MichelleThompson-Stuff-220pxKeeping it in the family has been no challenge for the Thompsons, with the Washdyke family business giving them all a job. Emma Bailey talks to Michelle Thompson.

How did the business start? Our father, Lyndon, started it in 1978. He was a farm manager but had done a bit of steel fabrication and building in South Otago. Mum convinced him to move to Timaru and start an engineering business. Back then it was mostly working on farm buildings. My brothers Craig and Vaughan both started working for Dad after they left school, apart from time doing their OEs. They took over from Dad in 2002. I came [to Thompsons] five years ago. I was working as an administrator for 14 years at Blairs in Geraldine, that was another expanding business. I did business studies as well. I used to do the paperwork for here [Thompsons] in the weekend, and doing both jobs just got too much. Now Craig is the production director and quality control, Vaughan is sales oriented and does the estimating and oversees the design, and I do the admin and financial control...

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