Tell us about the organisation that you joined?
I joined Jewish Care in February 1991 as a Management Accountant specifically to deal with the Jewish Care retained Trusts and set up systems (there were none, not even a cash book) and formalise accounting for JBG Housing Society Ltd.
My time was to be divided, two days were to be spent on the Jewish Care Trusts and three days on JBG Housing Society.
In addition to the Wardens (as they were known then) JBG Housing Society had two Head Office staff: a Managing Director (Ronnie Wax) and his Secretary Joyce.
As JBG Housing Society continued to develop it rapidly became a full-time job, and at the request of the MD I transferred to JBG Housing Society from Jewish Care full-time.
What memorable changes have you seen in the organisation over your time with us?
JBG Housing Society continued to expand, providing accounting services to AJEX, The JBG Housing Trust and B’nai B’rith Housing Society.
There was a merger between B’nai B’rith Housing Society and JBG Housing Society forming the B’nai B’rith JBG Housing Society Ltd (which later became the Jewish Community Housing Association) led by Sara Clarke, who succeeded Ronnie Wax.
The two staff teams joined together and moved to the B’nai B’rith Housing Society offices which were located in Harmony Close.
What were your childhood ambitions?
Though I had always enjoyed figures, I wanted to be an English teacher.
One of my memories of my childhood was that when shopping with my parents I used to add up the cost of the shopping items in my head and if my total and the cashiers total differed my parents would ask the cashier to check the till list!
What are your proudest achievements?
20 plus years of clean audit reports despite some big changes to accounting requirements particularly in the past ten years.
What has been the best advice given to you and by whom?
‘Nothing is unsurmountable’ by the Finance Director and Deputy CEO of a company I worked for in my early twenties, he was my mentor.
What advice would you give to people starting their career?
You are a long time working, if you are not getting the satisfaction in your job that you thought you would, look at alternative options.
What do you think you will miss most when you retire?
The people I have worked with and got to know over a long period of time.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Sitting in one of the cafes or bars in my favourite harbour in North Cyprus in beautiful weather sipping a long cold drink and watching my grandchildren grow up. When I want a faster more exciting pace of life, I will hop over to Istanbul which is a really buzzing city. I will also be looking into learning to fly and toying with the idea of taking up hang gliding.
Tell us something about yourself that no-one would know!
Up to around the age of fourteen my vocation was to become a nun.
Finally, Frances we would like to thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the Association, and we wish you well in this next chapter.