Name: Marie Kennedy

Age: 33

Company: Southern Pacific Personal Loans

Job title: National sales manager

Where do you live? Middlewich, Cheshire

Describe your current job: I am responsible for the national sales perfor-mance of SPPL including developing the sales strategy, developing the product range and managing the team of five account managers.

What was your first job? At the age of 14, my first job was collecting the glasses at Whitkirk Cricket Club. Bantering with the customers really developed my social skills at an age when it’s easy to get embarrassed. It’s where I learned that customers enjoy getting a bit of cheek and that’s when I first realised my future career would be in sales.

What was your last job? Setting up a secured loan packaging business for a successful loan broker in Lancashire.

What have you done in between? Before my brief move into the packaging sector I was the north-west region’s account manager at SPPL. Prior to that, I spent seven years at the Yorkshire, starting as a graduate management trainee and progressing to management roles in the society’s retail and intermediary divisions.

What has been the defining point of your career? Having left SPPL to join the world of packaging, I was asked by SPPL’s sales and marketing director John Prust to meet him at Manchester Airport. Over fish and chips at Harry Ramsden’s, he offered me my current job, which was a major career enhancement for me. I was so surprised I let him eat most of my chips.

And the most embarrassing? On a visit to Kenya, a colony of safari ants decided to take a detour up my trouser leg. My only option was to take off my trousers and bare my thong to the world. One witness still phones me up and plays Adam and The Ants songs to me so I don’t forget.

Do you have a mortgage? Yes, with the Yorkshire. What’s your favourite restaurant?

The Skyliner fish and chip restaurant in Leeds. They can’t make fish and chips this side of the Pennines as good as they do in Yorkshire.

What’s the most you have spent on a dinner for two?

It was at Gordon Ramsay’s Boxwood Café in Knightsbridge to celebrate my fiancé’s graduation with his BSc in financial services. I can’t remember the price tag but it was worth it.

What’s your favourite band?

I have a few – The Rolling Stones, along with indie rock bands such as Foo Fighters and The Killers.

What’s your favourite tipple?

I’m afraid it’s champagne. A nice dry white wine is also acceptable.

Do you have any hobbies or interests?

I spend a lot of time listening to music and buy a lot of CDs. I also play tennis but quite badly. I’m getting married next year, so making all the arrangements is set to become my major hobby until the big day arrives.