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Support Centre Team Member Spotlight - Lisa Harris

Posted Jun 25th, 2021 in 2021, spotlights, the wire

Big Rigs, ATV Stunts and Cycling to Conquer Cancer: What a Ride!

Today we shine the Support Centre spotlight on Lisa Harris, Senior Manager, Accounts Payable. From her early aspirations to become a truck driver, to stunt driving on an ATV, to the Ride to Conquer Cancer, Lisa has always embraced the thrill of being in the driver’s seat, both in her personal and professional life.  

Tell me about your background – how long have you been with dentalcorp and what were you doing before you joined?

Prior to joining the dentalcorp team, I worked with another fantastic group at a company called Pivotal Software, where I had the opportunity to assist with a newly migrated ERP and implement process efficiencies.  I was there when Pivotal went public in 2018, and here I am at dentalcorp, seven months in, and experiencing a similar euphoria as we too embark on our journey as a public company.

Have you always wanted to be in Finance? What did you want to be when you were a kid?

My earliest career aspiration was to be – a truck driver!  On every family road trip, my sister and I would press our faces to the windows as the big rigs rolled by and we pumped our fists with the hopes they would sound that horn! No, I didn’t plan on a career in Finance – it found me!  It was actually a summer job that led to the epiphany that I had a talent with numbers and inspired me to pursue this path.

Can you tell me a bit about your role on your team?  What does a typical day look like?

I’m seven months into my role, and there is no sign of a day I would call “typical”.  I think working from home plays a large part in that.  I try and maintain a daily routine that starts with a morning spin class to help clear my mind before diving into the ever-evolving world of Accounts Payable. We kick things off with a team meeting, where we chat and strategize about taking on that particular day’s excitements – and more generally check in to ensure we’re on track to pay the bills and keep the lights on!

Tell me something funny that's happened to you. 

In my youth I was extremely accident prone. One day I decided to try out my friend’s 3-wheel ATV (now illegal), dressed in full equestrian attire as I was training for an event. I hopped on, and off I went. Before long I found myself speeding down a gravel hill. In my panic, I increased my speed instead of hitting the brake and ran straight into a parked semi-truck! So, how is this funny, you might ask? Upon arrival at Emerg, they needed to remove my very expensive riding boots and pants. The boots came off with a bit of convincing however the pants were another matter. Those were only coming off if they were cut.  I was extremely against this idea, in fact I was hysterical. They recognized the strength of my will and brought out the big guns…in walks my own personal Dr. McDreamy, who made me a trade I could not refuse - his pants for mine!  That was all the convincing I needed. 

Tell me about an experience you’ve had that’s really left an impact.

Last year I made a commitment to participate in The Ride to Conquer Cancer.  It was something I had always wanted to do, but never had enough courage to take it on.  Even though Covid-19 altered the original plans of the event, it did not diminish the overwhelming feeling of comradery, support, and togetherness.  I was truly taken aback by the lasting impact it has had on me.  I am a forever participant and am looking forward to August 28th and 29th this year when I take it on again!  Shameless plug: check out my fundraising page.

Tell me something about yourself that your co-workers would never guess?

I am a wee bit too competitive, in pretty much every respect. For example, when donating blood, I would always size up my “competition” upon arrival and select someone donating at the same time to see who could fill up their collection bag fastest.

What are your aspirations for personal and professional growth? Do you have a 5 year plan?

If I’ve learned one thing in the past 5 years it’s that things can and do change in the blink of an eye and you may not necessarily have control over them.  In my personal life, I will paraphrase an inspirational quote that resonates: “My past is my motivation, and my future is my inspiration.”  Professionally, my goal is to continue adding value, impacting others in a positive way, and generally making a difference.

What advice do you have for new team members joining dentalcorp’s Support Centre?

Take every day one step at a time, embrace change, and reach out to your colleagues.  It’s easy to feel a bit lost when we are limited to working virtually, so staying connected is critical.  Reach out to your fellow Support Centre newbies to compare notes and celebrate your accomplishments.