10 Massachusetts workers who love their jobs
An auto dealership worker, a housekeeping manager, a lawyer, a business analyst, and others share what makes them happy about their work.
EMPLOYER New England Organ Bank, Waltham
JOB Tissue clinical coordinator
A light bulb went off when I read the job description. I was a tissue recipient myself when I broke my leg playing basketball and needed knee reconstructive surgery. I knew that this personal connection to donation would help me provide support and information to potential donor families. Coordinators have to be available 24/7 to coordinate the donation of bone, tendons, skin, corneas, and other transplants for needy recipients. When organs or tissue become available, I talk to the hospitals and review medical information, then call the family to try to get consent for donation. I support grieving families and let them know it’s a lifesaving gift. It’s very satisfying, knowing that I can help extend lives through tissue donation.
FUN FACT As a basketball player at Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, I was voted best defensive player for my region.
EMPLOYER Kronos, Chelmsford
JOB Senior software architect
Kronos is traditionally a time-clock company. But now we are building time clocks for today’s modern workforce. While I used to do hands-on programming and acted as project and technical lead, now I’m doing more leading-edge work, responding to what competitors are doing and improving the next generation of hardware and software. I’m very loyal to Kronos and my team, because I’m what they call a “boomerang” employee – a while ago I left the company but very quickly returned. I missed the work culture and friendly co-workers and quickly realized I had made a wrong move. I’ve been here ever since, and that was 14 years ago.
FUN FACT I started a “Gandhi” social community group to unite families with that name and regional affiliation. We started with just a few of my elderly relatives and now there are over 85 people involved around New England.
EMPLOYER Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Harwich
JOB Assistant housekeeping manager
My staff of housekeepers are in charge of turn-down service — preparing the room for bedtime, including dimming the lights, placing a piece of chocolate on the pillow, and turning on soft classical music. When I start my evening shift at 3, I prepare reports that look at the occupancy to see how many rooms we have, then distribute them to the housekeepers. We accommodate any requests. Sometimes two guests will ask for as many as 10 pillows, but they get them, no questions asked. I love that the resort is on the beach. Sometimes the water view is so lovely I forget that I’m at work.
FUN FACT After work, I take the cans and bottles from the hotel and recycle them. Sometimes it’s as many as 700 bottles a day, and I can get $60 for my efforts over a weekend.
EMPLOYER InsightSquared, Boston
JOB Account executive
I see myself as an evangelist to help businesses figure out how they can use our software analytics to maximize sales performance and close more deals. I’m a big believer in data, and our tools provide a comprehensive set of reports to access progress, diagnose gaps, and formulate action plans. It’s exciting being part of a fast-growing startup and watch as the company scales up. My background isn’t in sales, but this company takes chances on people like me. I’ve learned not just practical skills like negotiation, but also building a sales team and developing marketing strategies.
FUN FACT Even though I’m Japanese-American, I was born in Sweden. That surprises most people. My dad was a manager for a company there, and we moved to the US when I was 2 years old.
RUTH SHAW LESSARD
EMPLOYER LAER Realty Partners, Lowell
JOB Agent and bookkeeper
This is a very rewarding career but can be frustrating, too. I got my license 16 years ago, and the industry was very different then — there was no Internet, and clients relied on you more. I like to see the different features of homes and the various architectural styles. A lot of these houses are just perfect inside — my house doesn’t look like that, but I have a dog and two cats. I’ve battled leukemia twice over the last four years, and my husband has passed away, but all the team members here came together to support me. This is like one big happy family. Everyone cares about each other.
FUN FACT I play Trivia Crack all the time on my phone with friends and family. I also participate in trivia nights at some of the local restaurants. It’s just my thing.
EMPLOYER MassMutual, Springfield
JOB Vice president and counsel
I get questions all day. On licensing, copyrights, patents, or negotiating deals. My role is not solitary at all — I don’t sit in a room and write briefs all day. I support all the intellectual-property activities of the company, especially in software development. It all might sound a bit Dilbert-cartoon like, but it’s all about leveraging assets. I feel I truly embody our company’s mission: helping people secure their future and protect the ones they love. And I’ve been able to take that into the community and nurture a spirit of pro bono commitment from other attorneys in Western Massachusetts. As a lawyer, I feel obligated to assist those in need of advocacy.
FUN FACT My spouse and I adopted a little boy from Cambodia and traveled there over a decade ago to bring him back. Now he is a teenager and a cellist and we are so happy to have him in our lives.
EMPLOYER Tufts Health Plan, Watertown
JOB Senior business analyst
I provide quantitative analysis for the operations department, crunching numbers and creating charts, by looking at medical benefits, claims, and call-center reports. It’s a process of exploration and investigation, looking for the spikes and dips in the graphs. It might seem strictly methodical, but there’s an element of creativity in the data extraction, processing, and presentation. Some projects are as short as an hour; others take months, reading, researching, and discussing with stakeholders. In the end, I feel the data analysis I do helps patients and providers be part of a more efficient and economical health care system.
FUN FACT I am one of the few male classical harpists. I play it at night and enjoy the quiet time.
EMPLOYER Best Chevrolet, Hingham
JOB service manager
Chevys are the classic American car, which is why when song lyrics mention a car, it’s usually a Chevy. Our reputation and business has grown, and now we service other makes and models. We model our service department after Disney, calling it a “stage” where we always have a smile and a happy attitude. I am the “director of first and lasting impressions,” so if a customer needs a juice box for a thirsty kid or an appointment for an inspection sticker, I’m here to please. I can do everything that’s needed except fix the car. That I leave up to the mechanics.
FUN FACT My dog, Brody, is named after Chief Brody from “Jaws.” My husband is from the Vineyard and was out there when the movie was filming.
EMPLOYER Bit9, Waltham
JOB Human resources officer
In the past few months, the company has doubled in size, with as many as 12 to 15 employees starting in a week. Outside the standard introductions — “This is where you sit; these are the systems; here are your co-workers” — I help employees figure out what accomplishments and skills they want to develop. When I see different employees’ progress, I like to think that I had some impact on their development. I also manage the company’s culture club, which organizes post-work events, charity drives, and company parties. We are a cyber security firm, but ultimately we are a people-first business.
FUN FACT I perform in and direct a lot of local theater productions. I recently played the role of Lord Macduff in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
EMPLOYER NaviNet, Boston
JOB Office manager
I’ve been the office manager since NaviNet opened in 1999 with about 30 employees — and now there are almost 300. My hands are always busy. I’m basically the go-to person for supplies, lunch orders, parking passes, facility work, or conference-room scheduling. I sit right at the front door, so I see everyone who comes in, including job candidates. I can tell right away if they’re quality people or not, and my assessment is usually correct. I’m part of the interviewing process, so the HR team will ask me, “Joy, what did you think?” Not to brag, but if I go on vacation, this whole place seems to fall apart. So I’m always checking my e-mail, even if I go away.
FUN FACT I love to listen to music to clear my head, whether it’s rhythm and blues, salsa, oldies, or soca. When I’m commuting on the train or cleaning the house, I’ll turn it on.