Pat Shephard, EA at Guthy-Renker

Virtual Summit Speakers

Born and raised in Brighton, England.  Attended Westlain Grammar School until aged 15, when I left to attend secretarial evening classes.

My first job out of school was in an accountants’ office, where I stayed for approximately 2 years before moving on to a solicitor’s (lawyer’s) office. Married at age 19, I stayed at the solicitor’s office until my first child (son) was born in 1967, then second child (daughter) was born in 1970. Returned to work approximately 1973 at the same solicitor’s office, part time, until the children were older.

After a few years, I started a children’s hairdressing business in partnership with a friend.  I went back to evening classes to learn how to cut hair.  It was a successful business, but the partner moved away so I got a job with American Express as a typist in their typing pool.  After about a year, I applied for and got a job in their customer service department as a rep on the phones, answering calls/taking complaints.

I was promoted to supervisor after a short time, which took me off the phones, but meant I was responsible for handling the most difficult calls and customers.

I then moved on to the new accounts department, supervising/managing approximately 40 staff.  I received a couple of awards while in that department for largest numbers of new accounts issued. During this time, my marriage was failing, and I knew that I was going to file for divorce.  I had been to the US several times, always California and decided that’s where the next period of my life would be spent.

In 1990, once my divorce was finalized, I moved to Palm Desert, CA with two friends.

After a couple of months settling in and not working, I went to a local employment agency to sign on with them.  Instead, they offered me a job in their office, which I took.  I was there for about 12 months as a receptionist.

My next job was with a controller in a medical facility as his secretary/assistant.  I was only there for 9 months, when he was fired and consequently, so was I.

Back to the employment agency who sent me to Guthy-Renker as a temp for one week’s work (not for my present boss).  While there, my boss was looking for a secretary/assistant and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

I was hired by Greg Renker in March 1992 and I have been with him ever since.  The company had approx 35 employees when I started, and we were selling 2 products.  We now have approximately 500 people based in Palm Desert and El Segundo, CA, plus other offices worldwide, selling a multitude of products.