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Sunday, September 27, 2020

A tale of working your way to the top for one Aberdeen businessman

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IT’S been a story of working your way up the career ladder for Keith Robertson, who has been newly appointed operations director of AVC Immedia.

The 39-year-old first joined the audio visual brand communication agency nearly 20 years ago as a sales administrator.

But it wasn’t the career path he expected to take.

Keith was all set to begin his career as a professional footballer with Dundee FC in 1999 after agreeing to join them but after suffering a broken ankle he had to look towards a different future.

He said:  “That was going to be me. I was going to be a footballer.  I was all set to go to Ireland for pre-season but I played a match here that I shouldn’t have and got injured.  I suffered a serious ankle injury and that was it.  I didn’t play football for about a year and I had to get a job pretty quickly.

“I had no plans to go to university.  I had the grades to go but I had no real desire to do it.

“All I wanted to do was be a footballer.  But I think that life just throws you these things and things that are not meant to be are not meant to be.”

Keith then went and worked for the former newspaper Aberdeen Independent in the sales department and although he enjoyed it knew it wasn’t what he wanted to do long-term.

He said:  “I did enjoy it but my boss at the time knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be for the rest of my career.  I knew I wanted to do something football-related.  Her husband worked at a recruitment agency and she actually told me about an opportunity at AVC.

“As soon as I heard they did a lot of work within the football industry, contracts with Fifa and UEFA, SFA I knew I wanted to work with the company.  And it just so happened the role was in the sports team as a sales administrator.  I didn’t care if it was making cups of coffee or photocopying I wanted it.”

Keith spent six months in that role before he was offered a role as an apprentice cameraman/editor.  His first big job was then at the Champions League final between Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid held at Hampden in 2002.  His latest role before promotion was general manager.

Keith takes the helm at an exciting time for the firm. His appointment coming less than a year after AVC Immedia’s international expansion into the United States, and shortly after several contract wins across the UK, including an agreement for 3D animation content worth a six-figure sum confirmed just before lockdown.

He said: “I’m excited about it.  I’ve been here such a long time that I’m eager to get going.  We’ve got such a good team here and we are fortunate to have some very talented individuals across the teams.

“With me changing my position and role it will allow others to do the same and for us to develop new areas in the business.

“I am delighted and proud to have been appointed operations director. It has been a privilege to have played a major part in the company’s growth over my two decades here, and I look forward to helping it grow even further in the years to come.

“These are exciting times for the company and I look forward to working with our existing clients and bringing new ones on board from our offices in Aberdeen, Newbury and Houston.

“With premises in the UK and US, we are well-placed to help organisations develop their audio visual branding no matter what vertical they operate in.”

The Newbury-headquartered company, which employs nearly 30 people across its offices, has also welcomed back Rob Hancock who takes up the role of senior 3D animator.

Keith said: “His return is great news, and I am sure he will work well with the animation team. His experience will be of huge benefit to colleagues and clients.

“We also have Kacey White based in Houston as business development executive.

“Kacey is on the ground project managing one of our clients but also building on other clients.  A lot of oil & gas companies have an operation in Houston so it fits in well with our client portfolio.

“We’ve been tying her in to other projects as well. It’s really good and positive.”

Keith is in no doubt that Covid-19 has had a knock-on effect for business but he’s positive for the future.

He said:  “Covid has been difficult because the make-up of our service offerings and it has been a challenge but we have adapted and continued to work with clients remotely.

“We’ve had to adapt but we have a diverse portfolio of services which offers the flexibility of working with clients anywhere in the globe from a remote working location. We have implemented safe working practices for all onsite audio-visual installations and filming projects which has allowed us to continue to service clients throughout lockdown.

Keith takes on the role following the departure of Spencer Buchan.

 

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