Dawn Halfacre

Director of Operations

"The decisions and paths you take may not be right the first time, but they offer a new opportunity to learn, shape and build towards your future."

What led you to work at PETA?

I can’t shake the Somerset accent – born and bred a country girl and have lived in Hampshire for 39 years.  At school, I had a passion for being creative and loved literature, art, geography and human biology, not that any of these truly informed my career choices.  I worked in the Aviation, Retail and Manufacturing sectors. 

My university time came later in life and, after entering the training sector, I became a ‘mature’ student and studied for and completed my Masters in Science Degree:  Education and Training Management, at a time it enhanced my career through gaining learning that was relevant to my role in PETA.

What is your role at PETA and what drives you to do what you do?

I am the Director of Operations for PETA, a pretty diverse and exciting role that enables me to work with colleagues across the business and build on our passion for superb quality of training, learning and development solutions. 

My role embraces many aspects of the business from Customer Service, Quality Management, Facilities Management, Sales and Marketing and Finance. 

What drives me to do my job?  Simply believing passionately in our core values and being part of a journey for employers and learners that enables them to optimise performance through nurturing talent.

 I thrive on solving problems, customer engagement, complexities and challenging twists and turns of business, combined with working with people – I am privileged to work with a fantastic team at PETA. 

What knowledge or experience do you draw upon for your role?

My broad knowledge and expertise gained through working in different sectors and business sizes.   Customer service plays a huge part, knowing that customers should be confident in what you say and do and trust you to provide the training they need.   

Active listening skills are an essential quality as is problem-solving through being pragmatic and realistic.

Knowledge and expertise gained through 25 years’ service at PETA, where I have held multiple roles enabling me to have a truly valuable grounding in training, learning and development that informs and shapes my work and decisions day-to-day and how I guide and support employers and learners to make the choices that are right for them. 

How do you approach your role on a day-to-day basis? What skills are required?

I firmly believe in the importance of quality of service, working smartly and delivering on promises.  To do that I need to be flexible, adaptable, commit to listening and expect to learn!  I don’t have all the answers, so I strive to be fair, objective and supportive to my colleagues and enable them to find solutions, be innovative and learn and grow in their own careers. 

As a colleague recently said ‘you get me’ which was a great compliment as if I can apply intuitive thinking, I can get the best from my team, for them and our business.  Underneath all of this, in a very demanding role, I must remain patient, balanced and calm, make decisions based on clarity and lastly, be resilient.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

A tough question and too many things to capture here.  I guess I can simply say I love life and all it offers!  Friends, family, socialising, nature (I absolutely love safaris in Africa, Kenya specifically and have been there many times) travel in general, great music, theatre, reading …. the list goes on.

What are your personal values, and what is important to you?

Truth and honesty, being open-minded, treating people with respect (we are all different and no one of us is any more important than another), accepting that perfection is a goal to aspire to!