This year Stacy Mendler has been working strategies to help Alion successfully respond to market conditions. As the company’s chief operating officer, her focus has been on ensuring customer satisfaction as well as developing strategies to secure new business. Also, under her direction, the company launched “Alion. Green,“ an initiative to foster greater energy and environmental awareness among our employee-owners. For the near future, Mendler will help channel Alion's resources toward marketing Alion's solutions under ID/IQ contracts. This requires even more collaboration between business units and expanded business development efforts. Mendler is deeply involved in positioning the company to support Alion’s customers' growing use of these vehicles.
Mendler’s Top Tips:
- Find a mentor. “I can attribute my success to the fact that I always had someone I could call on to take questions,“ says Mendler.
- Apply your real-world experiences. “As I mature in my personal life, I mature in my professional life,“ says Mendler, “I'm a little more sensitive to my employees' needs for work-life balance, for instance.“
- Don't be afraid to voice your opinion. “At times I've been intimidated by the group I was with “¦ not because of anything anyone did, just because I was with more senior people,“ says Mendler. “You have to set that aside and realize you are as valuable a contributor as anyone else.“
- Visualize your next success. “I always visualized the next position I wanted,“ says Mendler. “Look out and see what position you want next “” then work toward it,“ she says.
What Mendler is saying:
ON OVERCOMING CHALLENGES: “Throughout my career, there were always challenges that seemed impossible at the time. One of the biggest was creating Alion. Enron and other debacles in corporate America were occurring, and we were trying to create an employee-owned company. We didn't give up, we kept working on it. That's the biggest proof that if you keep working on something “” even if it seems impossible “” you can eventually pull it off.“
BEST CAREER ADVICE: “In the middle of my career I was starting to take on more responsibility. My mentor, Alion CEO Bahman Atefi, said I should be more confident in my role because I wouldn't be there if others didn't have confidence in me. His words instilled in me the conviction to grow into the more senior leadership role I was taking on. That was six years ago, and soon after, I became COO of Alion.“
WORK-LIFE BALANCE: “Everybody's life needs are different, so I would never offer advice. This is what I do. My husband and I both made a decision early on that we would have a loving, caring nanny that could help maintain a safe, home environment. The other thing we decided was that we would always sit down for dinner as a family. I work through lunch so I can get home to help with homework, be at practices and games, and have dinner together. Also, if I have to travel, I try to make it a day trip, even if it means leaving early and returning late, so I can get home to my family.“