Russell Simmons

Stripe is 10

Dear colleagues and valued clients, suppliers, contacts and friends,

This is a note I have aimed to be able to write since the 12th July 2010 when my colleague at the time Bret Champion and I, incorporated Pyle Car Park Consultants, which then went on to change its name to Stripe Consulting on the 6th May 2016.

This means that as of the 12th July 2020, Stripe has been an incorporated company for ten years.

I’m aware of the cliché, but Stripe was always supposed to be more than just another design company. I wanted the firm to become a trusted and valued supplier of high quality services in its sector, and I wanted it to be a firm that team members could be proud to be part of whatever their role, and that clients could be proud of as a trusted supplier.

One of the absolute keys to making the ten years, is that this desire of mine has, pretty much without exception, been shared by all the team members and suppliers that I have been fortunate to work with and alongside, over the 120 months of Stripe’s existence.

As with all businesses there have been highs and lows, but when I think back, as you find yourself doing at times like this, there have been so many highs vs the very few lows and I look back to countless situations where this practice went the extra mile, put the extra effort in, and ‘made the difference’ which is what I think I am most proud of on behalf of the firm.

I believe this company has valued and looked after its staff, placing nothing above the importance and wellbeing of the team, and has strived to serve its clients and treated those who believed in us, and afforded us the opportunity with the respect duly earned. This I will always see as one of Stripe’s biggest achievements.

Over the years, we have delivered many millions of pounds worth of work which has added value to our clients’ projects, we have registered a trademark for an innovate service (Reportal®), we have given good solid employment to our employees in a healthy and balanced workplace that we created, and we have acted with professionalism, respect and diligence.

Last year, I sold 75% of my shares to Ballast Nedam. I think people at the time thought this was the end of Stripe as they knew it, but as I think can be seen in the months that have since passed, it was always planned to be a springboard for Stripe to be able to deliver its services to a wider client base, without losing track and focus. It is early days in this respect, but I am very pleased with the support and freedom that Stripe has benefited from this new relationship.

A few thank yous from me personally:

Thank you to Bret and the rest of the Pyle Consulting team for allowing me to set up Stripe within the Pyle Consulting offices and for your support. I’m proud of the fact we never had any disagreements in our co-directorship, I think we worked well together, and the fact we still remain in contact now is testimony to that.

Thanks to Chris Whapples, for believing in me as 27 year old who wanted to do things differently and better. You could have worked for or with anyone in the world (such is your ability and standing) and you chose to trust me. This has never been taken for granted.

Thanks to our suppliers who have worked with us and ‘bought in’ to our offering and have enabled us to work the way we like to.

Thanks to the British Parking Association, who have supported me over the years and provided me with an opportunity to speak and meet people with far more experience and standing than I may ever have! There are some excellent people at the BPA past and present, and they continue to support members, including young professionals wanting to do a good job.

Thanks to the Landor LINKS and the British Parking Awards team (including judges). When I won the award back in 2013 (Young Parking Professional of the year) this provided validation to me I was on the right track. I have seen it have the same impact on other winners since, it is a valued milestone. Winning ‘Best New Build of the year’ was also a goal set down in year one and promised to Chris Whapples by me! I can remember saying to Chris several times that we would get there, so to achieve this in 2020 by winning with the University of Brighton scheme, was a highly valued achievement we are all proud of.

Thanks to the Ballast Nedam team and especially Thom Hienekamp, for understanding Stripe, and affording it the space it needs to carry on doing its job without compromise; I can honestly say Stripe is stronger as a result.

Stripe Consulting - Team, Jan 2020

Thanks to all my colleagues over the years and especially the current employees listed here:

  • Anesa Cana
  • Catherine Farrow
  • Chris Mance
  • Chris Whapples
  • Dare Oshatogbe
  • David Ruffell
  • Enrico Tomasi
  • Harry Smith
  • Jon Elliott
  • Lizzie Windridge
  • Lucas Fernandes
  • Mar Alonso
  • Michael Mbomena
  • Mosab Adrwish
  • Ranny Bedran
  • Rick Hawkins
  • Shalika Lamahewage
  • Tony Winn
  • Vaso Vaina

Finally, thanks to all the clients who trusted in us over the years, especially to the early Local Authorities who had to take a leap of faith to work with us. Many of you (if not all of you actually!) are still clients of ours ten years later, so I hope you feel that trust was paid off! We certainly value your support and hope to be able to keep supporting you.

Now that we enter another recession, having set up Stripe ten years ago in the last one, it feels perhaps over optimistic to say I look forward to writing another of these notes in 10 years, but that is most certainly what I will be aiming to do, and just like the last 10 years, I’ll give it all I have (or rather what’s left after Barnaby and Jasper have taken what they need from me!)

With sincere gratitude and appreciation for your continued support.