Robert Signs Off After Three Decades With Benefitz

Well known Devonport resident Robert Johnson has retired from Benefitz after three decades working with the business. For the past 20 years he was a shareholder and director of Benefitz.

Robert first started his career in the printing industry as an apprentice Letterpress operator with York Pelorus Limited. He qualified as a printer, but his warm personality meant he was always much more suited to sales and account management.

Robert spent a few years overseas on his OE in the UK before relocating to Sydney in Australia and establishing a reputation in the music industry with Polygram Music. He spent eight enjoyable years traveling throughout Australia in his role with Polygram Music.

“It was a crazy and fantastic time for a young person,” said Robert, reflecting on his time across the Tasman. “I survived, with highlights including working on tours for Elton John, John Mellencamp as well as many others.”

Returning to New Zealand, Robert went back into printing, working in sales for his brother-in-law’s North Shore business, Promotional Print. Around that time Robert met his future wife Lesleigh and also first came into contact with Benefitz founder Aidan Bennett.

“It was a great time in my life and proved to be the making of me really,” explains Robert. “Lesleigh was always a lot of fun and gave my life structure when it was needed. We have never really looked back. We are hugely proud of what we have achieved together, especially raising our two daughters Sammy (30) and Madison (27). They are much cleverer than their dad, that’s for sure! They take after their mum.”

“Aidan has asked me to be a ‘Benefitz Ambassador’ which means I get to turn up for events! (he chuckles). I will certainly be staying in contact and will help out where I can. They call it old muscle!…”

The Shore has been home for Robert and Lesleigh Johnson since they married. First living in Birkenhead, then moving to the Devonport peninsula in the mid-90s.

“I used to call on Aidan as a print rep for Promo Print and we got on well. A year or two after he started Benefitz I also started my own business and was able to share space with the Benefitz crew. I think there was only Aidan, then Dallas (his brother) and one or two others back then.”

“Together we ended up buying another offset print business in the mid-90s that became one of the key ingredients of the Benefitz business today. In mid 2000s we ended up consolidating the business, purchasing our premises on Constellation Drive, and adding a wide range of print and signage capability. This business has grown and grown ever since.”

“I am really proud that we have remained a family business, it is neat that virtually all of our family members have worked in the business at some stage.” So, what is Robert Johnson going to do in retirement? “Aidan has asked me to be a ‘Benefitz Ambassador’ which means I get to turn up for events! (he chuckles). I will certainly be staying in contact and will help out where I can. They call it old muscle! Lesleigh and I love living in Devonport and are lucky to have a wide circle of friends in the area. Many are also slowing down. So, we will be busy. Golf at Waitematā (for both of us) will feature largely in our plans, as will be getting away to our bach at Whangamatā more often. Maybe a bit of fishing. Sammy lives in Feilding so we will visit more frequently.”

Farewell Robert from the Benefitz team. You will be missed!

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