Associate Spotlight: Ellen Grode

Ellen GrodeHow is VistaComm chock-full of talented individuals? To answer that question, you don’t have to look any further than the desk of Ellen Grode, Director of Human Resources at VistaComm. Seeking out talent and retaining that talent is all in a day’s work for Ellen. By focusing on people, not policy, she is able to keep VistaComm associates happy and healthy, which in turn pays dividends to the quality of work completed for clients.

How long have you been with VistaComm?
13 years

Where is your hometown?
Ellsworth, MN

What is a typical day like for you working at VistaComm?
Trying to define my typical day is kind of like nailing Jell-O to the wall. While responsibilities vary on a day-to-day basis, I regularly serve as the point person for issues related to employee activity as well as recruiting, interviewing, hiring, orientation, benefits administration, and personnel issues. Besides the routine tasks, there is always ongoing education on new mandates, planning strategies, and, of course, the hot topic right now is Health Care Reform.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to try?
I would like to be a vet, preferably small/companion animals.

What’s one website or piece of technology you could not live without?
Pandora. There is so much emotion in music that it soothes the soul and I reminisce about the days of old. (Bob Seger would be proud, I just used lyrics from one of his songs).

Who is your favorite fictional character?

My favorite fictional character is Calvin from the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes. Calvin is so full of imagination and childlike innocence.

Thanksgiving is coming up, what’s one thing you’re thankful for?

Family, they calm me and keep me grounded.

What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited?

A few years ago I visited a dairy farm in Arizona. This particular dairy had 6,000 head of milk cows. It was amazing watching the routine and organization it took to milk that many cows, twice, daily. It was also the first time I have seen a calf born.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I was younger and something didn’t go my way, my mom would say, “If that is the worse that happens to you then you will have a pretty good life.” It really put the moment in perspective. It also made me realize that everything that happens to me is leading me somewhere else and I will draw on those experiences later in life. The past and the present will eventually collide and I will be smarter and stronger because of past events.

What is your proudest VistaComm moment?
I don’t have a singular proudest moment, but I am the proudest when I see someone succeed in their position. Their success is indirectly tied to my success. If we have placed the right person in the right position, everyone succeeds. People are on their best behavior during an interview so I have to look beyond the fluff and dig deeper to uncover talent and potential. It’s a great feeling when we hit the bulls eye.