You won’t find a colleague who cares more about your overall well-being more than Elise Smith, our amazing Benefits Manager.
Excelling in everything she does, Elise began as a receptionist for AVIAN and quickly took on more responsibilities for the company. Through the years, she has proven her dedication to excellence and now serves as an invaluable member of the Human Resources team.
Elise is both career and family focused. When not at work, you will find her with her husband Richard and children Megan, Molly and Marston, Matilda and Merrick (Yup, they went with all M names!) Over the past five years Elise has been working full-time, raising beautiful children and going to school. This past December, Elise completed a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. We had a chance today to sit down with Elise and ask her some questions.
1. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE AT AVIAN AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH US?
Should I come up with something clever …Formally I mean, it’s Benefits Manager. But I pretty much do anything anyone asks me… I’ve been with AVIAN since September of 2009 so almost a decade!
2. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST IMPACTFUL MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER THUS FAR?
In my role as a Benefits Manager, this year’s benefits renewal was huge. Getting a zero percent increase and switching brokers was impactful because I was able to use my knowledge and negotiation skills to fight for the best outcome for both the company and our employees. AVIAN leadership empowered me, and I was able to bring it full circle with a strategic plan forward. This has been a few years in the making, so its great to see it come to fruition.
3. WHAT MAKES YOU MOST EXCITED TO SUPPORT OUR EMPLOYEE BENEFITS PROGRAM?
Helping employees understand and utilize their benefits is the most exciting part. Employees on short-term disability have piece of mind while they are recovering because I am able to take the ball and run with it so they can focus on getting better. Finding solutions for our employees so they can focus on their job is also really satisfying.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING FOR AVIAN?
My co-workers! They are supportive, funny, encouraging and make coming to work fun. I also love watching us grow. Working for a company that is learning, growing, and constantly evolving while always trying to do the right thing for their employees, is so inspiring.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
1. NAME ONE PERSON WHO MOTIVATES YOU.
I’m gonna have to go with my husband, Richard. His job never ends at home. He is the full-time dad to our kids! He is always supportive to what I am doing.
2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “PERK” ABOUT WORKING FOR AVIAN?
Maternity leave! I love my two weeks a year. I take it every chance I get.
3. WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAM JOB?
Does everybody have one of those? I wanted to be a mom. I always wanted to be a mom. I probably wanted to be an artist at some point, but definitely always a mom.
4. IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANY CELEBRITY, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Chip and Joanna Gaines. They are very entertaining and appear to have a great relationship. I don’t really idolize celebrities. I have more appreciation for people who are themselves, and they’re real. We have so many “celebrities” among our employees: actors, athletes, parents of multiples, veterans, entrepreneurs. These are the people that truly impress me.