Employee Spotlight: Annie
August 30, 2016
Being here so long, many co-workers have become like family to me. We have such a talented team here, who all want the same thing: to give our customers the best experience we can.
This month’s spotlight is on Annie Hambach. Annie has been a valuable member of Patriot’s team for about twenty years, currently serving as director of training and development. Yup, those are Annie’s dulcet tones on Patriot’s online training videos.
Spotlight on Annie
What do you do at Patriot? How long have you worked here?
I do lots of things! Right now, I’m primarily a “Product Owner” for Patriot’s payroll and accounting software, where I nail down the details for software features and improvements, and work with our designers and developers to make them come to life. I also maintain the written help article content for Patriot’s online Help Center, create training videos for the software, occasionally travel to trade shows to represent Patriot, and make presentations. Prior to this role, I had managed our in-house HR department. I’m coming up on my 20th year here soon. Schwoo.
What do you like best about working at Patriot?
These are exciting times, people. Mike Kappel is a visionary, and it’s been a privilege to witness the history of these companies over the last 20 years, and that I was able to make a difference. As far as my current job, I love seeing the entire process of software creation start from ideas that we talk about, to write about, to prototype, to the real thing. Being here so long, many coworkers have become like family to me. We have such a talented team here, who all want the same thing: to give our customers the best experience we can. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mike allowing me to continue working from home after I gave him my notice 14 years ago after the Florida beaches were calling, and we decided to relocate. Thank you, Mike, for giving me this unbeatable opportunity to stay and be a part this adventure!
Tell us a little bit about your family.
I’m married to Jack, and have quite a large extended family with many siblings and nieces and nephews. My parents live in Canal Fulton, so I still have a home base when I come to Canton.
If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
A big house on the beach!
Favorite travel destination?
Jack and I like to go to Vegas a couple times a year. I’m also a beach girl and enjoy going to our family’s favorite little town “down the shore” in Seaside Park, NJ, where we have vacationed since childhood.
What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
As a child, I was pretty well behaved, being the first-born high-achieving, rule-obeying, responsible adult-pleaser. But there was that one time in high school that I was awarded in-school suspension for being involved in some shenanigans.
I love to try new restaurants and have a list of favorites, depending on the city. For my Canton peeps, those of you who know me know my affinity for Papa Bear’s. When I’m in town I pick up several pizzas to take back home with me. I’m also in love with Gervasi Vineyard. And before you ask (because it seems everyone does), NO, I have not yet eaten at the Twisted Olive, but am planning on it the next time I visit.
What’s the last book you read?
I’m trying to get through Alexander Hamilton’s biography by Ron Chernow. I am currently a wee bit obsessed with the Hamilton Broadway soundtrack album, and this biography was the inspiration for the show. If anyone else loves this soundtrack, hit me up, and we can discuss our favorite songs! Oh, that’s right, we were talking about books … [Editor’s note: Apparently, Annie is too modest to mention her amazing singing voice. Wait … I also forgot that this was supposed to be about reading!]
If you were allowed one superpower what would it be?
To time travel back to the past … and back to the future, like Marty McFly.
Cats or dogs?
What is it about our society that wants to peg you into a hole of preferring one species over the other? I love both! I have cats and would love to have dogs, too. However, after taking a poll, our cats have given us a unanimous, non-opposable thumbs down. Maybe someday. After I win the lottery and buy my big house on the beach with enough room.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Jack and I have just finished an exhaustive bathroom DIY renovation, so it’s nice to actually have spare time now. I’ve just started taking piano lessons after a thirty-year hiatus. I also lead worship at Generations Christian Church in Trinity, FL. I have a great group of friends, whom with I enjoy seeing shows and going out to dinner. I love to see live music and live theater.
In what places have you lived?
I was born in Trenton, NJ, and moved to Massillon, OH when I was two. I spent most of my life in the Massillon/Canton area and have lived in the Tampa Bay area of Florida since 2002.
What did you want to be when growing up?
When I was little, I wanted be an actress in a sitcom. Later on, my dream job was (and still is) to be a backup singer on tour with a band. [Editor’s note: Ask Annie about her brush with fame in the form of Amy Grant.]
What is one item on your bucket list?
To take a tour of Italy.
What is your pet peeve?
Misspelled words. Not that I don’t have to google how to spell “privilege” or “non-opposable,” but it’s when people misspell common words such as “loose” when they mean “lose.” When you lose, you don’t win. When you spell “loose” but you mean “lose,” nobody wins. Loose = opposite of tight. Learn it. Know it. Apply it.
What was your first job?
TCBY Yogurt, just down the street from our [Patriot] offices, where Lucia’s Steakhouse is now.
Complete this sentence: Most people don’t know that I …
I love to be a friendship matchmaker! If I think two people that I know separately would get along great, I love to put them in touch. I don’t even care about being included in their new friendship, I just like building connections for others.
Thanks, Annie, for telling us about yourself!