With over 40 years as part of the SLM family, our previous Managing Director Ian Wakeford started his well-deserved retirement last year. As an essential member of the SLM team, the SLM family wanted to ensure his devotion and passion over the years was commended with the perfect gift.
The Managing Director, Mark Phillips has a few words to say regarding the retirement gift and to thank Ian for everything he has done for SLM since he joined the family in 1978.
“After over 40 years with SLM and many years as our Managing Director, Ian Wakeford decided to start his well-earned retirement last year to spend more time with his family.
It took quite some time to come up with the perfect retirement gift for Ian (not involving airplanes or F1 please, said Tina, Ian’s wife), so it was decided to focus on Ian’s first passion, geology.
So last year, after discussions with Tina and the family, we decided to contact a talented local metalwork sculpturer Leigh Dyer, to design a piece of art in the form of an ammonite fossil.
It took a long time to agree on its design, but once agreed, Leigh got to work and produced a stunning piece of art that was certainly worth waiting for!
Thankyou Ian from all the SLM family for all your passion and commitment over the years and we all wish you a relaxing time with your family and friends.”
Mark Phillips, Managing Director
Looking back at his time at SLM, Ian Wakeford wants to thank his SLM family for so many amazing years at SLM Toyota.
“Way back in 1978, I was a geologist graduate with an offer to join Esso when the suggestion of working for SLM was raised. I joined a very small motor company called Sussex Factors which was part of the SLM group. My geology training was put on a shelf never to be seen again and 43 years later it’s still on that shelf.
SLM was then a small business with two sites, and now of course it is still a family concern, but considerably larger than the founders ever dreamed possible. I look at what SLM has become and couldn’t be prouder of what we all have achieved. I am so excited about the future. However, I will be just watching and not participating this time!
I have worked alongside some remarkable people these last 43 years, and together we have experienced stormy and calm seas. I loved every minute of it.
We have learnt over the years, SLM is only as strong as the people. I cannot tell you how much I will miss you all, more so than any other part of my working life.
Last week I spent a lovely afternoon with Mark, Gus and Jason, who together with Will, are the future Board of SLM, and in recognition of my retirement they presented me with a stunning handmade metal ammonite. Each day I look at this beautiful ammonite and I remember all my SLM family.
The future now relies on the efforts of you all, and the Board of Directors. I have every confidence the company will grow and prosper in your capable hands, and I will be watching with great interest and pride.
Tina and I wish you all the very best for the future.”
Once again, everyone at SLM would like the thank Ian for this dedication over the years and wishes him a happy and relaxing retirement.
Contact your local SLM dealership to find out more or to speak to a member of our dedicated team, who will be happy to help.