Almost 20 years ago, Michelle was recommended to us for a “short-term” office administration contract. A look back through the archives shows us that “short” is a rather elastic term. On reflection, we also discovered how much the Office Manager’s duties have changed over that time. Typing specifications, fetching and stamping of mail, writing and banking cheques, and distributing faxes are all things of the past. Other tasks, such as chasing timesheets and getting the accounts out on time, remain stubbornly familiar. But what is missing from Michelle’s official job description are those really important things that hold the practice together. Michelle has been a reliable support, a sounding board, and steady presence in our office, ensuring the welfare of staff is never forgotten in the daily rush to meet deadlines.

Michelle has always embraced change – from digitising the office systems to taking on QA management and, in more recent times, overseeing complex changes to most of our software platforms. Her connection to other architectural practice managers and Synergy software users has helped us benchmark and improve our systems and processes. And (almost) boundless patience in dealing with three directors who all think they know best has also been much appreciated!

She has been threatening to retire for a while, but this year we realised Michelle really was serious! She hopes 2021 will bring open borders and the opportunity to travel to remote and wonderful places. We will miss her. We’ll also miss her Office Dog, Archie, whose good nature certainly matches his owner’s.