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Gary joins us as Sales Director from Verizon Connect Limited where he was Managing Partner. His first job was a paper round, he counts Michelle Obama as an ideal dinner guest and believes “To every problem, there is a solution”.

Let's take some time to get to know Gary a little better… 

What was it about A&O IT Group that attracted you? 
A tough one to start, but several things that really attracted me to A&O IT Group.  The objectives of the company and the leadership team were naturally the first to peak my interest, each and every member of the team spoke highly of the entire organisation's aspirations to "make a difference" but most importantly doing it "today".  In addition to that, as a company, there isn't just 1 solution that we offer.  There are multiple avenues that we can support and help organisations improve their efficiency, security and ultimately their bottom line.  

What was your first job? 
My first job was of course a paper round aged 13. I classify this as my first job as I believe it taught me a lot in preparation for both school and my future career.  From discipline and getting yourself up at 5.30 every day to get the round done before school (and in my case swim training too), to also being as efficient as possible in putting your rounds together before heading out.  I absolutely loved it.  

How did you get into sales? 
I sort of fell into sales, I'd worked in a running / triathlon store at the weekends for a few years which I loved but I took myself off to university to focus on my studies and training.  Part way through my first year, I got injured and took it badly.  I struggled with studies and I watched other members of my training group progress whilst I was barely able to walk without pain.  After a few months of rehab work, I decided to end my studies and move back home.  The owner of the store was going through growth plans and knew I had a passion for the products and let me loose to manage a new store.  In truth, I fell into sales, but I am incredibly grateful that I did.  

What's your top tip for anyone looking to grow in their sales role? 
My top tip for anyone wanting to grow is stop selling and start solving problems.  If you can solve any problem for a customer (or a colleague) you'll succeed. 

What do you want your great grandchildren to know about you? 
What a question! Most of all I'd like them to know me and not just know about me.  That being said, I'm fairly simple that I'd just like everyone in my family to know I'm there / I've been there for them regardless of the situation.  If they know that, I feel like I've succeeded. 

If you're looking for "a story" that I'll be known for - I'd love them to know that I did in fact meet the Queen at a charity event right at the very end of November whilst raising money for the Movember charity.  It was not my sharpest look! 

What do you wish you had invented? 
There are so many things that most people will think "Oooo, I wish I'd have invented that", but for me it has to be the cure for any form of illness that we currently don't have.  If it can save just 1 life, then it's all been worth it.  

What's your favourite quote/joke? 
I live by this statement and wholeheartedly believe in it.

"To every problem, there is a solution."

What three famous people would you invite for dinner? 
Why would you restrict it to just 3 people?  My dining table is big enough for 5 guests so I'm being bold.  

  • Arnold Palmer, he personifies golf and the respect on and off the course.  
  • Michelle Obama, behind every great person there is someone who will be their biggest fan.  
  • Kathy Freeman, the trailblazer in women's athletics. 
  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who I believe doesn't get the respect he deserves with everything he does.  
  • James Acaster, his comedy is brilliant and just understanding how he finds humour in everything would definitely be interesting.  

I'm not sure you'll find a more random collection of people but they're all people I'd love to tap into their minds and just take an ounce of knowledge from them all.  

What would be your superpower? 
This is such a hard question.  I'd like to say I'd love to have the ability to read minds.  We spend so much time trying to figure out what people were thinking instead of being direct.  

When you were little, what did you want to do when you grew up? 
Didn't everyone change their mind every week when they were young? Fireman, Every week was different until around the age of 10 or 11 when I became obsessed with the Olympics in Atlanta.  I remember the 4x400 men's relay and loved Jamie Baulch at the time, that's the point I remember saying - I want to do that.  

What's the one thing you're most excited about, now you're at A&O IT Group?  
What excites me most about A&O is making a difference.  Not just internally, but also making a difference for our customers.  We've seen 2020 as such an uncertain time in many cases with environments that have changed like we never expected them to.  We have an opportunity to help our customers become more secure at the same time as offering speed and stability alongside that.  We have an opportunity to become the leader in multiple areas which are critical to the success of our customers - this to me is incredibly exciting.