Maureen Lee joined ESE in September of 2017 and was recently promoted to human resources manager. We caught up with her as part of our continuing blog series on getting to know the people of ESE.
First off, congratulations on your promotion! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I like to consider myself a growing business professional with a strong connection to dairy. I grew up on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin, which led me to study at Cornell University in New York, and then pursue positions in dairy-focused companies, like ESE. There was a brief time period in New York City outside of agriculture, but since moving to Marshfield, I haven’t looked back. It’s a wonderful area to live, work and raise my daughter.
You have been at ESE for almost two years now. What is a typical day like for you on the job?
Variety is the spice of my life. Currently, I’m working on recruiting for our next engineer, kickstarting a safety committee, developing career progression plans for our team members and working with our ESOP committee to build an ownership culture. I received great feedback from the team on what they want to see out of my role and I’m hoping to provide them the best tools for their success. At the end of the day, the leadership team and myself are looking to take care of our team so they can take care of our customers.
Which values are emphasized in an ESOP like ESE?
Accountability, empowerment and transparency are all important values to an ESOP like ESE. Each member of the team contributes to the success of our business, which leads to success for our customers, and our team members on a personal level. We’ve placed much emphasis on acting like owners, taking charge of problems and working together to solve them. That call to action certainly has empowered our team to be accountable and pull together.
You are working to build a strong culture at ESE. Tell us what a typical ESE team member is like?
In my experience, the typical ESE team member is committed. This commitment is seen on a variety of levels. Across departments, there is a strong commitment to colleagues, to the customer, vendors, to the business and to one’s personal growth. When I check in with new hires, I often hear about the knowledge our team has and what good people they are! We have a group of people who bring a great passion for the team and the work we do in the food and beverage industry.
What do you like to do when you’re not on the job?
I enjoy walks with my daughter, Adelaide. We attend many local events in Marshfield, take in musical events in the park, the local zoo and often travel to visit family. Occasionally, we run a 5k; although it’s considerably more challenging with a stroller!
Who is your greatest influence?
There are several people who have significantly impacted my life. When I look back on decisions I’ve made and ways I continue to evolve, my colleagues have the greatest influence. I’m in awe of the knowledge and skills of the people I’ve been blessed to work with. While we each have our own area of expertise, their passion for the work is inspiring and makes me want to better myself in my own role.
What book is on your nightstand?
My summer tradition is re-reading all my favorite books. I recently finished The Summer Country by Lauren Willig, one of my favorite authors. I enjoy historical fiction. With all the traveling this summer, I’ve also been listening to audio books and am currently in the middle of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Even after hours of driving, sometimes I want to keep going to get into the next chapter!