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Brook back in action at Donington Park

Race Team Arkoni News

Brook back in action at Donington Park

Bradford’s Dave Brook made his return to motorcycle racing just seven months after sustaining a serious leg injury, as the 2018 Thundersport GB series got underway at Donington Park.

The Team Arkoni Racing rider is still working on his recovery following the huge crash last August, where he suffered a badly damaged leg requiring several operations and left him fitted with a cage which wasn’t removed until January this year.

Despite missing the latter half of the year, Brook still ended 2017 in third place overall in Thundersport GB’s flagship GP1 Elite Championship.

Currently battling his way back to full fitness, Brook was able to line up in the championship’s opening round at the iconic Leicester track, where he scored three strong points finishes.

After qualifying his Team Arkoni Racing BMW in 13th spot for the first race of the season, Brook rode a careful but solid race to finish 13th.  Under the Mega Laps system, he then lined up 16th on the grid for the second and third races.

Consciously doing his best to avoid any more injury, he built up his race pace over the weekend, finishing his second race 12th and then making up a number of places in the final scrap to finish 10th.

“I was pleased with how it all went, considering I ‘m still recovering,” he said. “We were lucky enough to take the Team Arkoni Racing BMW out to Spain for some testing a few weeks earlier, but the weather wasn’t great and I only managed to get one dry session in three days.

“I had another operation in between that and the first round, so I didn’t get any more bike time until I arrived at Donington Park, so I was okay with qualifying 13th.

“But in at the first corner in the first race, I rolled off when I thought I should and everyone just rode round me! I quickly learnt from that and rectified it when I got 10th in the last one, but I’d certainly had my work cut out coming from 16th.”

Having banked a solid haul of points from the first round, Brook is now looking forward to the rest of the year, as he continues to get stronger.

“Considering I’m so soon out of surgery, I really can’t complain. I’m just glad I’ve been able to make it back so quickly and my leg felt almost comfortable which was great.

“At this point, I’ve still got to be vigilant about looking after my leg. I’m under strict surgeon’s orders to look after it over the next couple of rounds, and then I can fully commit again.”

Founded in 1991, Arkoni supplies the construction industry with a full metalworking service, from design all the way through to installation.

Based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, the firm manufactures a range of products, including fire-rated and security-rated glazing and doors, bespoke steel glazing and architectural metalwork covering staircases, balustrades, balconies and other work.

Having been a sponsor of Brook for four years, Arkoni managing director Mark Prentice is delighted to see him back in the saddle.

“Dave was unlucky that his season ended when it did last year, particularly as he was challenging for the championship at the time,” he said. “But it’s fantastic to see him back out in action so soon.

“Dave’s always been a fighter and it’s clear by his improvements over the course of the weekend that he’s not lost that competitive edge, and I’m looking forward to watching him get even stronger over the course of the next couple of months.”

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Fire door installation program

Project and Business News

Fire door installation program

The British Woodworking Federation, in collaboration with the NPTC Group of Colleges, has introduced a new training course for the installation of fire doors. The course is designed to train students in the proper installation of fire rated doors in order to ensure they perform effectively in the event of a fire.

Currently, a large number of fire doors have been found to have deficiencies due to improper installation, potentially endangering lives.

A fire-rated door that was recovered intact from a lower floor of the Grenfell Tower was found to last only 15 minutes in tests – half as long as the intended 30 minutes.

This fire door installation qualification is the first of its kind in the UK and represents a positive step in promoting fire safety.

Arkoni is FIRAS accredited for the installation of fire rated doors, fire rated windows, curtain walling, butt glazed screens and auto sliding doors with break out and break in functions. Whilst we can assure that our fire protection systems are installed to industry standards and with the care that is achieved over extensive industry experience, we feel it is critically important that training is made more readily available to other contractors.

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Glass balustrades and balconies - let the light in

Arkoni Team At Work

Glass balustrades and balconies - let the light in

Staircases and balustrades often play an integral role in the architectural design of a structure’s interior, resulting in an increasing amount of pressure on architects to come up with impressive designs.

