Production Specialist Sirkka Kopeli
Hi, I'm Sirkka.
I've worked at Genelec since August 1995, so you could say I'm extremely comfortable here. I've performed several different tasks within the production team, from assembly to team leading, and now my title is Production Specialist.
Every one of our loudspeakers is assembled at Genelec's factory in Iisalmi, Finland. The site has been expanded several times, most recently with the addition of a new logistics centre, inventory system and an extensive solar power system. I think it's wonderful that we contribute nicely to sustainability, and you can see that in other ways too, such as our use of recycled aluminium.
What we produce and how we produce it has developed immensely over the years. Our valuable colleagues in the R&D team are under the same roof with us, and they help us to identify new ways of improving the manufacturing workflow. Back when I started, our components were manually placed on circuit boards and soldered by hand. These days, most components are put into place by robots, and everything is soldered by machine. Our loudspeakers have also become automated using software connectivity and control that enables users to easily optimise their listening experience. We’ve even brought similar benefits to headphone listening with our Aural ID service. I've learnt that by taking action, evolving, sticking to clear goals, and being customer oriented we can achieve great things.
During my career, Genelec has grown into a global force. When I started here, we supplied loudspeakers almost exclusively for professional use, for example in TV or radio studios. Nowadays, homeowners buy a lot of loudspeakers from us, and I'm pleased to see so much investment in good quality audio at home. Our loudspeakers are even considered to be a decorative piece due to their beautiful designs, and that also makes them perfect for public spaces, which often order many different colours. It's great to notice flashes of colour on the production line, and then I'm left wondering where that batch of loudspeakers will eventually be delivered.
Our team members often talk about how good it feels to see our loudspeakers used for example on TV, and how all of us say "Yes! The loudspeakers we made!". It's also nice to notice that our young summer workers inherit the same enthusiasm when their work is adopted in homes and studios. There's a huge sense of pride when Genelec receives an award, and those are always earned through team efforts. We celebrate those with cake and coffee, and I'm pleased to say we've won a few awards recently, so we've been feeling great.
When I started in 1995, our canteen could fit Genelec's entire personnel around two tables, and now we have dozens of tables with two teams that share the factory shifts, so there's a lot more people on board. We’ve always maintained a family-like atmosphere, and that’s partly because many of us go on to have decades-long careers at Genelec. Although some of my closest colleagues have retired already, we’ve stayed in regular contact. In recent years, I've enjoyed the way our team has become more international, which has allowed us to share cultural experiences. Most recently, I've enjoyed getting to know a new colleague from Rwanda. Genelec takes care of the team's well-being in many ways, including regular exercise sessions. During the summer, we enjoy the beautiful lakeside scenery while doing aerobics on the lawn. People in boats often wave as they go by - they're probably used to spotting us there by now.
There's been many memorable moments in my career, a few highlights of which have been visits from internationally known artists. It's been great to show them our products and how they're made, for example I guided Tarja Turunen while she had a go at assembling loudspeakers. She signed two of our RAW loudspeakers and we auctioned them off with the proceeds going towards Covid-19 research at Helsinki University. Many of our wonderful summer parties also come to mind, because of the great company, tasty food and brilliant artists.
Outside of work, my hobbies include handcrafting, jewelry making and outdoor activities. I love to learn new ways to make crafts, and I also try out my own ideas. I once developed a way to make jewelry from some of the leftover materials at the factory. A colleague and I made a batch of these and sold them, then we gave the proceeds to a new children's hospital. I love to listen to music, and Adele is my favourite artist. Late last year, I came home from work to find that she was performing live on the TV from Los Angeles. I stood there watching it in my jacket and completely forgot that I was wearing it. I think she's a wonderful artist with brilliant lyrics, a great performing ability and her voice is stunning. I suppose you've guessed already that I listened to the concert with the best possible sound, but I regret that I didn't travel to see her in Stockholm a few years ago, and I hope that I'll get another chance someday.
My husband and I live together in a detached house in Iisalmi, and our kids have moved out already into the wider world. My son also works for Genelec, although he's currently on study leave. I'm a grandmother with three grandchildren and my step-son's kids, who're just as important. I'm absolutely delighted with the time I've spent with my grandchildren, and they're so grown up now that they're even helping with the household chores and going to the sauna and for a swim in the lake in their own little group.
Here's a quote I'd like to share with all of you,
"A friend is someone who knows all about you
and still loves you."
- Elbert Hubbard
Greetings from a colleague:
I remember when I first met you over 24 years ago, back when I'd just started working for Genelec. You were on maternity leave, and you came to visit the factory that day with your newborn. We introduced ourselves to each other and I immediately felt we had a lot in common. In that moment, I thought to myself that you are a very sympathetic and easily approachable person, and that was the start of our great teamwork and close friendship that's remained strong ever since, even outside of work. You're a person with a very big heart who's extremely important to me, and I appreciate how you always treat others with warmth and respect.
I want to thank you for your friendship and all the great moments we've had over the years.
Your colleague Maire