Meet our staff: <br>A new Web feature!

If you’ve ever wanted to put a face to PAR’s amazing Customer Service, now you can! As part of PAR’s new Web site, we wanted our Customers to have a chance to become acquainted with the fantastic team behind those products you trust. Visit www.parinc.com and click on Meet the Staff at the bottom of the page. Now you can see who you’ve been placing your orders with over the phone, who packed your most recent shipment and got it to you in a flash, and the team behind creating all those assessment products you trust. You may even be able to learn a little bit about some of our team.

We want you to see the PAR team! We can’t wait to meet you! Visit Meet the Staff now!

“Real artists ship” is a quote attributed to Steve Jobs of Apple, but around the PAR office, it is a phrase closely associated with Richard Brummer, Senior Manager of Quality Assurance. This week, Richard will be retiring after 12.5 years with the company. When Richard started at PAR in 2004, he thought he would be working on developing psychological assessment products in print. But in the years since, that has only been a small part of his responsibilities. Most notably, he has been a dedicated champion of the PARiConnect platform since the early days of development. Every PAR Customer has felt Richard’s influence—his tireless dedication to making sure each product is error-free, easily understandable, and intuitively designed is clear on everything he touches. Richard has taught all of us so much about creativity, innovation, and – just like his motto – making sure the focus is always on the Customer receiving a product that makes their job easier. Here are a few memories we would like to share:   I believe that it was, in large part, Richard’s motivation to speak directly to Customers, gather information on their needs, and transform that into PARiConnect functions that lead to the excellent reputation the system has today. Also, the treats that his wife makes for us are also spectacular. -Julie Alexander, PhD, Senior Clinical Assessment Consultant   [caption id="attachment_2529" align="alignleft" width="300"]Richard Brummer at the PARiConnect launch on January 2, 2013. Richard Brummer at the PARiConnect launch on January 2, 2013.[/caption] I remember Richard taking over as project manager on the development of PARiConnect. With a gleam in his eye, he courageously led a cross-functional team of employees and outside developers in a short time frame to develop a testing and reporting platform with the focus on the user experience. His leadership taught the entire team that anything is possible with perseverance and focus. I have learned so much from Richard throughout my time and PAR and will miss him tremendously!   -Donna Drackett, Vice President/Chief Financial Office   I thought the thorough and organized way in which Richard organized and elicited help for testing of the PARiConnect upgrade that was completed in 2015 was masterful! He provided clear and concise explanations of what needed to be tested, and how to accomplish it. It made it easy for many of us to assist. -Kay Cunningham, President and Chief Operating Officer   One of my favorite Richardisms: That’s been around since Moses was a Cub Scout! -Sue Trujillo, Manager of Data Collection   Richard was a great asset to me when I was developing forms for the first time. I truly appreciate his eye when it comes to usability and what will make sense to our Customers. He continues to be my go-to person for review when I am mocking up a form. -Jenny Greene, Senior Research Assistant   Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of this three-part series.
This interview is a part of an ongoing feature on the PAR blog to better acquaint Customers with PAR staff. We hope you enjoy this inside look into what goes on behind the scenes to develop, create, and deliver your most trusted assessments. Sue Trujillo, Manager of Data Collection How many years have you worked at PAR? 9 1/2 years What does an average day at PAR look like to you? Read and respond to emails from data collectors, check the demographic database on projects in progress, recruit new and existing examiners to work on finding participants to fill the needed demographics, check incoming data for accuracy and log cases into my SPSS “cases needed” file, and, most recently, helping to work on new project ideas. What is the best part of your job? Talking with psychologists all over the country. When people ask you what you do, how do you explain your job? I have a database of examiners from all over the country who administer new or existing assessments in order to create the standardization norms. When you aren’t at work, where can you be found? In my yard, tending to my flowers and plants, or dancing at a rock concert. When I first started working at PAR… there wasn’t any one person who did my job. The project directors were responsible for finding authors who already had data or the project directors managed data collection themselves. If I could switch jobs with anyone in the company for a day, I’d like to try… Being a Clinical Assessment Consultant! I’d like to sell what I’ve helped create!
