Sonia Bowker joined us last year as Midland Lead’s Business Development Co-ordinator and is a valued member of our team. We took a little time to ask her a few questions so you could get to know her a little better.
How would you describe your day to day job? I describe myself as having a support role of two-parts. One is to assist Dave, our Export Business Development Manager, in ensuring our customers abroad receive the required documents to be able to collect their orders from customs. The other aspect of my role is to support Jake, our Specification Manager, in developing Midland Lead’s offering within the radiation protection sector. This entails providing products such as lead shielding, lead glass and lead-lined boards to customers such as vets/dentists/hospitals to ensure any harmful radiation from x-ray machines is negated.
If you could learn to do anything new, what would it be? I’d like to be able to learn how to bake a cake and have asked an older friend to ensure she shows me how to whilst she is still here! Being a member of a local WI (Women’s Institute) who make amazing cakes, it would be nice to surprise them with a cake that I have made myself.
If you could pick one superpower – what would that be? Being a big animal lover, I would love to be able to communicate with animals. It would be comforting to be able to know how they are feeling – whether they are happy or sad and if they know how much they are loved. I have a border collie dog which experts say are as clever as a 3-year-old child and can understand approximately 300 words, but to have a two-way conversation would be amazing!
What song title best describes your personality? My colleagues will tell you I am very inquisitive and like to know what’s going on, whilst taking an interest in peoples’ lives to the point where they think I should work at MI6! So, I have chosen ‘WHY’ by Annie Lennox – plus she is a great artist.
If you could talk to a 15-year-old you – what would you tell them? When I was 15, I was left responsible for running the family home after my mum and elder brother died, so I would say to myself that, although this was a very traumatic time, I should be thankful for the inner-strength and capabilities I gained from being placed in this situation at such a young age, and which have proven valuable throughout my life.
Finish this sentence: I once met… Kenny Baker who played R2D2 in Star Wars. He was from Birmingham and lived in the same street as me as a child. He was quite a character and always drew a crowd around his garden gate, even before he was famous for that role.
Tell us 3 things most people at work don’t know about you.
I dance with my dog Jack. It’s known as Heelwork to Music, and we perform at events such as school fetes and animal rescue centre open days. Jack loves the crowds and always refuses to get in the car to come home until he is absolutely sure the day is over, which is normally after he’s been rewarded with an icecream.
In a previous lifetime I was a rally car navigator, owning a Mini Cooper, Mini Clubman, complete with roll-bars, and even a Reliant Scimitar. The night-time rallies were the most exciting and the sound of the engines and the distant lights when spectating will stay with me forever.
As a child I passed my dancing exams in ballet and tap but never grew tall enough to continue this as a profession. I did, however, appear on stage several times and once with Charlie Drake of the ‘Hello my darlings’ fame at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
What is your favourite thing to do outside of work? An easy question to answer – a country walk with my husband Malcolm and dog Jack, with breakfast to follow.