Meet the team – Jenny Shepherd
Meet Jenny Shepherd; Mum of 3, Humanist Celebrant, Russwood’s Production Manager and the ‘First Lady’ of our yard. We caught up with Jenny for this month’s Meet the Team blog to find out more about how she juggles her busy life outside work, alongside developing a career with Russwood.
Return to roots
Originally from Kingussie, but having lived in Glasgow for 10 years, Jenny and her husband Mark made the decision to return to Jenny’s roots in the Highlands in late 2015. They were excited by the prospect of raising their children in Jenny’s home village, along with the slower pace of rural life. They found a house in Kingussie that needed some work and a bit of TLC, a challenge that Jenny and Mark were both excited by. Before they knew it, they had put in an offer and their Glasgow home was on the market, moving back to Kingussie in March 2016. Jenny may be part of the Russwood team in Newtonmore, but she says she will always be a Kingussie girl at heart!
Jenny married husband Mark in 2009 in Blairgowrie, with Mark’s daughter Molly being a bridesmaid on the day. Daughter Ruby then arrived in August 2010, followed by Archie and Connie in 2012. The surprise of twins, meant they had three kids under 3 years old – Jenny said, “2012/2013 was a bit of a blur, but we made it through, and we made it safely to the end of each day!” Archie, Connie and Ruby have settled in Kingussie like a dream. Connie and Archie both play shinty for Kingussie and love it. Ruby is not so keen on shinty but spends her time creating artistic masterpieces for around the house and Molly is busy studying Law at Stirling University.
When she first moved back to the area, Jenny knew it could be a challenge to find a suitable job and was slightly apprehensive. As luck would have it Russwood were looking for an Operations Assistant to work alongside our Operations Director; PJ Mackintosh. With perfect timing, Jenny thought this was a great opportunity for her and only a short daily commute. With her appointment, Jenny became the first woman (or ‘First Lady’ if you will!) of Russwood’s Yard Team. As PJ’s righthand woman, Jenny’s role included buying items for the yard, arranging accessory stock, administration and managing health and safety procedures.
Progress and development
With our range of products and systems growing, and introduction of partnerships with Austrian timber fixing engineers; Sihga and Swedish coating partners SiOO:X, Jenny’s role as Operations Assistant grew, seeing her take on more responsibility. During her time at Russwood Jenny has completed a variety of on-the-job training as well as training courses for ISO 9001, Fire Marshall and First Aid. When Russwood were recruiting for an Operations Manager in 2021, Jenny put herself forward for the role and was successful in her application. As Production Manager, Jenny now oversees our whole production team and ensures best practice production, planning and processes are met.
Jenny the celebrant
As well as working at Russwood, Jenny has also been a humanist celebrant since 2015. Her favourite part of being a celebrant is meeting couples and their families and creating special lifelong bonds. The excitement of being able to marry people and asking them to have their first kiss is amazing! Often couples choose to share a drink from a quaich and Jenny encourages them to down a wee dram in front of their guests, which always gets a big cheer! Jenny has even officiated a Russwood wedding, marrying Flooring & Interior Cladding Manager, Naomi to Dan in 2019. Jenny has started to slow down the wedding bookings for a while, so she has time to focus on her new Manager role at Russwood and has more free time with her family.
We are always keen to hear from people who are interested in working at Russwood both in our yard and office teams. Available positions and details of how to apply speculatively can be found on our careers page.