Where did you grow up?
Fort Collins, Colorado.
Where did you go to school?
Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. I graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts.
Brag about your family.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for over 27 years. We have 3 fantastic children and there are 7 awesome kids out there who call me Nana.
What do you do for fun?
Apparently, relocate my residence every year or so.
What was your first job?
What is your dream job?
Curator at the Smithsonian – National Museum of Natural History … OR … Ancient Astronaut Theorist!
What is something very few people know about you?
I used to work at Disneyland, and it is where I met my husband.
What quote/motto do you live by?
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill
Tell us your Optus story. When did you start and what position? Have you moved positions/jobs?
I was placed by Staffmark as a Temp to help out in accounting on January 3, 2007. After my 5-day assignment was done, the sales manager asked if I would come over to the sales department to help the sales staff with clerical support. I was officially hired on April 16 and continued my work with sales, in particular providing support for the End User teams. Then in September, one of the buyer positions (there were 2 at the time) came open, and the HR Manager recommended me. And the rest is history!
In March of 2014, my husband and I decided to move back to Reno, Nevada, to be closer to our young granddaughters. I was offered the honor of staying on as a remote employee. Which made me very happy as I really love my job and Optus. I always appreciated the confidence Optus management had in me as well. I was the first administrative remote employee, and I know there were some nerves on their part at the beginning.
What is your official job title?
What SHOULD your job title be?
Princess (That’s a little inside joke for a select few. You know who you are! LOL)
Describe your day to day job.
Where do I begin? I create part numbers, get pricing & availability for products not in stock, and, of course, I process PO’s for products not in stock. I am responsible for the upkeep of the NEC License Portal and SWA renewal contracts. … and so on, and so on …
What is one thing that Optus does better than any other employer you have had in the past?
The care extended to employees. I have always been so impressed with how Optus truly cares about everyone who works here. Every manager, up to and including the COO and CEO, are very approachable. They also care very much about our health, both physical and mental. It is clear that they truly care about our happiness and safety.
Tell us about one learning or growth opportunity you have had while working at Optus.
Going from a clerical position to procurement, with no specific previous experience, was a really awesome opportunity. I have enjoyed the unique challenges. I know it’s cliché, but I really feel that I learn a little something new every day.
What do you like most about working at Optus?
The care extended to employees. I repeat what I said above because it truly is a rare quality in an employer. They offer support and open communication at work as well as in our private lives.
When my father fell gravely ill with cancer in 2019, I had to make several trips to Colorado to be with him. Much of it was last-minute, and they never treated me like I was letting them down or that my situation was an inconvenience to the company. In fact, through the ordeal and even after I lost him, several members of management and some co-workers reached out to me to see how I was doing and if I needed anything. That is the atmosphere that has been created at Optus. Someone is always there for you if you need them.
When Covid turned the world upside down, Mark and the rest of management did everything possible to continue to move forward. Not only did they have concern for our services to our customers, but they were adamant that every employee keep their job and work in a safe environment. To my knowledge, anyone who wanted to keep working still has their job.
Have you received recognition from Optus on a job well done? If so, what was the recognition?
Yes. I am very proud and grateful, but I don’t feel comfortable listing them. It seems like bragging.
We like to say, Optus is like a family. Who at Optus is like family to you and why?
Absolutely. Optus is definitely like family. Several folks are just like siblings — they drive me crazy! Since I have been remote for 7 years, there are some folks I have not even met yet, but even they are part of this family to me.
Of course, I would be remiss not to set Jennifer Haskins apart from the rest. She is a dear friend and one of my favorite people in the world. She joined the purchasing team in late 2008 and we had an immediate connection. The partnership that we started to build has continued to grow stronger and stronger every year. It is really quite unique and beautiful, and I think we have made our little department pretty spectacular. She was promoted to Purchasing Manager in 2012 or 2013 and became my boss, but she did not treat me differently, and our partnership and friendship held strong. Even when I, as she says, “abandoned” her in 2014, we didn’t miss a beat and managed to keep our connection strong. We even have plans to be roommates at the looney bin when that time comes.