Curriculum Vitae – Ricky Okey

NAME: Ricky Okey

AGE: 42

COMPANY: Charcol

JOB TITLE: General manager

WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

DESCRIBE YOUR JOB:

My role is the general management of the Charcol business. This means that I get to deal with sales, administration, operations, marketing, public relations, finance &#45 in fact everything that makes up the business. It is a varied and busy role and one that I relish.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?

After school I started out as a technical apprentice and achieved an ONC in mechanical engineering. If I had carried on I would now be a draughtsman.

WHAT WAS YOUR LAST JOB?

Head of sales for Sun Life Financial.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN BETWEEN?

I was involved in advertising sales before going to Allied Dunbar where I eventually became regional sales and marketing director. After that I moved on to Sun Life. I have been in financial services for nearly 15 years so I obviously made the right decision in moving.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE DEFINING POINT OF YOUR CAREER?

Being given the chance to take a broader general management role. My core skills are in sales and marketing and so it was great to get the chance to take on more diverse challenges and I&#39ve never looked back. Becoming general manager at Charcol has enabled me to develop my career with a great brand.

AND THE MOST EMBARRASSING? Well, at the time I thought this was quite cool but I now feel more than a little embarrassed. I was a professional disc jockey for three and a half years and used to travel up and down the country DJing in nightclubs and on the radio. Not a lot of people know that &#45 until now. Little did I suspect I would end up in financial services. Sadly I am no longer available for parties and weddings although the Charcol Christmas party is unmissable.

DO YOU HAVE A MORTGAGE?

Yes, but like most people I wish I didn&#39t have to. I have one with Birmingham Midshires at the moment.

WHAT&#39S YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT?

I am a big foodie so I&#39m sorry but I will have to pick my top three. I really like Hakkasan, a great Chinese just off Oxford Street which was recently awarded its first Michelin star. Then there is Gordon Ramsay&#39s flagship restaurant in Chelsea and also The Waterside in Bray.

WHAT&#39S THE MOST YOU&#39VE EVER SPENT ON DINNER FOR TWO?

A rather substantial £500 at The Waterside. It is a Roux Brothers restaurant and quite superb. It was a special occasion though.

WHAT&#39S YOUR FAVOURITE BAND?

As a huge dance music fan my real favourites are The Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Moby.

WHAT&#39S YOUR FAVOURITE TIPPLE?

It would have to be a gin and tonic, please.

HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?

Sport. I am a devoted Birmingham City follower and hold a season ticket for the club so I try to get to as many matches as possible. I love watching rugby as well so I have been happy for the past few weeks. Like a lot of people I try to keep fit by going to the gym a few times per week but as many will know, that is easier said than done.