In a nine-year career with the Royal Navy, as a steward with the logistics catering service on board a nuclear submarine, James Garner provided hospitality both above and below the waves, serving sailors and visiting royalty alike.
Now, he has joined the award-winning Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events team at Liverpool’s Goodison Park stadium – home to Everton Football Club - in the role of operations manager.
In his former position James was in charge of manning accommodation for up to 30 people, providing food service four times a day for the ship’s 127-strong company and maintaining stock control.
And he plans to draw on his naval experience to ensure the smooth running of match and non-match day hospitality and operations at the stadium, which is one of Merseyside’s leading corporate and event venues.
“Although my feet will be firmly on dry land, I will utilise many of the skills and disciplines I acquired in the Royal Navy,” said James, who has moved to Merseyside from Deesside.
“Not only am I used to working as part of an efficient, organised and highly skilled team but I am also trained to keep calm in any situation – no matter now challenging.
“Goodison Park is far more than a football ground – it is also where people come to do business, to celebrate, to dine with their families and even to get married and the challenge is to ensure that everything runs like clockwork in front of and behind the scenes.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting that challenge head on.”
Goodison Park has nine conference and events suites along with a number of executive, pitch-side boxes with uninterrupted views of the ground, which are ideal for smaller meetings, lunches or dinners.
“Along with his practical skills, James possesses core values, such as commitment, discipline, loyalty and integrity instilled during his time in service,” said catering services director, Julie Tandy.
“And we think these, coupled with a ‘can do’ mentality and a calm and efficient way of working, will make him the perfect addition to our team here at Goodison Park.”