Employee Spotlight: Melanie Stinson

melanie-stinsonWhile 300 employees may sound like a large number, the reality is that we are a very efficiently run organization. Some of us have similar roles in different locations or on different crews, but a lot of us have unique, specific roles with responsibilities no one else performs. Many times, we have no idea what another employee even does for the company. Melanie Stinson would be an exception to that rule.

Melanie is responsible for interacting with more people than anyone else in the company. As a member of the Human Resources team, everyone knows her as their closest payroll ally. If you want to get paid, you want to know Melanie. If there is a problem with your payroll, you really want to know Melanie. And, the best part about Melanie is that she wants to know every one of us, too.

As the daughter of a military family, Melanie spent her early years in Germany. Her family returned home to Memphis where graduated from Whitehaven High School and later earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management while working full-time and raising her daughter. When asked what it was that attracted her to human resources, her reply was quick, “I like different aspects, but really I just like dealing with people, picking their brains, watching their attitudes.  I like watching people see different perspectives and realize how their approach can be different.”

When I asked for input from several employees about working with Melanie, their replies were just as quick. Jarod Riles, affectionately known as JJ, added, “She’s been an asset since she’s been here. Before Melanie, payroll was messed up, but she ran with it and got it down pat.” Both stressed the volume of calls she gets every day and that Melanie is adept at correcting mistakes made in the field. JJ complimented her, saying, “She’s always in a good mood. She always lets us know when we mess up, but she does it with a kind heart.” Preston Bryson offered, “JJ and I were guinea pigs for the new payroll system and we called her a bunch. I messed up so much, I don’t even know why she likes me.  You don’t realize what she does to make sure the guys get paid.”

“Anything you ask her, she helps you with, whether it’s her job or not,” said Dennis Harrod. To further his point, Kathy Richardson complimented Melanie’s relationships with the foremen, telling me those relationships were based on mutual trust and earned respect. Kathy specifically noted duel accountability in that Melanie holds the foremen accountable for their payroll, but they also know Melanie will support them and do the right thing. To highlight her level of commitment to relationships, Kathy shared a story of a resident who came into the Wilson Street office with a complaint. She said, “Melanie handled her with finesse, repeating back what the woman was telling her to let her know she was listening. Mel has a huge heart and real gift for being present.”

Melanie’s duties include the daily payroll responsibilities, including pulling in the time and equipment use and auditing for accuracy. She also manually processes safety days and works on a variety of government-mandated reports, some of which take months to complete. However, as anyone who knows her knows, the biggest role she fills is mother to Regina, a softball-playing 8-year-old who loves to travel and just started the third gra. As JJ went on to say, “She’s crazy about that little girl. She’s a great mom, but she’s firm with her, too. Maybe that’s why she’s so good at handling us.”

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