Bridgette Jennings – A reflection on 20 years

Mar 24, 2023

Bj 20 Yrs

When I was asked to put together a 20 year reflection I thought ‘how the heck do I that!’. And then I realised I would do it just as I built my career, head on, bit by bit, and by having fun.

So… when I saw the advertisement for a Chemical Consultant (whilst procrastinating for my Chemistry exams) I thought ‘seems like a cool job, and would at least be good interview experience’. I put my CV in and then got the interview call. It was a strange interview, I got asked about my stance on killing whales and whether it was better for reports to be ‘good and on time or perfect and late’. I walked away not

My first look at big industry was an MDF plant and once I saw that plant I was hooked, everything was so cool. Over my early career I was like a sponge, absorbing knowledge from Mike Gray and Janet Connochie and all the businesses we visited and the people we spoke to. Initially, the buzz for me was all about the science and solving problems but then there was a change. The buzz became helping people, making a difference to their lives, and seeing that I could actually help prevent disease from occurring. It was then I started hearing about the words Occupational Hygiene and understanding that  I was one and even cooler there was a whole bunch of them worldwide, now I really have found my career in health and safety.

I was given the opportunity to become a shareholder and director during the Canterbury Earthquake recovery and I saw this as a way of having influence over the business, growing the business, and more importantly growing the team. During the earthquake work we grew from 5 to 15 people in a very short space of time, which was amazing and hard. It was the team that made this possible, a massive shout out to Janet Connochie, Elizabeth Harwood, and Paul Robertson who worked tirelessly to make this happen. This was a transformative time for Chemsafety.

After raising two wonderful children to school age I became Managing Director and a whole new bunch of challenges appeared, which was not a bad thing, I like challenges. I have had so much fun working with the team at Chemsafety, we laugh, we do quality work, and we have amazing working relationships. This will be the hardest part about leaving. Janet, Paul, Liz, Livia, Ali, Sam M, Sara, Tony, Kurt, Dwayne, Josh, Alex, Almi, Riley, Thomas, Kate, Sam E, and the ever laughing Chrissy I will miss you, you are amazing, keep doing the awesome job you do.

To all my clients, thankyou for letting me work with you, I have loved the diversity of sites I have seen, I applaud your proactiveness and your willingness to do better for your people. Now its time for a new challenge and its one I am very excited about.
He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

Bridgette Jennings