Local Government Ambassador Moira Livesey is one of Astun’s most recognised faces. In this interview, you can learn more about Moira and how she uses her experience in the public sector to fly the flag for public sector GIS.
Why did you join Astun Technology?
Mike Smith, then Astun’s Head of Sales, approached me about eight years ago. The Management Team was looking for someone with extensive experience working with Local Authorities to advocate for overworked GIS teams. I was excited about the opportunity to work with Astun, knowing that their team always listens and is willing to help. Here I am, all these years later!
What prior experience did you have in public sector GIS?
I worked for Bolton Council for over 30 years in different positions. In my most recent role, I was the Spatial Data Manager, responsible for managing the Corporate GIS systems. These systems included the LLPG (Local Land & Property Gazetteer) and various services from Astun, such as iShare Maps, iShare GIS, and Astun Data Services. Additionally, I was the Project Manager in charge of a £1.3 million project aimed at automating the local search service.
Has your role at Astun changed much?
Yes. My title of Local Government Ambassador has stayed the same, but I’ve taken on new responsibilities. Astun is a growing company, so what I do has to evolve to continue to meet the needs of our Local Authority clients.
Over the years, I’ve conducted hundreds (if not thousands) of account review calls with clients and attended lots of events. These have given me an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing today’s GIS teams. Each Local Authority has different needs and I enjoy being able to match clients to relevant products and services. I love it when you can give someone the answer to a problem that they didn’t even know they had.
At the moment, I’m busy passing on my detailed knowledge of clients to Toby and Andrew, our Sales Account Managers. Handovers are important to us as they enhance our customer service. As an ex-GIS Manager, I know there’s nothing worse than someone new asking you lots of questions when you’re busy doing the day job! I’m also taking a bigger role in raising awareness of events and new technologies.
What are you most proud of?
I enjoy being part of a growing company of close-knit people. I’m proud that I embrace change as this ensures that Local Authority clients get the most out of my presence at Astun. I appreciate the rapport I have with them.
What are you looking forward to in 2024?
This year, my colleagues in sales and marketing will have more regular meet-ups. We’re an enthusiastic team and I’m sure we’re going to come up with some great ideas to help clients.
Everyone at Astun is like family, so I’m looking forward to more company-wide events. We all help and support one another and it’s great to see how friendly everyone is in person.
I’m pleased that I’ll still be able to communicate directly with existing customers and meet new faces, whether over the phone or at events. Much as I enjoy ploughing through G-Cloud documentation, it’s never quite as enjoyable as chatting to GIS teams about what keeps them awake at night and then helping solve their problems.
What do you do outside work?
Flexible working hours mean I can plan my day and squeeze in a walk in the daylight. In the evenings and at the weekends, I enjoy more walks, playing tennis (badly) and socialising with friends, family and colleagues with a glass or two of wine over ice (even red)! This occasionally results in a memorable karaoke evening. Luckily, as an identical twin, I can always pretend that it wasn’t me. Being part of ‘double trouble’ has its benefits.
I also enjoy skiing, visiting my extended family in Austria and travelling to new destinations. In 2023, I was lucky enough to take a three-week holiday using my sabbatical leave. We toured Australia and stopped over in Bangkok to see my best friend from college days. It was great to recharge the batteries, relax and have the trip of a lifetime. It is one of my most treasured things, courtesy of Astun Technology.