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Episode 08

🎙 Meeting Pascal Rambert and Claudine Schaeffer who, after 45 years of good and loyal service at Ekkia, are going to enjoy a retirement 1,000 times deserved.

Pascal, Claudine, you joined Ekkia over 40 years ago and you are taking a well-deserved retirement at the end of January. How did the story start?

Claudine: After my DUT in legal careers, I looked for work in my hometown to be independent, as my parents were moving at the same time. That's how I found out that Ukal Equitation, which would become Ekkia in 2005, was hiring for an executive assistant position. It was January 15, 1979. There were about 4 or 5 of us in Haguenau...!


Pascal: As for me, I'm from Vichy and, after my military service, I read in La Montagne that Ukal was looking for an athlete to sell horse riding equipment. There were several of us in the running but I pushed the decision by agreeing, overnight, to come participate in a horse show in Paris. It was December 12, 1978.

What were your roles over time and your journey within Ekkia?

Claudine: Three months after I arrived, I had the opportunity to join the equestrian department where I focused on customer service. At the time, everything was done by telex, Minitel, letters, and phone calls, and we had a small showroom, mainly frequented by local farmers :). A few years later, Jean-François Vignon offered me a position in purchasing, which was becoming increasingly important. It was in line with my practice of foreign languages, my desire to travel, my taste for customer and supplier relationships. I had found my calling.


Pascal: What I've always liked about the job of sales representative is the autonomy. I started with an Opel station wagon covering 55 departments. We had 500 rather basic references, not very technical. More than knowledge of horse riding, it was the ability to sell that made the difference. I've always loved this field contact that I wanted to maintain when I was appointed commercial director in 2017. Three million kilometers later, I'm still here!

Looking back, how do you judge this 45-year career of loyalty to Ekkia?

Claudine: I never got tired of it. The company has evolved so much since I started, I felt like I was part of this development, part of the adventure. I had the opportunity to retire earlier, but when I learned in early January 2019 that Pascal was taking the reins again, after a very difficult period, it boosted me. And I plunged back in! I'm not worried about the future, the purchasing department and Ekkia are in very good hands.


Pascal: It's a super nice SME, which has managed to retain this family spirit. People stay here because they feel good. I also had the opportunity to retire two years ago but stayed at Pascal's request. Today, the next generation is ready and I leave in peace.

Your Ekkia in one word?

Claudine: Success.


Pascal: Loyalty. We're the best proof of that, aren't we?

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