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In, Within, & Out: Mel’s Journey at IMPACT Group

In, Within, & Out: Mel’s Journey at IMPACT Group

On January 31, 2005, I started my career at IMPACT Group. I was 26 years old and getting married in 2 months. Fast forward 14 years, it is 2019, I’m 40 and I’m exiting the organization – on the very same day I started. As my mother says, “Nothing is a coincidence. Everything happens for a reason.”

I started at IMPACT Group as a Marketing Communications Specialist and I’m ending with the very same title. “GASP! NO PROGRESSION IN YOUR CAREER IN 14 YEARS?!” Relax, Relax, Relax.

We all have a story. We all have a path. And my path with IMPACT Group is so appropriate because I lived EXACTLY what our company lives and breathes – a career lifecycle – in, within and out of an organization. Let me explain.

Thank You for Hiring Me, IMPACT Group! (P.S. I’m moving…)

Fourteen years ago, I started this job – hired by Lauren Herring and Laura Herring. I was young and full of collagen. Life was good. I jumped in quickly, helping gain some media traction for the firm and supporting Lauren with marketing messaging and program materials. In March of 2005, my husband and I got married, and in May, he informed me we were moving to Houston. We were being relocated!
I quickly told Lauren about my situation and she didn’t even flinch. She was excited about my journey, partnered me with a relocation coach (Heather Smith – the best – she’s still at IMPACT Group today) and told me I could work from home. No big deal. “WOW!” I thought. “FLEXIBILITY and SUPPORT.”

I had never been to Houston before and my coach helped me with finding corporate housing, getting around the town, locating a gym – you name it, Heather helped me find it. Lauren and I worked out a schedule and I truly had a win-win situation. Houston was a temporary move. Two years later, we became pregnant and realized having both sets of parents down the road was critical for our parenting success. So, back to St. Louis we went. And, back to IMPACT Group’s offices I worked.

Thank You for Letting Me Back in the Office! (P.S. My husband just lost his job…)

We moved back in 2007 and my husband went to work for a large mortgage firm in their finance department. After the move, the market crashed and his job was affected. (It was pretty great that I worked for an outplacement firm, right!?). Luckily, he received six months of unemployment (and frankly hated his job anyway), so with some résumé support from IMPACT Group, he was quickly hired and back in action. Simultaneously, Lauren took over global development and I was given the opportunity to run the marketing department. (See, I DID move WITHIN the organization!)

Fast forward to 2010. I now had two children and was ready for a slower work pace. IMPACT Group, once again, couldn’t have been more flexible, offering me part-time work from home options that I’ve had to this very day.

Over the years, I’ve watched our CEO transition from Laura Herring – a fearless pioneer – to Lauren Herring, who has taken this company to new levels. Lauren’s vision for growing leadership development programs was spot on. She invested in the right companies and joined forces with other outplacement and relocation firms to ensure our stability and overall success.

Thank You for Being So Flexible! (P.S. I’m starting a new business…)

Fast forward to today. It’s January 31, 2019. My last day at IMPACT Group. So why leave this great setup? Because my passion has moved elsewhere.

About a year ago, I started helping people with their home interiors. I’ve always loved design and, slowly, through word of mouth, began to take on more and more projects. This is why I am finally at the point where I want to focus solely on my business – MW Interiors (selfish plug: follow me on Insta! @mw.interiors).

It’s not going to be the same. No support system, no Kristy Fairbanks, my amazing, flexible, wonderful, hella cool boss, no Ashlee Ayers who keeps me in check. But I am excited to do something on my own. And, ONCE AGAIN, IMPACT Group is supporting me with a career coach to help me build my business.

I relocated. I was promoted. My husband was outplaced. Now I’m leaving and starting anew. A full career circle. Through every phase of my career lifecycle, IMPACT Group has provided me with the support and tools to make it a success.

A big thank you to Lauren, Kristy and all the bosses that I’ve had over the years. And to all the co-workers who’ve had to deal with me. The past 14 years have been truly meaningful.

Contribution by Melanie Winograd

Melanie is a Marketing Specialist at IMPACT Group, specializing in public relations, social media, event planning, and advertising. Connect with Melanie on LinkedIn today.

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