Melissa Johnston is a founding member of Unified Technologies. Melissa received the Core Value Award for Project Management at this year’s Employee Banquet. Here’s a little more about Melissa in her own words.
Melissa and her sister (left), son, mom, and Helen Clasby (also a UT Team member).
Tell us a little bit about the type of work you do at Unified Technologies and your job responsibilities.
As a senior project manager, I have managed some of our larger installations and most recently, I have been dedicated to the Norton Healthcare Enterprise account. I spend my days coordinating resources for upcoming installations on the ShoreTel (now Mitel) platform, consulting with customer leadership on their call flow design and reporting needs, and communicating with my teammates and other key players to ensure successful project implementations.
When you aren’t at work, what keeps you busy?
LIFE as a wife and a mom. There’s always something that needs to be done.
Have you always been in this industry? If not, what brought you where you are today?
This industry is a part of who I am. My earliest memories include going to the office with my mom, Helen, who has been in this business since I was 5 or 6 years old. I wheedled my way in 21 years ago when the sales assistant came into the Office Depot where I was working and told me she was leaving. I couldn’t think of a better place to work since my mom had clearly loved her job for all of those years. I assisted in sales for a year or so before moving into the customer service and training department. I was extremely lucky to find the perfect position with a great group of people.
What’s one thing you love about what you do for a living?
I love the tools and features that our different products offer. With those tools, we can manipulate a system to provide a personalized touch to every system. It is my goal to make sure the phone system we install isn’t just technology on a desk, but that it is an efficient and effective enhancement to the way our partners are able to communicate with their clients.
Through knowing the technology and also understanding the importance of educating our customers to use these tools, I’m always looking for ways that we can offer more options without complicating the solution for the end users. At the end of the day, if I have done these things for our customer, and if I have shared some of this experience with the new generation of Unified Technologies team members, I have done my job, and I’ve definitely loved doing it along the way.
What you do for fun or to unwind?
If I’m being honest, this question is a reminder that I don’t take enough time for myself. It’s something I’m currently making a real effort to change. Right now, I am either doing work for UT or I’m getting caught up on work at home. We are growing, and I love being a part of that growth. It’s easy to work more than you should when you enjoy what you do, but I do realize it’s time for me to get more of a work/life balance. I’ve decided this is the year to take more time for me. I’m trying to focus on my health, finding more time to take pictures, read, and actually do a few of the many DIY projects I have pinned on my Pinterest board. We’re all a work in progress, RIGHT?!
If you could do one thing for a living that had nothing to do with your current job, what would it be?
I would be a psychologist. It’s incredible how different people are. I love that every person has a different chemical make-up and different life experiences that have formed how they perceive and process information. I feel like my current job has prepared me well for my “if you could do anything else” job. I’ve definitely learned a lot about what makes people tick in the past 21 years. There’s a lot of psychology that goes into working with so many different personalities. You have to understand who you’re working with and how to communicate with them in order to help them or get what you need from them. God made us all perfectly different for a reason.
Is there something fun or interesting that you’d like people to know about you?
HMMMMM…when I was a teenager I had a lawn care business for a couple years. I bought a SCAG mower, had several customers, and the best tan of my life. Although it paid well it was definitely hard work. Being a typical dumb teenager I gave it all up for that easier life of hanging poolside with friends.
What’s your favorite food or snack?
Sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and hot dogs… YUMMY!
Family info – kids, siblings, where are you from, born?
I was born here in Louisville to parents that were looking forward to having another sweet little girl just like my older sister Tammy…they may have been slightly disappointed. I was blessed 12 years ago with an intelligent, funny, strong-willed, extremely independent son that both looks and acts just like I did as a young child. Unlike my parents, I decided to stop with just that one.