Glass balustrades are becoming increasingly popular in both modern architecture and are similarly popular when renovating historic buildings. Glass allows architects to maximise the use of light, which is particularly important with historic buildings that are often quite lacking in natural light.

Glass balustrades provide a light and airy interior space and can also work very well for exterior balconies to meet safety regulations without compromising on design.

The glass panels are supported using architectural metalwork, which most often requires bespoke fabrication and design in order to seamlessly integrate the balustrades into the structure.

Arkoni provides bespoke metalwork design, fabrication and installation on a range of glass balustrades, balconies and canopies. With extensive industry experience, Arkoni’s specialist fabricators are able to provide high-strength glass-supporting metalwork that does not compromise the visual appeal of the finished product.

Experienced in working with both renovations of historic buildings and new builds, Arkoni have developed a reputation for architectural glass-supporting metalwork with bespoke requirements throughout the North of England.

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Wood... is it making a comeback?

Project and Business News

Wood... is it making a comeback?

It was the use of steel and concrete that brought us the first skyscrapers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and since then, these materials have played a central role in constructing tall buildings. However, technology has made what at first glance appears to be a step backwards as skyscrapers made with wood have been cropping up in various cities around the world.

It may sound like a bizarre and even dangerous concept at first, but don’t let your preconceived notions fool you. These wooden skyscrapers are actually using some very cutting-edge technology and may even be more resistant to fire than skyscrapers built with steel and concrete.

The major breakthrough that has led architects to revisit the use of wood in rall buildings are modern forms of engineered timber products such as cross laminated timber, or CLT. CLT is constructed using thin layers of wood on alternating angles, held together by fire resistant glue – a sort of super plywood. This results in a material with high strength, low weight and a high resistance to fire. When tested for fire safety, CLT withstood fire better than its steel and concrete counterparts. This is mainly due to the wooden panels being simply too large to ignite – like trying to set fire to a log without kindling.

In cities including London, Chicago, Skelleftea (Sweeden), Melbourne and Tokyo, just to name a few, wooden skyscrapers are beginning to pop up within the city skylines. While there are several advantages to using wood as a building material, a major factor could be attributed to its impact on the environment.

Wood acts as a sort of ‘trap’ for cO2 and, especially when compared to those made of steel and concrete, wood has a very low carbon footprint. With so much global pressure to reduce our impact on the environment, these buildings can act as a symbol to a city’s or a country’s dedication to good environmental practices.

There are still some challenges that must be overcome if we are to expect wooden buildings to start hitting the 200 or 300m mark and remerge as the most popular building material in the world, but recent progress certainly puts a spark of hope into its future in the modern world.

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The Progression of Glass in Architecutre

Project and Business News

The Progression of Glass in Architecutre

Since as early as 100AD, the use of glass in buildings has driven architectural trends. The mere concept of enjoying the benefits of natural light whilst being protected from the elements has played a central role in building design. It has driven society to continually find new ways of integrating glass into building projects, as well as developing new glazing techniques to produce superior glass products.

Comparing modern forms of glass panes to early examples of cast and stained glass truly highlights the scope of the advancements in the glazing industry. Glass-clad skyscrapers act as towering monuments testifying to the integral role that glass plays in today’s society, but even these seem to fall short of representing just how much it has changed our lives.

The first widespread use of glass in buildings was for decorative purposes, commonly adorning churches and cathedrals throughout Europe. Whilst undeniably capable of producing beautiful works of art, the glazing methods at the time could only produce small, cloudy panes, which offered poor transparency and strength. Demand shifted at the turn of the industrial revolution when the need for ample indoor light drove glaziers to produce a superior product. Architects needed a material that could form a barrier from the elements whilst allowing natural light to illuminate mills, factories and other indoor working environments.

Since then, the glass used in buildings has advanced in leaps and bounds. The introduction of electric lighting resulted in glass is no longer used as a primary source of light, but the advancements in its capabilities also greatly increased the potential uses. Now used for everything from stylish and eye-catching offices with pleasant, naturally lit working environments to banks with bullet resistant security glass and everything in between, glass is now a major feature of most architectural design.

