitment and we look forward to working with him for many more
years to come."