It’s the beginning of a new week, and Danila Haddon is up early.
She muses on her day ahead – mentally plotting her rounds and routes – checks in on her orchids and makes her way to her office in Ocho Rios, St Ann.
Before she downs her first, full cup of coffee, she has already pursued sales leads, dispatched technicians, checked in with the service team, visited a job site as well as ordered new stock for her showroom and warehouse.
Nine months into her role as branch manager for Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) Ocho Rios, Haddon has blazed an impressive trail in a field most would expect to be headed by a man. “It is truly a technical business and much more than televisions, irons or air conditioners.
From installing generators that power hospitals to designing and outfitting commercial laundry room solutions – we do it all,” Haddon is proud of her job.
“Not many people would believe that a woman could hold her own selling Italian DAB water pump systems; know the ins-and-outs of generators or speak to hotel engineering teams on their industrial system requirements. But that’s just it, I am a woman – I can master anything,” she said with pride.
And mastered them she has. As the first female to head a regional branch for ATL, she notes that she had no reservations about being ‘man enough’ for the job. “Prior to this (assignment) I worked for almost a decade in the hospitality industry, which thrives on three things – expectations, execution and energy. I’ve taken that approach to my new role and being a new industry for me, I was willing to learn and wasn’t daunted to step up to the plate.”
Since her appointment, Haddon has bolstered sales for the branch, reporting a marked 25 per cent increase in transactions as well as a surge of in-store traffic. “The first thing I did when I took the job was to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of our current team then we made some fundamental changes,” she stated. “We came together as a unit, reassessed our customers – their needs and requirements, addressed our challenges, set new personal targets then overshot them.”
Haddon and her team have also made impressive strides in the St Ann community partnering most recently with the St Ann’s Bay Hospital to fund a new Electrocardiogram (ECG) printer for its department of internal medicine.
She revealed that her developing platform includes a lot more community work as well as plans to fortify her team with training and development. “There is a lot of potential within our group and I think that the desire to be the best at what we do is ingrained in us.” And the team’s respect for the pint-sized dynamo is mutual. They describe her as “tough but fair, with an open door and a ready solution.
“With a cohesive team in play, you can always expect excellence and that is my strategy,” she notes.
Danila Haddon has no reservations about stepping into a man’s world.