Architects now have a diverse range of glass products at their disposal when designing buildings ranging from simple double-glazing to structural, fire rated and security glass. Depending on the type of glass and its purpose, specialist fabricators and installers are often called for.

Arkoni are adept at fabricating and installing FIRAS accredited fire prevention systems, bespoke stainless steel glazing systems, enhanced glazing systems and much more. As the glazing industry continues to advance and evolve, Arkoni stays abreast of the latest technology, accreditations and standards to ensure that each project it completes meets both customer and regulatory requirements.

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University of Leicester's 'Green Wall' Project

Project and Business News

University of Leicester's 'Green Wall' Project

Arkoni takes pride in its contributions to eco-friendly projects and one of the team favourites has to be University of Leicester’s Centre for Medicine (since renamed the George Davis Centre).

With a total project value of £42 million, Arkoni was recruited for the specialised task of constructing and installing the pressings for the ‘Green Wall’, a wall which features live vegetation. The ‘Green Wall’ was considered a central aspect to the overall project, as it works to represent the building’s eco-friendly construction.

The Centre for Medicine was awarded the title of being the largest Passivhaus accredited building in the UK. Passivhaus is a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency, aimed at creating buildings with ultra-low ecological footprints. Achieving the Passivhaus rating is no mean feat, but the end result was a win for all those involved and the environment in which we live.

The University of Leicester Centre for medicine was an exciting project for the team at Arkoni, as well as the leading architects at Associated Architects and construction company, Wilmott Dixon, who recruited Arkoni for the project.

The completed project raised quite a lot of public attention and was awarded Project of the Year in the field of Public Use at the the 2018 CIBSE awards, as well as the Sustainable Science Building award at the 2017 S-Lab for its achievements in eco-friendly building construction.

When it comes to specialist projects such as the University of Leicester, with its one-of-a-kind specifications, Arkoni have developed an impressive portfolio of successful projects and has become the go-to specialists for the North of England.

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Leeds Abbey Dash 2017

Arkoni Team At Work

Leeds Abbey Dash 2017

Sunday 5th November was a great day for charities such as Age UK and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and it was a challenging but successful day for Arkoni’s Lee O’Donnel, Paul Lodge and Rory Swallow. A significant change from their day jobs at Arkoni, the Brighouse based manufacturer of specialist architectural products, Lee, Paul and Rory spent the day raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance by running Age UK’s 10k Abbey Dash in Leeds.

Between them, a total of £340 was raised for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity carries out over 1,250 life saving missions each year, and with each mission costing around £3,300, it is in constant need of donations like these to continue its live saving work.

Others who competed on the day were Nicholas ‘Peanut’ Baines of the Kaiser Chiefs and Olympic finalist, Eilish McColgan who set a new female’s fastest time with a 32:05.

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What is bullet-resisting glass?

Project and Business News

What is bullet-resisting glass?

Standard glass panes and bullet-resisting glass may look the same to the untrained eye, but they are actually very different and can be up to ten times the thickness of standard glass panes.

Bullet-resisting glass is not actually constructed in a single pane; it is in fact a laminate of various plastics sandwiched between layers of toughened glass. The idea being not to resist the energy of projectiles, but to absorb it.

As a bullet strikes a pane of security glazing, the layers of toughened glass and plastics rapidly absorb the energy of the projectile, either stopping the bullet entirely or slowing it enough to greatly reduce the damage that can be done.

The effectiveness of bullet-resisting glazing depends on multiple aspects such as the number of layers, the thickness of layers, the materials used etc., but generally speaking, the thicker the glass, the more energy can be absorbed. The type of projectile that can be effectively resisted is commonly classified on a scale from BR1 to BR7, with BR7 being the most effective.

Bullet resistant glazing supplied by Arkoni conforms to EN1063 and systems are tested to Din EN 1522/1523.

