Employee Spotlight – Jesse Smith
We’re putting the spotlight on Jesse Smith this month! Jesse has been part of the CU Engage family for just over a year and is the Director of Project Management. In this role, Jesse manages the Project Managers and ensures CU Engage’s client projects are executed effectively and efficiently by maintaining and developing our project management standards, methodologies, and tools, and by collaborating with our Growth and Technology teams to continually improve our processes to deliver excellence to our clients.
Jesse lives in Tybee Island, Georgia with the love of her life and four rescue dogs. Here is what she has to say about where she is now, and a sweet story about her and her father when she was growing up!
“I bought our fixer-upper house at the beach 6-years ago, met the love of my life a year later, and finally got her to move here full-time last September. We are still working on fixing up the house. In fact, my office is full of furniture from the guest bedroom I am currently remodeling. After the guest bedroom, will be my office and/or the bathroom. There is always another project to work on here!
I grew up on a farm in Indiana and have always loved being outside and have always been an over-achiever. We grew tobacco and I wanted to help my dad set the plants in the field, which is done using a setter that is pulled behind the tractor with two people riding and alternating laying plants into the setting wheel that turned and set the plants into the ground. I told my dad I could do it (I was 6) and though he was skeptical, he finally agreed but said only put a plant in every other slot. So, I climbed onto the setter, had my box of plants ready, and dad headed down the field. I wanted to show my dad I could do it without the other person there, so I put a plant in every slot. When we got to the end of the row my dad looked back and said, “you put one in every slot!?” I proudly said, “yes, we can plant the whole field with just the two of us!” (I was looking for efficiencies even then!) What I did not know was that he wanted them in every other slot so they would be spaced further apart, not because he doubted my ability – so I had to walk back down the row and pull every other plant. Still, he and I were able to plant the field with just the two of us, and all the rows, after the first one, were much easier since I only had half as much to do!”
If that story made you as happy as a pig in the mud, read on to learn more about Jesse.
Q&A with Jesse
Q: What do you enjoy most about working at CU Engage? A: Working with our amazing team to help our clients!
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside the office? A: Swimming, golfing, kayaking, hiking, solving puzzles (of all kinds) and participating in local parades (can’t wait for them to resume post-COVID), and working on projects around the house.
Q: What makes you laugh? A: TV Show – Big Bang Theory
Q: What is your favorite holiday? A: Thanksgiving.
Q: Do you have a motto or a mantra? What is it? A: Keep your face always to the sunshine, and the shadows will fall behind you.
Q: What book did you read last? A: Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins – my favorite author ever! Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates is another great read from him.
Q: What celebrity do people think you look like? A: Sara Gilbert or Jane Seymour.
Q: What is on your bucket list? A: Go to a Packers game at Lambeau Field!
Q: When are you happiest? A: When I am in the water.
Q: What is your favorite thing or place in the city you live in? A: The beach.
Q: What was your first concert? A: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with Yo-Yo Ma whom I got to meet during a pre-concert reception – I was 12.
Q: What chore do you hate? A: Dishes.
Q: Have you ever met anyone famous? A: 3 – Yo-Yo Ma, as previously mentioned, William “The Refrigerator” Perry met in a bar in Chicago O’Hare Airport where we had drinks and talked about Crappie fishing, and I got to meet Pat Summit in the Indianapolis Airport baggage claim,I shook her hand and thanked her for elevating women’s sports and setting an example for excellence for all of us to aspire to achieve.
Q: What is on the radio in your car? A: SiriusXM channel The Bridge
Q: What is something about you few people know? A: My hair is naturally curly, and I have never straightened it.