Maintaining successful business operations involves several factors being taken into consideration all at once. Oftentimes office personnel who work behind the scenes work diligently to ensure the details of the company mission and vision are in order. One of those roles includes Human Resources, and more specifically the duties of payroll and benefits. Without these, it would be impossible to sustain employees. And not many people do their human resources, payroll, and benefits job with as much heart as Michele Main, Payroll and Benefits Coordinator at Roane Transportation who exemplifies what it means to have love for your work.
What is your occupation at Roane Transportation?
“I am the Payroll and Benefits Coordinator. I gave myself this title, as I had been continually referred to as the ‘insurance Lady’ or the ‘payroll Lady.’ I work in Human Resources and Accounting.”
How long have you worked at Roane Transportation and what got you started in this company?
“I have been working since 2005 at Roane Transportation. When I was hired, I was in a transition. My previous employer, Dagger Canoe and Kayak, had been bought out, the plant relocated, and I was left without a job. My kids were in high school and college and therefore, I did not want to move. I submitted my resume for a position with Roane Transportation, but at the time I was not hired. I was considering a relocation to Florida and while I was in Florida, I received a phone call from Roane Transportation offering me an interview. I attended the interview, and when I walked in, I was wearing the exact same suit as the woman interviewing me, Sandy. We talked during the interview as if we had known each other forever, so much so, that the interview was four hours long! I was hired and when I asked when I was to start, Sandy replied, ‘Tomorrow.’ I started working the very next day. At Roane, I have full ownership of payroll and I have loved this job since I started. Currently, it is an exceptionally exciting time to be employed at Roane, as we are heading into a season of big changes.”
What is your training background, and how did you arrive into Human Resources?
“My undergraduate degree is in Nursing with a minor in accounting. After having children, I left the medical field to work in accounting. Both my husband and I served full terms in the Army. I was in the129th Army Band where I played trombone. My first duty station was at West Point which was very exciting; highlight was having played twice for President Reagan, and once for President Carter while they were campaigning.”
What is the most challenging part of your job? What’s the most rewarding?
“The most challenging part of my job is confirming that payroll is correct. If there is a mistake, I work quickly to correct the mistake. Roane Transportation is a very honest company, and we make sure the employees receive monies due. The most rewarding part of my job is just that, helping employees acquire necessary benefits. As a former nurse, I particularly understand insurance and am able to wade through the language and paperwork to guarantee employees at Roane are receiving the resolutions they deserve. Insurance can create issues for individuals, and I love to help our employees realize their benefits.”
It can appear to an outsider that HR people kind of keep the company glued together. Do you feel this way?
“Definitely! I work to be the point of contact for our employees as well as a mediator for all parties. I take pride in listening to employees, hearing their stories and helping where I can.”
What would you say to anyone wanting to go into this career?
“In order to be successful at Human Resources, you need to make sure you are a people person. The element of helping and mediating is what this career is about. Additionally, you must remain current with ever-changing laws and how they affect employees and employers. Legislation and healthcare reforms change almost daily. In order to relay impeding changes, a person must communicate effectively with stakeholders and employees and thus a strong grasp of verbal and written language is essential. A person within Human Resources needs to be hard-working and, as we alluded to prior, a detailed oriented person. These things are essential to ensuring that employees and employers understand what is coming down the pike in relation to their benefits.”
What does your family unit look like?
“I live with my husband, and my children are grown. My husband and I met working at Roane Transportation and he now works with Roane Metals Group. I have twelve grandchildren that keep me very busy! All my grandkids are local, some even live across the street and no one lives farther than Knoxville. We spend our holidays together and for Christmas we start at my mother’s house on Christmas Eve and finish at my home on Christmas morning.”
How do you relax after a hard day of work?
“Helping with the grandchildren occupies a lot of my free time. After that, I am a voracious reader. After many years of convincing, I own a Kindle. I never thought I would, as holding a book felt the best way to read, but now I love my Kindle, as it is easy to travel with and I always have a book nearby. I also enjoy listening to audiobooks, my favorite genres are fantasy, historical nonfiction, and the material that I must read for a Bible study. I like to have several books going at once, so that I can digest a variety of information. I love the outdoors and hunting with my husband. I also make time to assist with the youth at my church as the director of the Youth Choir and serve as the AWANA Trek director.”
When you first talk to Michele, you will notice her exceptional politeness, her hard work ethics, and her love of her family. At Roane Transportation we value our employees. If you’re ready to join a company that truly cares about its employees today contact us online or fill out an online application today.