Primeast is pleased to welcome Tina Breslin to the team, who will be taking on the role of General Manager in Houston. Not only will she be bringing with her years of experience, but she will act as a bridge, helping us deliver a great service and grow our presence in the US.
Having recently won the coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, growing our business outside the UK is a key growth strategy for Primeast Ltd. This is a strategically important position for us, we have worked with North American clients for a number of years and it is a key market that brings with it lots of exciting opportunities.
“My first six months are going to be focused on building relationships with some of our existing clients and also developing new ones, mainly in oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and technology,” Tina explained. “The ultimate goal will be to build a full service team based across the US.”
Laying the foundations
We’ve loved getting to know Tina, hearing her ideas, and laying the foundations for future collaboration. This has included creating a process for how we’re going to be working together, setting up a regional business strategy based on the company initiative, establishing a communications plan, and discussing how we’re going to keep the energy going.
What we’ve found is that it has really been a melding of like-minds. “I felt like when I met the people at Primeast, we had similar thoughts on leadership development and partnering with our customers on their vision. I was also aware that this opportunity would be the culmination of using my skills I had developed over the last 25 years. I could see that I would be able to draw up my background in sales, training and development and my HR background in the oil and gas world,” Tina said. “From a professional level I felt like Primeast would enable me to take the best attributes I had developed during that time. And on a personal level it offered me an opportunity to be entrepreneurial. Helping set a footprint for a company that is established in the UK but is looking for an American affiliate is really exciting.”
Tina has also been introduced to our flat way of working, meaning there is less hierarchy and the focus is on collaboration – something she is really enjoying being a part of!
From New Orleans to Primeast
Tina’s journey started in New Orleans – her hometown – before she moved to Houston in the early 80s, where she is now currently based. Once in ‘Space City’, Tina moved into advertising because “it was a great place for women to succeed financially”.
She worked at the Houston Chronicle newspaper, the largest newspaper for Hearst Media (based in New York) and the fourth largest daily newspaper in the US, for 20 years. Here, Tina occupied roles in training and development within the sales arena. During the last five years of her career, she rose to the executive role of Director of Sales Performance for all of the Hearst Newspaper Group.
“I think what was so great about that role was that I was continuously learning new skills,” She said. “I eventually became a Six Sigma Green Belt (a process oriented programme designed by Motorola), which is going to serve Primeast very well as we work with customers who are also process oriented. This really resonated with me when I learned that Primeast is also an ISO 9001 certified organization which means that there are certain standards to uphold to attain this certification. I will also relate to the HR leaders as I was an HR Director previously and certified as a facilitator in all kinds of training, including leadership development.”
For Tina, Primeast has been a perfect fit with her values and her talent. “We at Primeast can deliver a global initiative from a corporate vision,” she explained. “The initiative might stretch across the world but have a very focused local flavour. This is because we have approximately 100 consultants world-wide. The differentiating factor of Primeast, as Russell Evans (Primeast CEO for the North America office) stated it best, is that we have proven solutions, a British heart and North American savvy. It’s not just delivering training. It’s about bringing to life operations, purpose and vision.” Tina added, “This is an exciting venture! I’m looking forward to our relationship being wildly successful! And you can quote me on that!”
When the UK and US collide it’s energising
Our experience in the US has taught us that North America can be a very different operating environment to the UK and other parts of the world.
George Bernard Shaw famously said “England and America are two countries separated by a common language” – something that Tina has experience of. She admits that she’s struggled to understand some of what we’re saying! After all, many of our common phrases simply don’t exist in the US. Luckily, Tina isn’t afraid to stop us and ask what “ya’ll” are talking about.
She was also surprised to see the way we work: “I’ve heard Europeans have a much better grasp of work/life balance than Americans, whereas professionals in the US are very ambitious and driven, but that’s not what I’ve seen exemplified at Primeast. They work very hard. However, they play hard too, which is something I embrace.”
Another key difference Tina has noted is the flat structure and general culture. “The energy is high, they’re excited and I’ve loved my time being in the UK for my initial training. I cannot believe how receptive the team is to my ideas and the way I challenge the business. That’s a big difference from the corporate world that I’ve been in,” she said. “My experience in the US corporate world has been very hierarchical in general, with changing organizational charts. The vision and purpose is set by the executive management and those below execute the plan. I don’t want to generalize that all US companies are like that but it has been my personal experience as a middle manager”.
At Primeast, this couldn’t be more different as we believe purpose must be a reflection of all stakeholders. It’s ultimately about valuing people who are in the organisation. “They really practice what they preach,” Tina added.
Looking to the future
For Tina, the future is about helping Primeast establish a presence in the US, building a successful sales process and then expanding the footprint to include other offices across North America. “That is really my five year goal,” she said. “I see that as definitely being able to happen.”
Getting in touch
Tina is reachable at her Houston-based office by landline, skype and mobile/cellphone (for more details, see our Contact Us page). You can email Tina at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore how Primeast can help your organisation deliver performance beyond boundaries – you can also connect with her on LinkedIn.