Peter Smith, who joined the company in its infancy, 15 years ago, and was a major factor in its growth, has retired and gone to live in the northeast of Thailand. Many clients knew Peter as the 'face' of IMAGE asia and he will be sorely missed by the company and clients alike.
"I'm not sure what would have happened had I not been able to convince Peter to join our at the time very small team. But I do know that life would have been different over the past decade and a half," said IMAGE asia's founder and MD, Grenville Fordham.
Joining IMAGE asia as an advertising salesman came as a bit of a surprise to Peter. At his interview, he thought he'd applied for a different kind of job when he discovered what it was, his reaction was, "I can't sell advertising." I imagine the hundreds of people who have bought advertising from Peter over the years would disagree. We certainly do!
Peter's idea of a salesman was the brash, aggressive stereotype. What he came to understand was that it is much more about building relationships and trust something for which Peter was perfectly suited.
Another anomaly is that, although he's worked for all the past 15 years, and some before, Peter actually came to Phuket to retire on the ocean waves, having been inspired by the predecessor of IMAGE asia's Southeast Asia Pilot book at the Southampton Boat Show.
He realised his dream and became Lee Marine's first customer, first buying a second had sailing yacht from the newly set up yacht brokerage and later returning to them for an easier-to-handle motor yacht.
As often happens with dreams, reality intruded and the famous 'black hole' so well known to the yachting community obliged Peter to give up the boat and return to work.
And that brings us full circle to today, when Peter has finally settled into his carefully designed and purpose-built 'container home' in a field in Isaan, taking with him the sincere well wishes of his former employers and colleagues.