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Fire safety in the UK

Project and Business News

Fire safety in the UK

Before the Great Fire of London in 1666, fire prevention was practically non-existent in the UK. Buildings made of combustible materials jammed close together proved to be a disaster waiting to happen. After the fire, work began to rebuild the city, only this time plans were put in place to both prevent fires and aid fire fighters, should a fire ever break out. This was the first major milestone (some might even say the introduction) of fire prevention in building construction.

More than 450 years on and fire prevention has developed in leaps and bounds. Not only has the structural materials of buildings been changed to prevent the spread of fires, but fire rated doors and windows have also become a major aspect of fire prevention.

As FIRAS certified installers of fire rated glazing, Arkoni are continuously finding new an innovative ways to incorporate fire safety with aesthetics, ensuring that fire resistant materials are not only a safer option, but a visually appealing one.

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New Science and Technology Centre at Sevenoaks School

Project and Business News

New Science and Technology Centre at Sevenoaks School

Brighouse based metalwork specialist Arkoni has made a significant contribution to the construction of the new science and technology centre at Sevenoaks School in Kent. The £20m new science and technology centre will combine the four core fields of science into one integrated learning environment.

Arkoni has manufactured and installed fire rated internal screens and bespoke external windows. This contribution to the project has not only improved the visual appeal of the building, but has also ensured that the students of Sevenoaks can learn in an exciting environment with the added assurance of safety.

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Triple Treat for Brookey at Rockingham

Race Team Arkoni News

Triple Treat for Brookey at Rockingham

Dave ‘Brooky’ Brook of Team Arkoni Racing was delighted with his performance at the recent Thundersport GB event held at Rockingham last weekend.

Three third place finishes over the course of the weekend provided encouragement for ‘Brooky’ and further cemented his second place in the overall rankings after crashing out at Mallory Park last time out.

Dave commented: “I’m very pleased with the results. We chucked in a test between the rounds and I completed one full session out of 5 as I was plagued with teething problems from the crash at Mallory Park. This meant I didn't have any practice to blow the cobwebs off so I had an enormous amount of pressure to get on the pace, rectify the electronic problems and set the bike up all on the official test day but I qualified in fifth, 0.5s off of pole.

“I managed to build and improve throughout the weekend and got three solid 3rds out of all the races so I have to be happy with that! My fitness wasn't 100% so, given another 4 weeks of recovery and training im sure I’ll be fighting fit for Anglesey at the end of August,” added Dave.

Martin Quarmby, Technical Director with Brooky’s sponsors Arkoni, commented: “Dave did exceptionally well under the circumstances, having to keep up with the course lap record holder Lee Williams and other opposition. A remarkable achievement after such a heavy crash at Mallory Park. The rest of Brooky’s team also did a great job. Well done to them all!”

For more details please visit arkoni.co.uk / www.brooky73racer.com

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IN FOCUS - Martyna Rhodes

Arkoni Team At Work

IN FOCUS - Martyna Rhodes

NAME
Martyna Rhodes

AGE
32

LIVES
Huddersfield

JOB TITLE
Designer

MARRIED / CHILDREN?
Married, no children 

WHEN DID YOU JOIN ARKONI?
5th of June 2017

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING AT ARKONI?
The atmosphere is great and I love drawing

FIRST PAID JOB?
CAD Technician, designing fire alarm warning systems in Poland

DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY IN 3 WORDS
Strong willed, quiet and friendly

INDIAN or CHINESE?
Both

WINE or BEER?
Both

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY?
I would travel the world 

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Martyna Makes Her Mark with Arkoni

Arkoni Team At Work

Martyna Makes Her Mark with Arkoni

Arkoni has recently appointed CAD designer Martyna Rhodes to their team of draughtsmen.

Martyna, who arrived in the UK from Poland in 2007, has been working within the glazing sector for the past seven years.

Martyna commented: “I fell in love with the UK when I moved here ten years ago and have lived in Doncaster and Huddersfield.