This interview is a part of an ongoing feature on the PAR blog to better acquaint Customers with PAR staff. We hope you enjoy this inside look into what goes on behind the scenes to develop, create, and deliver your most trusted assessments. Melissa Messer, Senior Project Director How many years have you worked at PAR? 13 What does an average day at PAR look like to you? Every day is different depending on the status of my projects. Typically, I am working on some type of data analysis. Other days, I may be solely focused on writing, which also involves doing extensive literature reviews and interpreting/explaining data analysis. I have lots of team meetings, generally getting input and feedback on print and digital projects. What have you learned by working at PAR? A small group of really excellent people can accomplish a lot when they work together. In comparison to some of our competitors, we are a very small company, yet we remain very competitive. When you aren’t at work, where can you be found? With my two children. I spend as much time as I possibly can with them when I am not at work. When you first started working at PAR, what were your plans? I thought I would stay for a year and go back to school to get my PhD. Instead, four positions and almost 13 years later, I can’t imagine leaving PAR. If you could switch jobs anywhere in the company for a day, what department would you choose? Customer Support. I really enjoy talking to our Customers at conventions, and I think it would be great to have a chance to talk directly to our Customers more. What product or project have you learned the most from? The Neuropsychological Assessment Battery® (NAB®). I got to work with the director of Research & Development, who had a ton of experience working on project development, and he was also the author of the test. It was by far one of the largest projects ever completed at PAR, and the experiences I gained while working on it definitely had an impact on my future success at PAR.
This interview is a part of an ongoing feature on the PAR blog to better acquaint Customers with PAR staff. We hope you enjoy this inside look into what goes on behind the scenes to develop, create, and deliver your most trusted assessments. Lauren Rosario, Senior Marketing Analyst How many years have you worked at PAR? 1 What does an average day at PAR look like to you? My primary responsibility is market research; I engage with our Customers to discover their likes, dislikes, and needs and then find common trends between them. This helps guide the company on what is meaningful and important to Customers during new product development and when marketing products. Market research takes many different forms, from focus groups to large-scale online research projects. In addition to listening to the voice of our customers, I also work on launching new products by developing marketing pieces, videos, advertisements, and other ways to communicate to our Customers all of the great things we have to offer at PAR. What is the best part of your job? I find market research fascinating because Customer behavior is so interesting; the most beneficial and rewarding moments are when Customers tell me something through research and that feedback changes what we as a company had planned. When that happens, you see firsthand the power of market research insights and the success that comes to companies that value and embrace their Customers’ wants and needs. It’s also very exciting when research I’ve conducted and Customer behavior that follows matches up perfectly. What would surprise people about your job? Market research is both a science and an art at every stage of the game. There are subtle intricacies in wording and question ordering for even a simple survey that can have a great impact on the results, so having a solid background in market research is critical. When you aren’t at work, where can you be found? I am taking master’s courses in marketing through Harvard University, so that takes up most of my time. I also love long-distance running with my rescue dog, traveling to new countries with my husband, quilting, and I am involved with my church. When I first started working at PAR… I was absolutely amazed at how charitable the employees are to needy causes and how exceptionally well the company treats employees. It’s incredibly inspiring to work for a company that is so generous; I’m honored to be part of this team. PAR is a truly exemplary. The best advice I’ve ever received is… to design a life you love. It’s short, but to me, it motivates me to be determined about loving life.  I have known since I was about 10 that I wanted to have a career in marketing, preferably in a climate that offered palm trees! I absolutely love my career as a marketer and wouldn’t prefer doing anything else.
