A reflection on (nearly) 35 years at ilumin

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As my retirement rapidly approaches, now seems like a good time for me to share a little about my (almost) 35 years with ilumin.

I came on board in February 1988 – hired by the late Pat Millar.  I’d had seven years out of the workforce after having my three children, the youngest of which was just 18 months old.  Answering an ad in the trusty old ‘Independent Herald’ local newspaper was a bit of an impulse really – I wasn’t looking to return to work yet, but the job looked perfect for me, so I registered my interest, and was somewhat terrified to be offered it!  Luckily, ilumin (or Millar & Miller, as it was then) was very accommodating of working mums, and although I had contracted to do 10 hours a week in the office and a further twenty at home, I didn’t manage much in the way of ‘home’ work.  There was always a load of washing to put out or some other job that caught my eye and drew me away from work work!  Luckily, ilumin persisted with me and over time as the children grew up, I was able to increase my hours to full time.

Funny to think how much I struggled to find my focus working at home way back then – who would have foreseen that this would become our new normal in 2020 and that we could be highly productive in our home environment for weeks on end as Covid locked us down.

In those early days, Millar & Miller had a small office in Cuba Mall and a team of just five of us to assist partners Pat Millar and Diane Miller.  We had two computers in the office – we could book them for up to an hour at a time to do our data entry, before doing the rest of the job with a trusty pen and paper. 

Time went by, the team grew, as did the office space and in 2000, Millar & Miller became a company, and Diane invited Suzanne Kingsland-White and me to become directors of the Company from 1 April 2001.  This was the start of a very fulfilling journey. 

Those of you who are a bit older might remember the old TV ad for Remington Shavers.  The punchline was that the guy loved the company so much, he bought it and that is also my story in a way.

Fast forward 20 years and ilumin has rebranded, moved offices, grown our team, and adapted to a multitude of accounting and tax changes, as well as many technology changes to become the vibrant place it is now.

Our clients have always been our primary focus – it’s been great to work with many business owners and family clients (some of whom date back as far as I do!) Our focus has been to build strong relationships with them and to add value wherever we can, and I will miss them as I move on to new pastures!

I will miss the team too – they are a great bunch, and in the hands of the remaining Directors, Suzanne and Cathy Tolley, I am sure that ilumin will continue to provide great service that is friendly, accessible, personalised and knowledgeable.

I wish you all the best for your future – I will think of you often (occasionally?!) as my husband and I cruise around the country in our recently ordered new Motorhome.

Lastly, as I sail off into the sunset, I have to thank my husband Allan, who has supported my career all the way, and my three grown-up children (Ash, Erin and Michelle) who seem to have coped with me being a working mum and have generously provided me with 7 lovely grandchildren to enjoy in my retirement.

Noho Ora Mai – E Noho Ra

Sue McPherson