In every issue of our Aycliffe Business magazine, we take a break and sit down with a different employee or business owner/leader to ask them 20 questions about a variety of subjects.
In our latest edition, Craig Jones from Rare Rockets answers our 20 questions over a cuppa…
1: What do you do?
A: I’m the CEO of Rare Rockets, and my role is to implement, develop and lead the organisation into our new era.
2: Who have you worked for in the past?
A: I was the manager of Hartlepool Deaf Centre, service coordinator at Darlington Council, director of CJ Interpreting, now known as Rare Rockets.
3: Best part of your job?
A: Teamwork, networking and partnership! Without these in place, I would be just be totally stuck in a rut. Having an excellent team onboard is satisfying and I take great pride in that. You can see how each individual staff members grow in confidence within their role. Look after them and they will look after our customers.
4: Is there anything about your job that you really don’t like?
A: If I didn’t like my job, I wouldn’t be here!
5: Favourite thing about working on Aycliffe Business Park?
A: The location, the facilities we have nearby especially Oak Leaf driving range! A good opportunity to try and improve my golf swing during lunch breaks.
6: Which company/individual on the park do you do the most work with?
A: LemonTop Creative, when we were based in the same building. Since lockdown, they now work from home, but it doesn’t stop us from working together and we’ve successfully continued this.
7: Which Aycliffe business or individual do you tip for future success?
8: Four famous people you’d love to have round for dinner and why?
A: James Martin, I watch all his cookery programmes, he’s so down to earth and I really admire how he interacts with his guests, quite similar to myself plus a fantastic opportunity to see his cooking. Michael McIntyre as I can relate to the comical side of family life. Trevor McDonald, I love his documentaries, how he describes life and draws out people’s personalities and characters and lastly, Deborah Meaden. Her business-like yet down-to-earth approach, alongside her love of nature. Having those around the table generates a true balance. I’m sure it will lift the roof after a couple of vinos!
9: If you could do something else in business, what would it be?
A: A chef! Cooking is my therapy.
10: Who’s your favourite Tweeter?
A: Love or hate him, Piers Morgan. He’s a straight talker. The things he says with confidence and no fear.
11: Have you ever done anything really daring?
A: Oh yes! Where do I start? Go-karting, quad biking, parachuting! I was only two jumps away from going freefall. I love being a bit of DareDevil!
12: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
A: Learn from your mistakes, then move on.
13: If money was no object, what would be your ideal car?
A: Oh man! It has to be an Aston Martin, any model! I would have the biggest smile known to mankind. The sleek style, the sexy look, it’s a beast in my eyes, but I’ve not yet sat in one yet! Hopefully soon, who knows?
14: Money no object, your dream holiday would be?
A: Sanatoria. The stunning view. I just love being in the sun and chilling out.
15: Do you have a favourite band or type of music?
A: I don’t have a particular favourite, but I used to listen to Michael Jackson during the release of his two albums; Thriller & BAD, even went to old Wembley to see his concert, what an entertainer! Since then, not much… my kids have taken over with their strange style of music!
16: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Having two kids! Just watching them grow into individual characters in their own way, you can’t beat that any day.
17: How would you best describe yourself in four words?
A: Determined, Objective, Unprejudiced, Fun!
18: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: Still in the same role, but continuing the development of Rare Rockets, more staff, inspiring people and creating opportunities.
19: Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
A: I haven’t met them directly, but they’ve been ‘around’ me…. my son has a photo with Joe Swash and Adama Traore (ex-Middlesbrough footballer). My wife met Ian Botham, my 1981 Ashes hero and Phil Schofield! The nearest famous in my eyes was Neil Maddison, when Middlesbrough drew 1-1 with Brighton on the last day of the Championship to get promoted to the Premier League, my friends and myself got a selfie with him with the biggest cheer of our life!
20: Do you have any guilty pleasures?