"People love getting a paycheck!"
“People love getting a paycheck!” Michele Smith exclaimed when asked by marketing assistant Ella Rogers about her five years as an accounting administrator with Aldrich. Michele’s statement may be true, but that’s not why we’re celebrating our amazing coworker. “Michele never fails to put a smile on my face and tears in my eyes from laughter. She brings a lot of joy to the office and makes you feel welcome,” said Carol Cone.
With an associate of applied science degree in Accounting from Shoreline Community College, Michele’s background includes many different administrative roles, most recently accounts payable management for several locally based high-volume subcontractors and suppliers. But Michele wanted to work for a smaller, more personal company with a close-knit family feel. When a recruiter told her that the people working at Aldrich ended up staying with the company for a long time, Michele was more than interested. Fast forward five years ─ Michele is happy to have found the right place for herself, and we are grateful she is here!
Michele enjoys her role because she can work independently, is self-sufficient, and holds herself accountable to get her work done. “Michele is such a great asset to the Aldrich team. She always does her best, is conscientious, and jumps in to help without being asked. Michele is very adaptable, and I never doubt her commitment!” Chief Financial Officer Brett Lantz said about working with Michele. “Michele is great! She has taught me so much about Aldrich and accounting and has been so supportive and fantastic to work with. She is not only an awesome coworker, but a friend who embodies the Aldrich Team spirit. She’s the best!”, says Ann Warner Smith, Administrative Assistant.
What Michele loves most about working at Aldrich is the constant support she feels – in both her work life and her personal life. “The management cares about each employee and makes efforts to provide a work culture that I’m proud to be a part of. I feel appreciated as an employee, and there is a family dynamic that I’d always wanted at the workplace.”
While she likes the independence of accounting functions, she still gets to have human interaction and build relationships with coworkers. “It’s the perfect balance between solo work and getting to interact with other members of the A+ Team,” said Michele. Working with office staff and project management and talking to superintendents regularly gives her the chance to really get to know people. “I appreciate the friendships that I have created here. I work with very dedicated, talented, hardworking, and thoughtful people who always inspire me,” says Michele.
The company plans a lot of extracurricular activities allowing employees to spend quality time together to foster close bonds between team members. “My favorite event,” said Michele, “was when Aldrich leadership brought in world-class drummer and motivational speaker Sandy Gennaro for a team meeting at McMenamins Anderson School. I loved it so much and it continues to motivate me!”
If you know anything about Michele, it’s that she especially values taking time to be with her family. “I get over to Eastern Washington as much as I can to visit my mom, Darlene, sister Raquel, and my nephew, Kashton whom I am very close to,” says Michele. “I have a very large family. My dad has 17 brothers and sisters, and my mom has five sisters and one brother, so I have tons of cousins. We are very close and try to get together at least once a year.”
Michele has two sons, Austin and Koby. Koby, her youngest, graduated from high school this year, and like his mom, he is joining the construction industry as an electrician apprentice. She loves her pets, dogs Bruce, Max, and Carly, and the live-in “grand cat” Mochi, and, like a true PNW resident, she spends a great deal of time exploring the great outdoors. She enjoys camping, backpacking, biking, paddleboarding, and kayaking, and belongs to a hiking group. Her favorite backpacking trip thus far is the Royal Basin in Olympic National Forest and her goal is to one day hike Mt. Rainier!
Michele also dabbles in watercolors and she has a green thumb, particularly with Orchids. “I gave her a tiny four-inch plant as a welcome gift when she joined Aldrich back in August of 2018,” recalled Lara Taber, “…and it has grown to an incredible height. I think it thrives in her office because Michele puts out such good, nurturing vibes. Her vibrant, down-to-earth, caring nature is why I love working with her.”
Michele, we thank you for the hard work, commitment, and talent that you have lent to Aldrich over the last five years. We are lucky to have you!