“On what high-performing companies should be striving to create: A great place for great people to do great work.” -Marilyn Carlson
Whether you are a member in the field or an employee at the World Headquarters, Life Leadership prides itself in setting a pretty high bar of expectation to strive for–in many different areas of life. Because of this culture of excellence, one of the most enjoyable commendations at the Corporate Office is to win the Golden Rascal Award. As our “Employee of the Month” program, the Golden Rascal Award nomination is first run through the entire office staff. Everyone is asked to vote for their nominee and to provide specific examples of how their nominee embodies certain qualities, such as Character, Hunger, Work-Ethic, Creativity, Team Ego, and Excellence. After the votes are in, the executive team reviews them and makes the final decision. In September 2015, the winner of the Golden Rascal Award took it by a landslide. Read on to get Mrs. Paula Hunter’s story and why she was chosen as the champion!
Life Leadership Interview with Paula Hunter
First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in New Rochelle, NY, thirty minutes from New York City and hometown of the famous Jay Leno from the former The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I was always considered daddy’s little girl, and we would do everything together. We went fishing, attended sporting events (from the Mets [baseball] to the Knicks [basketball]), and traveled a lot…After all, I am named after my father, whose name is Paul. Following my time at NSU in Virginia and heading home from college, I decided to take a summer visit to Cary, NC, where my cousin lived. Wow! What a culture shock for me…the food, the people…and the weather was awesome. After that new experience, I went back to New York, packed my bags and headed south. Since that time over twenty years ago, I met and married a southern man, had one son and two daughters, have a cocker spaniel named Maxwell, and still live in the Raleigh, NC area.
What is your role at the Life Leadership World Headquarters?
Basically, I spend money! 🙂 I am enjoying my role in the finance department with a team of five people. My main responsibility is to process all payment transactions promptly and accurately, along with other accounting functions. This includes paying commissions to field members, travel stipends for the speakers, workers’ compensation for the events, contractors, vendors, and operational expenditures.
How long have you worked for Life Leadership and what is the best part of your job?
I started working for Life Leadership in March 2015, after working with the American Lung Association for several years. I have always been intrigued by and motivated to help others to be the best that they can be. The best part of my job is the interaction with others. Money talks, so it’s my goal to be a great communicator. I’m known in the office as the candy lady, and keeping my candy bucket full is my conversation tool to get the opportunity to meet everyone in the office…and it’s great! Who doesn’t like candy, anyway?!
What do you think caught CEO Chris Brady and COO Rob Hallstrand’s attention when they awarded you the coveted Golden Rascal Award in September?
I believe that your personality can take you so far, and I think that the staff and the executive team see that my personality is what makes me who I am.
When I met CEO Chris Brady for the first time, I had been working at the Office for about a month already. He pulled me in to the small conference room, and we started talking about finances. I told him, “I only save when I save for something specific.” And he said, “You’re what we call a binge saver.” The conversation that ensued is what drew me in to the Financial Fitness Program. I wanted to learn how to save just to save! 🙂
Now for some fun questions! What would you say is your lifelong passion?
Interior designing! It’s at the very bottom of my résumé. 🙂 I love to go into people’s homes and help them transform them…help them put colors and designs and decorate and think outside of the box. That’s what designing does for me–it gets me out of the box.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I Dream of Jeannie! The body…the shape…the outfit…I love it! 🙂 I would love to be anywhere I want to be whenever I want to be there.
Tell us about one of your most embarrassing experiences.
Oh boy. Well, when I worked in Manhattan last year, one day I noticed these women that were walking to work in Stiletto heels…I always wore sneakers, so I was like, “I can do that too!” They were walking blocks and blocks in New York City!! So the next day, I stepped off the subway and went to go up the stairs…and BAM! I fell to the ground…I got up again, and a couple seconds later…BAM! I fell down again. A young man came over and said, “Miss! Are you ok??” I said, “Yes, but it’s going to be a LONG day!!” 🙂 By the third try, I made it up the stairs, but then I had to walk 5 blocks. The rest of the day went by VERY slowly. Needless to say, I decided to put being comfortable over being cute from then on.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“When I talk about beauty, I’m also talking about gender or entrepreneurship or aging or things that are not necessarily about beauty. That’s where people engage.” -Jodie Patterson (African American Entrepreneur from Brooklyn, NY)
To wrap up, what do enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
I just LOVE to travel…I want to go anywhere and everywhere…On my list are Australia, a Safari in Africa, Brazil, Germany, you name it!! In my spare time at home, I enjoy relaxing with a manicure and a pedicure…I do it on my own. That’s my R&R time at home…It puts me in the zone. 🙂
Life Leadership is so thankful for the efforts that the Corporate Office Employees put into their work. Congratulations to Paula Hunter for winning the prestigious Golden Rascal Award for the month of September!