We may pride ourselves on innovation, but it’s our amazing team that truly makes ProTeam stand out from the competition. Stephanie Mackey, Western Zone Manager, recently celebrated her 25-year anniversary with ProTeam. To celebrate and honor Steph’s achievement, we asked her to tell us about her experiences with ProTeam over the past two and a half decades. Read her insights below.
Tell us about your history with ProTeam. Where did you start, and how did you get to where you are now?
I technically started as a temp receptionist. I was fully hired on about a month into my employment, and have held many positions since. I built and ran customer service, served as project manager, admin director, director of education, and I’ve been a regional manager for 10 years now.
What makes ProTeam stand out? Why have you stayed with them so long?
First and foremost, it’s a good company! ProTeam is a good company with good people and a good product. We have the trifecta, so to speak. I’ve been with ProTeam since it was a smaller, family business, and I have been given good opportunities. It’s a two-way relationship. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t have stayed.
Time has gone by very quickly. That happens when you’re busy. There are a lot of people that have been here a long time. It’s a testament to the company. It speaks volumes.
How has ProTeam changed in the last 25 years?
When ProTeam started out, backpack vacuums were not mainstream. There wasn’t any backpack vacuum competition. No other manufacturer took it seriously. Our main competition in the marketplace was uprights. The biggest change has been within the market: there’s more competition now. People realize and recognize the viability of the product.
Another significant change is the sheer growth! When we were small, things ran at a fast and furious pace. We were experiencing rapid growth. We were trying to keep up while keeping our integrity. Having like-minded people on board was essential. Luckily, we had a great management team and staff. Everyone was on the same page pulling in the same direction. It was a lot of fun. It still is, but it’s a different business. We used to be a small startup, now we’re more of a big enterprise trying to keep longevity while staying relevant.
Looking back, what are some of the highlights of your tenure?
Oh my gosh! There are too many to list. A couple of times we’ve been able to get the entire team together, and that’s always great. A lot of the reps have been around since the beginning and we’ve known each other for a long time. When we get together, everyone brainstorms and talks about our successes and our plans for upcoming years.
Do you have any advice for someone in a position such as yours?
A regional manager has to take into account the entire territory. It’s not enough to just look at the short-term. All of the decisions you made yesterday are things you will need to deal with tomorrow. Think globally and consider what will happen in a year, or two, or five. Then think about how each member of your team will help you achieve your goals, and incorporate them into your plan. Achieving the set goals is not done by yourself. It is definitely a team effort.
As for general advice, I’m always a firm believer that employment is a 50/50 relationship, not one-sided, that’s important. You need good communication with the people that you’re working with to get to that relationship. The other big piece is to keep learning. Whether that means reading books, taking classes or online courses.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is when I know I’ve actually helped the end user’s bottom line, helped them solve problems, and made their job easier. Ultimately, I sell vacuum cleaners. It’s not super glamorous or exciting. It’s certainly not sexy. But at the end of the day, if I can help someone save money and make their job easier and less of a hassle, I’m happy. Sometimes it takes a lot to get there, but, once I do, I know I’ve made a significant impact.
Stephanie Mackey lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband. In her free time she enjoys skiing, hiking, golfing and traveling.