Elite Garages Celebrates Linda’s 25-Year Work Anniversary
On 11th August 2022, we celebrated Linda L’Enfant’s 25 years with Elite Garages! Linda started as a sales assistant with Star Service Stations at their Odiham site in August 1997. In 2005, Elite Garages acquired the Texaco petrol station in Odiham and Linda joined the Elite team as the Odiham branch manager.
Linda was later promoted to Area Manager of Elite Garages’ branches in Odiham, Hook and Sutton Scotney. All three of her sites developed over time and have been highly successful during her time with Elite Garages. Elite Garages also acquired two petrol stations in Cornwall (Fal and Scorrier) in 2013 and 2018 respectively. Linda was crucial in managing the new sites and introducing them to the Elite Garages group!
Over the years, Linda has been involved with many changes throughout the business. Changes included new Post Offices and Hermes parcel delivery points in stores, new suppliers and new shop designs. Linda has taken everything in her stride and is always very positive about new developments across the sites.
Linda’s Recent Successes with Elite Garages
In May 2021, Linda helped make the decision to move the Elite Garages petrol stations to SPAR. Linda was involved in working on pricing, as well as interior and exterior store design.
At the end of 2021, Linda had to deal with the fuel crisis and panic buying of fuel! Despite the unexpected disruption, Linda rose to the challenge to ensure the sites continued to run smoothly and safely. Linda and the team adapted well to their new roles in traffic management! They took the opportunity to chat to their lovely customers waiting in the queues. Linda was very positive throughout and said it was lovely to hear so much feedback praising the team.
In 2022, Elite Garages also opened their first standalone convenience store in Shaftesbury, which became Linda’s fourth store! Linda worked closely with colleagues to select Morrisons as their franchise partner and selected a range of lovely local products. The Morrisons Daily Shaftesbury store opened on January 13th 2022 and has been a great success ever since.
Linda has been a key part of the Elite Garages family and we’re looking forward to the next 25 years!
What Linda’s Colleagues Had To Say
Richard Whittemore has worked with Linda since she joined Elite Garages. Richard said, “Linda and her family have been an essential part of the Elite team for many years. Linda has always been a ‘star’ member of the Elite team. Thank you for all your help over the years. You have certainly helped in growing the Elite Garages group.”
Ian Watmore, who oversees Elite Garages’ 10 petrol stations and convenience stores, said, “I have worked directly with Linda at Elite Garages for over 13 years. I also knew her from Texaco Star Service Stations in the late ’90s. Linda started her career as a part-time sales assistant. She worked her way to becoming a Store Manager and now Area Manager covering our Hampshire petrol forecourts and also our new Morrisons Daily Supermarket in Shaftesbury, Dorset!”
Ian added, “Linda has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of petrol retailing and has seen a lot of change in the industry over the last 25 years. Her positive outlook in all aspects of the business has been fantastic. She relishes new initiatives and challenges and implements them with great effect. Her loyalty and dedication to the company have been exceptional. Linda’s caring and understanding attitude towards her colleagues has earnt her the highest respect throughout the company. I look forward to continuing working alongside Linda in her future journey with us at Elite Garages.”
“Friendly, Knowledgeable and Always Fair”
Tara Rye said, “Linda is a pleasure to work with. Always helpful and smiley even when we have had a few business challenges over the years! Linda runs her 4 stores really well. All her staff and colleagues speak highly of her as she is friendly, knowledgeable and always fair with them all. Linda’s contribution to our new venture at Shaftesbury made all our lives at Head Office easier at a very busy time. She rolled her sleeves up and got the job done. I also can’t let the opportunity go to mention Linda’s obsession with Biffa bins. We seem to have daily chats about various issues with bins and we have recently moved to send videos of bins! I look forward to many more years of chats about bins and well done on 25 years you crazy lady.”
Kelsie Whittemore said, “Linda is always a pleasure to work with. When I joined Elite full-time in 2019, I spent my first three months with Linda at her three petrol stations, where I was trained in all areas of the forecourts! I learned so much in a short period of time and Linda’s friendly, positive attitude is amazing. Linda is practical, enthusiastic and always full of good ideas and solutions. We recently opened our new Morrisons Daily store in Shaftesbury and it was great working with Linda on recruitment, shop design and local suppliers. Linda has great knowledge and experience in retail and she even recently added a WSET Level 1 Award in Wines to her skill set! The Elite Garages family is very lucky to have Linda. Congratulations on 25 years!”
Lovely Words From Linda’s Colleagues at Odiham, Hook, Sutton Scotney and Shaftesbury!
We spoke with the site managers at each of Linda’s sites, and they had nothing but lovely comments to share about Linda!
Dan Keene (Odiham Manager) said, “Firstly, congratulations to Linda on reaching 25 years’ service with Elite on behalf of all the staff at Elite Garages Odiham. Linda and I have worked together at Elite Odiham for the last 10 years now and she has been my direct manager for all that time. I’ve yet to find a situation or problem for which she can’t find a solution. This is a direct result of working from a cashier to area manager, and getting to grips with the finer points of all the roles in between over the last 25 years. From the serious to the ridiculous, if it involves fuel, or if it can happen on a Forecourt, or in a shop, she has seen it before and knows how to handle it.”
Dan added, “I have also never met anyone who knows so many people in the village and possesses such a wealth of local knowledge. I’m pretty sure we’ve even solved a few local crimes for the police on occasion! Like no other boss I’ve ever had, she values my opinion, yet will laugh at me when I do something silly, and then offer advice on how to put things right. From the moment I started working at Elite, as a cashier back in 2012, Linda has always been approachable, and a manager who I greatly respected. I am proud to have Linda as a boss and as a friend. Elite Garages and the village of Odiham are very privileged to have her. Here’s to the next 25 years.”
“Thank you for your 25 years of dedication and here’s to the next 25!”
Debbi Kitt (Hook Manager) said, “Throughout my time working for Elite Garages – Linda has shown herself to be the highest calibre of Manager and person. Through her support and empathy, she has become more than a manager – she has become a friend. Her personality shows in the work she does for others and the support she’s shown for me and my team. Linda, on behalf of all of us at Hook, thank you for your 25 years of dedication and here’s to the next 25!”
Debby Cole (Sutton Scotney Manager) said, “I have worked alongside Linda for just over 13 years. I would like to thank her for setting a great example for all her co-workers and being at the end of a phone when needed. Congratulations on this milestone in your career.”
Sharon Horsman (Shaftesbury Manager) has worked alongside Linda since the new site opened in January 2022 and said, “We are your new additions, Linda!! We would like to say a huge congratulations on your amazing achievement and commitment for the last 25 years. Thank you for all your help, guidance and support over the last 7 months. We look forward to working with you for many more. – From your Morrisons Daily team!”