After 40+ years of looking after the Sigma brand, UK General Manager Graham Armitage has stepped down to enjoy a well-earned retirement, in doing so handing over the reins to another long-term ‘hand’ in Paul Reynolds.
Though Sigma UK General Manager Graham Armitage may be leaving us after four decades of service to the photo trade, the good news is that he’s handing over his role at Sigma to the very capable Paul Reynolds, another long-term (albeit not quite as long serving!) employee. The manufacturer therefore aims to reassure those in the trade of a smooth transition and a welcome degree of consistency via an already tried and tested team.
Graham Armitage recalls: “I joined CZ Scientific Instruments Ltd in 1978 as Product Manager for Sigma lenses, Sunpak flashguns and Elmo cine. Who would have imagined that the small family owned business whose modest factory nestled on the slopes of the, hopefully, dormant volcano, Mount Bandai would have evolved into the influential brand it has become today. The Sigma factory, still in its original location, has become one of the biggest and technologically sophisticated of its kind staffed by Japanese craftsmen and women of the highest order.
“Despite the huge change in fortunes SIGMA remains an independent family owned company which is unusually caring for its employees and for the environment as well as for the photo/ subsidiary of the Sigma Corporation, in imaging community in general. A stance that is quite refreshing in these days of corporate big business where the bottom-line is everything.
“I was asked to establish Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sigma Corporation, in late 2000. It made sense to recreate a compact family-like organisation which reflected our parent company‘s values, especially as the vast majority of our core customers were, and still are, running family owned businesses themselves. This approach proved to be very successful as we continue to grow and prosper”
“Over the years I have had the privilege to work alongside some very capable and supportive colleagues and with many talented and accomplished customers many of whom have become friends. The time has now come to retire and I am delighted to hand over responsibility as General Manager to Paul Reynolds who, having worked within SIGMA UK for the past 16 years, knows intimately how the organisation works. In addition, in his day Paul was the youngest Licentiate & Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and brings a talent and love for all things photographic to the role.
“Paul has three young sons of his own and so recognises the importance of family values too! I know that Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd will be in safe hands and that the existing close-knit team will continue to give Paul the commitment and support that they have given me over the years to ensure that our customers enjoy a seamless handover and a continuation of the service to which they have become accustomed.
“I‘d like to say a big thank you to all my friends in the trade for making what could have been a forty years slog into a thoroughly enjoyable career which has passed all too quickly.”
The newly installed SIGMA UK General Manager Paul Reynolds says: “It’s a privilege to be taking the reins from Graham who has done an outstanding job in building Sigma UK into the hugely successful company that it is today. It’s an exciting time for the Sigma brand which is continually introducing high quality and innovative products. Our reputation has never been better and I’m excited to be leading SIGMA UK into a new era.”