It must have been nearly 11 years ago when I posted a picture of finally graduating from the Kelley School of Business. Then Nick Petrone reached out. At that time, I was working for an event consulting company that handled corporate events. It was an exciting job, and I knew the group relatively well because of my husband, Bobby, and his relationship with the owners and team members. 

Nick Petrone’s son wrestled for Bobby, so the mutual connection started there. He asked if I was looking for a job. I said not really but asked what he was offering. At that time, I had no real commitments and still had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up, and living paycheck to paycheck seemed to be working at the time. Ike and Jonesy’s bar had $5 trays of beer on Thursdays, so I was living the life. 

I was soon introduced to Elizabeth Szentes. netlogx was looking for an administrative/office assistant as the company was growing. This job was right up my alley—organization, moving things forward, filing, making sure events were scheduled and happening. Lucky for me the interview went well, and Elizabeth approved me as a fit. 

I was extremely nervous about starting at a company that I didn’t know much about other than google and Nick Petrone. Day one jitters had me feeling like I would when reading the petitions at mass—butterflies in my stomach. I don’t know why I felt that way because immediately after arriving, it was like I had already been there for ten years. 

Some of those team members who were there when I started are no longer a part of the team, but I remember their impact. I was welcomed with open arms, spoken to using my first name, asked to help them with items like I was the SME, and quickly integrated into the team. 

Fast forward from there, netlogx became my family. It was all I talked about, and my parents were so happy knowing I landed at a great place. As the company grew, so did my role. I went from office assistant to office manager. We expanded into additional space, additional tasks, and roles and responsibilities. Our trusted advisors’ relationship-building and review of our current tools to ensure we always had a champion and a challenger. 

I was successful in that role; the company grew again with additional team members and states; operations manager to operations director. Along the way, I had champions, challengers, leaders, and mentors. Along those years, I had developed a side-by-side relationship with several team members along the way, but Bobby would refer to Vicki as my work husband. She continuously checked in, challenging me, making sure I was eating when I was pregnant, and even informing me when not. Somehow she always knew I could use an hour or two after work for drinks and cheese bread. It might not be the usual path that others describe, but without relationships and friendships along the way, what is the use of getting to the top? To be alone?

I adopted a child and had three maternity leaves while at netlogx. That is four kids, and along the way, the team was there to support me. Then operations director turned into COO. 

Learning to lead others and not do it myself was a challenge for me. I was always the doer. So enabling my team around me while I lead them required a learning curve. Sharing my knowledge and what I was good at was an incredible learning experience. It has played a role in ensuring I am a better parent: patience, empathy, and communication. 

Even though I’m going on ten years at netlogx in August, it doesn’t seem like a decade. Yet, I can precisely remember the layout of the office and my desk like it was on day one. I think that says something. The ups and downs of my both my personal life and the netlogx consulting world have challenged me, pushed me, and made me grow. Becoming what I hope others see, as not just their leader, but someone they can trust as their team member. Someone who, in a room full of opportunities, would point to them.

The phrase “Surround yourself with women who would mention your name in a room full of opportunities” is something I try to coincide with. Thanks for the ride. I hope never to jump off and keep the train going forward.