Profile piece - Rebecca O'Connell
This month, we delve beneath the numbers and talk to our Head of Finance & Accounts (our resident fitness guru), Rebecca O’Connell, who joined Masons in 2019.
Born and raised in the Midlands, Rebecca left school earlier than planned to care for her father and work part-time in a local shoe shop, later securing her first role as an apprentice administrator, before moving into credit control.
At the time Rebecca was horse mad. Her enthusiasm and passion to be in the saddle rather than an office chair led her to follow her dreams and move to North Yorkshire in 2008 to ride for a local racehorse trainer.
Captivated by the sport, Rebecca had the opportunity to travel the world, where new acquaintances became lifelong friends and Rebecca enjoyed many successful and wonderful years in horse racing. Rebecca then closed this chapter of her life by riding a fantastic 33-1 winner at York Racecourse whilst raising money for MacMillan, a charity close to her heart.
Rebecca decided to set down roots in idyllic North Yorkshire and fell back into finance. So, what does this county mean to her?
“Moving North was initially my fresh start, but I fell in love with its calmness and now, its home. It’s an incredible place.”
Rebecca set up roots in Masons’ very own hometown of Bedale and recently bought a renovation project. So, why Bedale?
“I love the fact that we feel very safe living here in Bedale. My son has had a fantastic childhood and having lived myself in a large city environment, it was important to me that he have the best start possible. Bedale has definitely provided that.”
Having previously worked for Mount St John, Black Sheep Brewery and Heck Foods, Rebecca is well versed in Yorkshire businesses with a family-centric ethos. Is this what attracted her to Masons?
“I enjoy working in local family businesses. You get to know everyone on a personal level, and many become close or lifelong friends. On a professional level, you become involved and passionate about the business and your role.
Masons also stood out to me as a company that is very prevalent in their community and like to put their people first.”
Rebecca manages a team of 3 individuals, so we were curious as to what that’s like for her.
“I consider myself extremely lucky and privileged to have Mark, Kate & Jordan in the finance team. They are all extremely capable, they help and support one another and nothing is ever too much trouble. They all have the business’ best interest at heart and they work incredibly hard. It makes my job so much easier.”
Back to the point at hand – why gin? How did Rebecca fall in love with our favourite drink?
“A Gin & lemonade threw itself at me one evening. I tried it and I liked it. Since then, it has sought to sabotage me on many occasions. We have a love-hate relationship that needs careful management.”
Perhaps the best answer we’ve ever had.
And finally, what’s Rebecca’s favourite gin?
“Masons Orange & Lime Leaf. I drink mine with lemonade and it’s deliciously fresh.”
We agree. Thank you, Rebecca!