Q: Please tell us about your background, including where you’re from and what led you to join Forge, as well as what you were doing before your current role.
A: I moved around a bit growing up but landed in Grand Rapids, MI, for college. Before I started at Forge, I was waitressing at Famous Daves. After waitressing for a couple years, I decided that it was time to look for a position with an established company where I could build my career.
Q: Please describe your career trajectory leading up to your current position at Forge, highlighting any major milestones or turning points.
A: I have been with Forge for a little over 18 years. I started in the fall of 2005 as a part-time service coordinator, rose through the ranks, and now I am the director of IT.
Q: What are some memorable experiences or projects at Forge that you are particularly proud of, and why?
A: I think one of the things that I am most proud of is the implementation of our new applicant tracking system. It took two years of work to vet, build, and implement. I never thought I would get the opportunity to work on a project like this, so I am very grateful for the opportunity.
Q: How would you describe Forge’s impact on its clients, on its industry or community, and what do you believe sets it apart from competitors?
Forge is different because they have stayed true to a core value: to care for people by continuing to maintain the personal touch. Our offices still make phone calls to our service associates and make visits to our clients. We want to make sure that our internal and external employees feel supported by us.
Q: In what ways does Forge support its employees’ professional development and personal well-being?
Forge promotes a culture of growth and opportunity. I am a prime example of that. Forge supported me through my continued education and gave me the opportunity to move into a role that matched my degree. During my time at Forge, I obtained my Associates degree from GRCC in Computer Science, and I am one certification away from finishing my Bachelors from Ferris State in Computer Information Systems.
Q: Reflecting on your time at Forge, what have been the most significant lessons or insights you’ve gained?
It may sound cliché, but Forge is my extended family. I feel like the people I work with care and work well together on anything that needs to be done.