Mindy Linn, IAC’s Operations Specialist, has just celebrated her 10-year work anniversary with the organization. While her contributions to Idaho counties over the past decade are too vast to list, we wanted to recognize her dedication to the association and show our appreciation for her years of service and hard work. In addition to a small gathering with a theme from “The Office,” (one of Mindy’s favorite shows) we asked Mindy to share some of her insights from over the years working with IAC.
I began working with IAC 10 years ago as the Member Services Assistant because I needed an income, but I wasn’t sure what the future would hold as my starting position was only part time, and I had no background working with counties. I spent my first few months at IAC learning everything I could about Idaho’s counties, elected positions, and the organization. I also worked on building relationships with IAC staff, including the previous Deputy Director Tony Ponelli, who turned out to be one of my favorite colleagues.
Within a few short months, I was offered a position change to the IAC Liaison for the Health Insurance Exchange. That role afforded more responsibility and stability, and it paved the way for long-term growth within the organization. 10 years later, I am the Operations Specialist for IAC.
This is the longest job I’ve held, and I’m very proud of that. I’ve learned so much from the time I started until now, and there’s something to be said for staying with an organization as long as I have. I’ve developed personally and professionally here, and I’ve helped to contribute to the growth of the organization in a way that just can’t be accomplished as an employee who’s only been with a company for six months or a year.
Firstly, I genuinely enjoy the relationships I’ve had the opportunity to build with our members over the last 10 years. I always look forward to connecting with county members, whether it’s on the phone, through an email, or getting to see them in person at our conferences. It’s important to me that they know I am a resource for them, and it brings me satisfaction knowing that I’ve developed trust with them over the years. When they need something, our members know they can count on me to provide them the right information or direct them to someone in our organization who can.
Secondly, I appreciate having a job that provides a lot of variety and keeps me on my toes. The role of Operations Specialist is really an umbrella that encompasses so many different things and requires a wide skill set to keep the office running smoothly for our staff and members. I appreciate that my projects and responsibilities differ from day to day. There may be some things that I only work on once a year, like overseeing the yearly IAC Scholarship Application and facilitating the process for applicants and recipients, and then others that I work on daily or weekly, like helping to prepare the weekly deposits.
As the Operations Specialist, my primary responsibility is to provide support to ensure efficient operation of IAC. I do this through a variety of tasks, including providing our members with great and timely customer service, developing the Directory of County Elected Officials, helping to prepare materials for conferences, ordering office supplies as needed, ensuring equipment is kept in good repair and operation, and sourcing new equipment when necessary.
I also serve as the staff liaison for the Idaho Association of Counties Scholarship Fund, coordinating the yearly scholarship application process. Additionally, I plan and coordinate all aspects of meetings for the following affiliate organizations: Idaho Emergency Managers Association, Idaho Association of Juvenile Justice Administrators, Idaho Association of Misdemeanor Probation Administrators Association, and IT Leaders.
Like any organization, as time goes on the needs of the staff and members may change, so it’s important to recognize when there is a need for innovation to run more efficiently.
For example, I was here when we made the decision to update and improve our website to make it more modern and accessible for our members. I participated in determining the design, layout, and organization of content. The previous site was not as user friendly or as easily searchable as our current website is, as the old one didn’t even have a search button function.
We also have all of our conference registrations available online, but there was a time several years before I started where IAC was doing paper registrations, which would be much more time consuming to send out, get back, and process. Using technology to automate something like conference registrations allows us to be more efficient and creates a more streamlined experience for our members.
We’ve also developed new programs and services for our members, like the Unemployment Fund. Or we’ve recognized that we needed someone dedicated to marketing and communications, so the organization created the role to better serve our membership.
I am excited to see how IAC continues to grow. So much has changed in the 10 years since I started, I can only imagine what we’ll look like as an organization in another 10 years. It will be fun to look back and reflect on those positive changes and see what else we’ve done to expand services to our membership. And I look forward to being here another decade to see the growth first-hand.
A good hamburger, a good pizza, a good sandwich? I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just hungry. My special occasion meal is Mongolian BBQ.
Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes. My favorite Christmas movie is Elf.
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica.