Get to Know ME with AJ

Allie Barke

We’re pleased to introduce AJ in our latest edition of Get to Know ME! She is new to our company, and new to this industry. Read below, and watch her two-minute video to get to know her better. Perhaps she’ll be able to advise you on better organizational methods or how to use both of your eyes in a new way! Thanks AJ for letting us get to know you better!

What’s your title and how long have you been with Motivation Excellence?

Payroll & HR Generalist – I started August 22, 2022 – so, 4 whole months now!

What does your job entail?

Well…Payroll & HR stuff- reviewing, processing and balancing semi-monthly payroll; recruiting, onboarding, insurance enrollment; administering the IATAN program; managing the Motivate Me program; managing the Chicago Bulls sports tickets, being a point of contact for our employees who have questions and providing assistance where needed.

What’s something special about the people you work with you’d like to share?

They are smart, funny and they all bring a tremendous skillset and something different to the team.

What’s an unknown or odd talent you have?

I don’t know how unknown it is, but a talent I have is OCD. I’m very neat and organized. My family and friends laugh at me because all my cabinets are organized and my closets too. I truly believe in “everything has a place.” I have a giant heart and love to help others too!

What motivates you to accomplish things in your life (work or personal)?

My family, kids and grandchildren motivate me to always do better. They encourage me a lot!! They are always asking what I do at work and if I enjoy what I’m doing. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Hanging with family – spending quality time with my 3 grandsons and traveling the world!

One thing that always makes you laugh is?

My Auntie Lynn – she lives in Houston, but I know if I want to laugh, I can call her. She often calls me to tell me jokes and we sit on the phone for hours laughing. My 5 year-old grandson, Jeremiah, keeps me laughing too and he keeps me young.

What have you done that helped you get through the pandemic?

The pandemic was a difficult time for everyone. One thing that helped me was having Zoom meetings with my family and friends. Depending on the time we were meeting, we would suggest breakfast, lunch or dinner; everyone would order their food or prepare their food; we would meet on zoom and eat, talk, laugh or cry; we would play games and enjoy each other’s company from afar.

What is the most unusual job you’ve ever had?

I started working while in high school at 16; for my first job, I was a vision therapist. I worked at Plano Child Development Center.  As a vision therapist, I trained children how to use both eyes together or to use teamwork between the two eyes.  The program is based on behavioral optometry – which entails the total vision information processing system and its relationship to learning and development. Vision therapy heals to improve conditions like crossed-eyes, lazy eye, or to help you learn to enhance specific vision skills. It was a very interesting job. Most adults don’t know how to use both eyes together. 😊

This month, our theme for social media is mentoring. Do you have experience with mentoring or being a mentee? How has it affected you personally or professionally?

I have experience mentoring and being a mentee. I was a mentor at my church for young women ages 18-25. You never know what someone is going through and just being able to sit, talk, advise, recommend, and suggest makes a huge difference in someone’s life. We would schedule lunches or go to the movies. It helped me become a better person. Many of the young women went to college and graduated. Some started families. Some are married. I learned to take a step back and look at life through a different lens. Your life may not be perfect, but there’s always someone worse off than you. Always be grateful.

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