Robert was born on the 20th May 1959 In London, and moved to the Northwest with the family at the age of 7. Robert was still at Sheffield University when Alan & Steve founded the Parfetts business in 1980 but spent the summer of that year getting the business running and joined on a full time basis on graduation in 1981. As in any other business at that stage everyone turned their hand to everything including driving Fork Lift Trucks (Robert’s favourite task) but as the business developed it quickly become clear that Roberts true vocation was dealing with people, whether staff or customers.
A Lovely, Kind, Thoughtful, A Gentle Man, Genuine, and Compassionate.
When Alan Parfett retired in 1989 Robert took an equal part with Steve in running the business, whilst Steve had always, with Robert’s approval, been seen as the public face of Parfetts, Robert’s role had always been as a key decision maker in the successful development of the company. Initially with Robert Miller and then with Bill Pace, David Grimes and Greg Suszczenia Parfetts had small teams on the Board who respected and balanced each other’s opinions. Robert’s role throughout was to be the quiet voice of reason and challenge some of my less practical ideas. Robert was fantastic at using language and communication, most importantly of all he was outstanding in dealing with both customers and staff. Whether they were happy or upset, customer or colleague, Robert was always able to bring common sense humility and justice to any problem. He passionately believed in fairness and when necessary was prepared to stand up and be counted for what was right, particularly in dealing with disciplinary matters which had serious consequences for the subject.
Robert was hugely supportive of the transition to employee ownership and the key director in improving representation and communication during that process. His death on the 11th March 2013 at a young age is a tragedy for the business and for all who loved him.