“I’m excited by the challenge of working with Arkoni at such a busy time,” added Martyna who enjoys painting, walking in the Dales and a cold pint in a country pub afterwards!

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The Brooky Brief

Race Team Arkoni News

The Brooky Brief

Crash, bang, wallop at Mallory Park!

It started well at Mallory Park. Good times were notched on old tyres in testing, there was plenty of feel and after some small yet positive changes with the bike which I knew we were in with a shout. It actually turned out more like a cry!

As the test day went on we noticed that some of the other riders were on a different compound rear tyre and at a distinct advantage through Gerrards where there is a lot of time made up. This was what we felt would make the difference between a podium and a win. We tried it for the last session and it didn’t end well. As it was a harder compound I hadn’t left it long enough to scrub in before pulling the pin, the result was a gigantic high side crash bang wallop on a fast part of the circuit!

I went over the bars. My bike ran me over. I then glanced at the Armco barrier and was followed in by another rider’s bike. I was knocked out for around 15 minutes and, although there was an initial worry of head and back injuries, a CT scan confirmed thar to not be the case and I got away with a broken rib, bruised lung and crushed arm where it was run over. 

Unfortunately because of the concussion I was put on a 10 day riding ban by the ACU which meant I couldn’t salvage any points over the weekend which was a shame, although I have to say I was and still am not in a position to ride in anger. 

I've been spending the last few evenings going to and from Doncaster receiving Laser therapy by ex TT rider Robbie Silvester which has definitely speeded things up and will commence oxygen therapy in Leeds over the next few weeks to do my absolute best to be fighting fit for the next round. 

I'm obviously gutted about the crash and apologise to my sponsors for the mistake but we are chasing wins and on the limit. These things do happen and it’s a risky sport at times. For every mistake I make others can too and it’s a long season so the plan is to get back and on the pace straight away and keep digging!

On the flip side I’m still in clear second place in the season’s standings despite the leader Lee Williams stretching his lead.

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The Brooky Brief

Race Team Arkoni News

The Brooky Brief

Lessons to learn from Cadwell Park

Team Arkoni Racing’s Dave Brook reviews his performance at Cadwell Park at the end of May in the Thundersport GB Series….

Qualified: 3rd

Race 1: 4th

Race 2: DNF

Race 3 4th

“This weekend was a combination of bad luck and clutch problems and we've taken a hit in the points as a consequence but we'll regroup and move on.

“I qualified well in third position with direction on setup allowing me to find the extra lap time. I found it in Race 1 but the clutch problems that plagued us at Brands Hatch reappeared so I got a bad start in Race 1 and it made life difficult for the entire race having to come back from dropping a row or two and too far behind the leaders. 

“In race 2 I was convinced I’d make up for it but another poor start meant that I had too much to do on lap 1 and the red mist got the better of me. I took too much of a risk, too early on cold tyres and highsided at Barn.  Fortunately I wasn’t injured! If it was any consolation Championship leader Lee Williams also crashed. That was my get out of jail card used up!

“Just prior to Race 3 the heavens opened and and we chucked some wets in without being able to adjust to a wet setup and 4th was the best I could do after, you guessed it, another terrible start!

“Onwards and upwards!”

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Brilliant Brooky Inches Closer to Top Spot

Race Team Arkoni News

Brilliant Brooky Inches Closer to Top Spot

Bradford racer Dave Brook of Team Arkoni gives his verdict on the recent Thundersport GP round at Donington….

Quali: 3rd

Race 1: 5th

Race 2: 2nd

Race 3: 3rd

“I am pleased with how Donington went. We got to the bottom of the clutch issue and the bike is now launching off the line perfectly. We made a big step forward with chassis stability and throttle connection and in general moved the development of the BMW forward.

“I led 2 races for a significant chunk of the overall distance and came away with a solid result and a points haul that puts me a single point behind Lee Williams in 2nd in the GP1 championship.

“I hope to use everything we have learnt at Donington to hit the ground running at Snetterton at the end of April.”

