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Brian Traver's Retirement

Brian commenced with PF Olsen in October 1982. This year Brian retires with just over 30 year's service at PF Olsen.

Brian commenced at PF Olsen with the title Economist/Forester. At the time PF Olsen was a small team and Brian was able to turn his hand to pretty much any task thrown at him and produce a good result. That early work involved a lot of consulting tasks undertaken for the NZ Forest Owners Association on a range of national policy matters affecting forestry. Brian also spent time in Vanuatu sorting out accounting for a somewhat problematic company investment in a native sawmill in Vanuatu.

At some time around 1990 the company lost its incumbent accountant and the role was advertised. Brian applied for the job and got it. It became apparent that Brian also had majored in accountancy in his Commerce degree and had held accountancy jobs in the UK and taught accountancy at Hastings Boys High School.

Brian found a calling in early computer business software. He claimed expertise in Fortran IV programming language in his job application and soon embraced the operation of our first accounting computer – a Burroughs mainframe beast that took a small office to house it. With the advent of the PC some may recall there was an early war between providers of spreadsheet and word processing software – a war we now all know that Microsoft won. Brian had become so proficient at building macro driven spreadsheets in Lotus Symphony that it took us several years to switch him to the Microsoft Excel product. But he got over it and is now pretty much a whizz at building Excel spreadsheets. He is also the best qualified in the firm to run and teach FIPS accounting functionality that has been the cornerstone of our Enterprise Resource Planning software since 1998.

At 430 Ngongotaha Road Brian was also the farm manager. He bought the weaners, managed the grazing regime and along with Pete Foster ran this profitable division of the company. Before attending to the cows Brian would let reception staff know his whereabouts by announcing as he walked out the door "I'm going to be Outstanding in my Field".

Brian has been winding down his work hours over the last year and retired as a salaried staff member this month. But he is far too young to retire and we have asked Brian to come back to work from time to time to undertake accounting project tasks and mentoring. We hope, however, that Brian enjoys a bit more time off for travel and attending to the animals.

Brian's long tenure and eclectic sense of humour means Brian has touched the lives of many PF Olsen staff, clients and suppliers over the years. Brian was formally farewelled at a company end of year function at the Blue Baths, Rotorua last Friday evening.