Kate Ambler is a Sealord career chameleon.
She has been with the company for more than 25 years, 12 of which were at sea and the rest a whirlwind of various roles. Human resources, accounts, health & safety, procurement, sales, administration and laboratory work – you name it, she’s done it!
Kate is now happily building her expertise in supply chain as Market Coordinator for China, Africa, Central and South America.
Her job is to work out the logistics of getting products to market, and she’s worked through the endless and evolving global COVID-19 environment. In Kate’s world, this means hold-ups, shipping schedule changes and other export dilemmas.
“It’s bloody hard work but there’s something really interesting about exports. I get quite a sense of satisfaction when I get the containers on the ocean on the way to their destination,” Kate says.
Her work has taken her places. As onboard administrator for the Janas, Kate went to the Antarctic. In a sales role she proudly represented Sealord at a seafood show in Chicago and she’s also worked in Tasmania. It’s the Antarctica experience and other voyages that spring most to mind however.
“There were amazing views, incredible sea-life, snow-capped mountains, and sunsets like you could never imagine. The ocean will never be out of my system,” Kate says.
In a very ‘Kate-like’ way, she wangled her first Sealord job by leaping at an opportunity in 1997. “I answered a phone call from my flatmate’s skipper and cheekily asked if he a had a job for me as well.”
He did and Kate joined the Pakura, working in the vessel factory for three trips, then returning to Sealord on the Aorere, followed by five years on the Aoraki and time on the Rehua.
During the trips off throughout her 12 years at sea, Kate worked with Sealord’s Nelson-based HR and other land-based teams. After one last stint at sea – her Antarctica voyage and a trip with the Independent I crew – Kate settled back to life on land and in 2022 is still loving her Market Coordinator role. She looks back at her career fondly.
“When I first took that trip on a Sealord vessel, I thought I might do maybe a couple of years at sea and see how it goes. I didn’t really have any idea of what I wanted to do, but I was happy to see if I liked it - and I loved it! I really like the industry, but most especially Sealord and how we do what we do. I feel that we do things the right way and I like that.”