This interview is a part of an ongoing feature on the PAR blog to better acquaint Customers with PAR staff. We hope you enjoy this inside look into what goes on behind the scenes to develop, create, and deliver your most trusted assessments. Danielle Greer, Customer Support Specialist How many years have you worked at PAR? 1 year What does an average day at PAR look like to you? An average day in Customer Support consists of processing orders, providing support, answering questions, and resolving issues, just to name a few. It is difficult to cover the range of duties we perform. The goal at PAR every day however is to provide unparalleled service and delight our customers! What is the best part of your job? The variety of professionals I get to talk to on a daily basis. I get the opportunity to speak with professionals that have been in their field for decades as well as those that are just starting out. I also never know what state, country, or continent I am going to take a call from! What have you learned by working at PAR? I have learned that it is entirely possible for a company to foster a family-like culture that inspires its employees to not only take pride in their work, but also in their position to give back to the community. PAR provides many opportunities to help those in need, and I believe other companies can learn a lot by the example that PAR sets. When you aren’t at work, where can you be found? Cycling for miles on the Suncoast Bike Trail! If I could switch jobs with anyone in the company for a day… I would switch with a Distribution Specialist. In Customer Support, we process a lot of orders for shipment, and sometimes have special requests for our customers that the DC helps with. I believe I could learn a lot from our neighbor department that so quickly and accurately puts together our customers’ orders and is so willing to team up with CS to tackle assignments. What product or project have you learned the most from? Our department’s “Secret Service” committee. We are always striving to delight our customers in new and creative ways, and we inspire one another by sharing stories weekly about how we went the extra mile for a customer. These are perfect opportunities for the department to learn different ways to make our customers’ day or take a unique approach to resolving an issue.
Last week, PAR took home two titles that we are especially proud to share. On March 29,  PAR staff and our favorite furry friends turned a rainy day into a walk to remember to support the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s Bark in the Park event. Although the walk ended up being rained out just after our team picture, the PARty Animals were thrilled to take home top fundraising honors while showing our support for such a worthy organization. Also, for the fourth consecutive year, PAR has received the Gold Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for promoting employee wellness, making PAR a Fit-Friendly Worksite. We are proud to promote the importance of healthy living and wellness in the workplace! To learn more about the many ways PAR staff give back to the community, visit our Community PARtners page.
ImageImagine seeing someone’s life turn around before your eyes. A woman who has struggled, financially and emotionally, is preparing for a long-awaited job interview. She has come quietly into a shop and is browsing through a selection of professional clothing. For the first time in her life, she tries on a business suit and emerges tentatively from the dressing room. Looking in the mirror, her face suddenly changes. She has a new look of confidence because she can see it now: She can imagine herself in a professional environment. She is ready to take her life in a new direction. This woman is what Dress for Success is all about—and she is the reason that PAR is delighted to support the DFS Tampa Chapter. Founded in 1997, Dress for Success is a not-for-profit organization offering services designed to help clients find and retain good jobs. At the Tampa chapter, Dr. Heather Ureksoy, a member of PAR’s Research and Development team, has been an active volunteer, serving not only as a volunteer coordinator and shop manager but also organizing an apparel drive here at PAR that garnered more than 300 articles of gently used professional clothing for women making a fresh start in the job market. In October this year, Heather organized an Excess Inventory Sale to raise funds for the purchase of more plus-sized suits for the DFS boutique. During the two-day sale, PAR employees donated their time to work at the event, while others came to shop. “Our clients are referred to DFS through various service agencies in the Tampa Bay area,” Heather explains. “In 2012 so far, we have suited approximately 950 clients—and we have also expanded our career center to accommodate more mock interviews, résumé consultations, and technology classes.” Since its inception almost 35 years ago, PAR has been giving back to the community, and employees are actively engaged in a wide range of community service projects. When Heather came to PAR two years ago, she was happy to be part of an organization that supported her volunteer work. “I knew I wanted to do something to give back,” she says, “but I had no idea how much I would love it! PAR provides a paid day off for employees to do volunteer work. