“Here I go, here I go, here I go again…”
That’s just Melissa, doing another handstand, rapping “Shoop” by Salt-n-Pepa.
A woman of many talents, Melissa oversees High Touch’s Business Communications team, including all phone systems, cabling, and surveillance.
Back in the day, Melissa never imagined she’d be working in the technology industry. From lifeguard to an aspirational teacher, technology was never in her direct sights. In 2011, Melissa accepted a position as a Project Manager at Great Plains Communications.
Fast-forward to 2020, and nine years later, it’s been all tech for Melissa with a few beach vacations sprinkled throughout.
Day-to-Day Chaos Coordinator
As Operations Manager, Melissa works hand-in-hand with engineers, field technicians, and project teams to ensure they deliver the best solutions and support possible.
Additionally, she makes sure the team stays up to date with industry trends. She jokes, “My 11-year-old teaches me new things about my smartphone all the time, telling me, ‘Mom, really!? Shouldn’t you know phones?’”
While the two overlap, office phones and smartphones are two different beasts.
“When I started out as a project manager in 2011, we were still in the ‘Digital Age’ of telephony—VoIP was a fairly new concept,” states Melissa. “Now, VoIP and cloud phone systems are the norm. Over the past nine years, it has amazed me how much the industry has evolved. It feels like we’re running an endless marathon always finding something new!”
Melissa also works with other High Touch business units, vendors, and clients to make sure projects go smoothly. Recently, Melissa and her team completed a large-scale project for Derby Public Schools (USD 260).
“This was a huge accomplishment for our team, something we’ve all been able to look back on and take pride in,” states Melissa. “This project showed what we’re capable of in terms of internal collaboration and collaboration with a client. We had great communication throughout the project, and we greatly appreciate the partnership we’ve developed with the Derby Public Schools team.”
Bringing the Human Touch to Technology.
According to Melissa, “We bring the human touch to technology through building and maintaining relationships with our clients.”
In her role, Melissa has worked with some clients for almost a decade. Building trust and turning clients into partners doesn’t happen overnight, and Melissa takes a lot of pride in the relationships she’s been able to build through trust.
“I’m always upfront with our clients, even when it’s difficult. I think that’s one of the most important aspects of building trust,” says Melissa.
Taking Time to Put the Phone Down
Melissa is a big believer in maintaining a positive work-life balance. In addition to managing High Touch’s Business Communications division, her life at home keeps her busy. She has four boys, aged 11-18, and a “dog-daughter” Macy.
“As a mother, it’s important to set an example of how hard work can be rewarding in your personal life. What motivates me the most is setting an example of success for my family and having the ability to encourage experiences over material things. I put a lot into my career, but I also put a lot into building memories with my family. It’s all about balance.”
As part of maintaining this work/life balance, Melissa makes a point of taking a couple of beach vacations every year.
Get to Know Melissa
As part of our Employee Spotlight interview, we ask a series of lighthearted questions to highlight the unique, diverse personalities that make our High Touch team great. Melissa is a handstand expert, and despite being a resident phone system expert, would ditch her own phone for dessert in a heartbeat.
If you could move to any other High Touch market, which one would you choose?
I love Wichita and can’t imagine living anywhere else. There is no other market where I can have my 12-minute commute, and I could never give that up! At least until retirement, then I am dragging my husband to live at the Margaritaville Senior Living facility in Florida.
If you could jump into a pool of anything of your choosing, what you fill it with?
Dark chocolate, although that sounds messy.
What’s one quirky thing people don’t know about you?
I can rap the entire Salt-N-Pepa song “Shoop” word for word while doing a headstand—that’s talent.
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
What kind of nonsense is that? Absolutely not! It’s a hot dog for crying out loud!
What was your first job?
Does a cyclops wink or blink?
What’s something you wish you could automate?
In a house of six people, a self-folding dryer would be awesome. And a sock matching machine. Having 12 feet in a house results in a lot of lost socks.
What’s your favorite mobile app or website?
Amazon. Hands-down without a question. Changed my life.
Which famous person would you have dinner with and why?
Eh, I am not a very “star struck” person. I much rather spend time with loved ones, friends, or people that I know.
Do you have any pets or kids?
Four boys, ranging from ages 11-18, and our yellow lab dog-daughter, Macy.
What’s the most awkward thing you do on a regular basis?
I like to do a headstand or handstand in each new place that I visit. #UpsideDownIn…
What’s your spirit animal and why?
A monkey, only because I could do an incredible monkey impression as a child.
If you could breed two different animals together, which two would you pick, and what would you call the new lifeform you’ve created?
I am obsessed with Quokkas. If you’ve never heard of them, google quokka selfies. Word on the street is that they’re mean. So, let’s breed with a dog to make it nicer and call it a Duokka.
Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or three months with no dessert?
30 days without my phone. I love dessert. Who would give that up?