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Arkoni and ‘Brooky’ Aiming for Top Spot

Race Team Arkoni News

Arkoni and ‘Brooky’ Aiming for Top Spot

Bradford motorcycle racer Dave ‘Brooky’ Brook is aiming for top spot in this year’s Thundersport GP season after securing a fourth year of sponsorship from Brighouse-based fire-rated glazing specialists Arkoni.

After finishing sixth overall last year, despite having half of his season curtailed by injury, ‘Brooky’ has already started 2017 in encouraging style with a strong performance at Brands Hatch for Team Arkoni Racing.

“I’m aiming to be champion this year. Simple as,” explained Brooky “and I feel I have it in me after a number of podium finishes over the past three years.

“I’ve replaced my Kawasaki ZX10R with a BMW S1000RR which offers a number of advantages in terms of race performance and it certainly did the business at Brands Hatch despite a couple of teething problems.

“The sponsorship from Arkoni has been invaluable over the past three years. Getting financial support from private companies is essential in order to compete at this level and it’s fantastic to be backed by one of the region’s fastest growing manufacturers,”

“I would also like to thank Farrar Joinery, Mobile Smart Repairs Bradford, Moto Works and OC Graphics for their ongoing support,” added ‘Brooky’.

Mark Prentice, MD and founder of Arkoni, commented: “Sponsoring Brooky is a great fit for Arkoni with many of our staff taking a close interest in his fortunes. We are both very much on the up and fully intend to stay in the fast lane!

“Brooky’s performances have improved significantly over the past three years and he’s in with a shout of top spot this season,” added Mark.

Founded in 1991, Arkoni supplies the construction industry with fire-rated glazing systems, a wide selection of standard and bespoke steel glazing and architectural metalwork.

Arkoni currently employs 60 at its workshops on Armytage Road in Brighouse and recorded a £6.5 million turnover in 2015-16.

For more information visit www.brooky73.co.uk

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Record Month for Arkoni

Project and Business News

Record Month for Arkoni

Brighouse-based metalworking firm Arkoni has got 2017 off to an encouraging start with its best month ever for new orders.

Arkoni secured over £3.0 million of contracts in January representing a significant 52% increase on June 2016, its previous best month.

Founded in 1991, Arkoni supplies the construction industry with fire-rated glazing systems, a wide selection of standard and bespoke steel glazing and architectural metalwork.

Arkoni founder and MD Mark Prentice commented: “This is the busiest start to a year we’ve had since our formation and augers well in what could be a year of uncertainty with Brexit negotiations on the horizon.

“The poor exchange rate means that we will be forced to put prices up by 10% but with a solid pipeline of new work on projects across the UK we are well placed to navigate through choppy waters.

“Over the last few years we’ve grown rapidly. The increase in turnover however was slight last year due to strategic investment in people, processes and production and that consolidation has helped to put us on track for what should be a record year.

“The bulk of the increase in sales is coming from Arkoni’s ability to work with architects and specialist main contractors, to develop bespoke glazed solutions, within the  construction industry, both fire rated and thermally broken,” added Mark.

Arkoni currently employs 60 at its workshops on Armytage Road in Brighouse and recorded a £6.5 million turnover in 2015-16. 

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IN FOCUS - Arthur Trzebuniak

Arkoni Team At Work

IN FOCUS - Arthur Trzebuniak

Bradford resident Arthur is known for his punctuality, especially when Italian cuisine is on the menu

IN FOCUS

NAME
Arthur Trzebuniak

AGE
40

LIVES
Bradford

JOB TITLE
CAD Draughtsman / CNC Programmer

WHEN DID YOU JOIN ARKONI?
April 2014

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING AT ARKONI?
Variety of work

FIRST PAID JOB?
Security Guard

DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY IN 3 WORDS
Punctual, hard working, grumpy 

INDIAN or CHINESE?
Italian

WINE or BEER?
Whisky

FAVOURITE SPORTING TEAM?
Virtus Pros (CS: GO)

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY?
Take my family on a trip around the World 

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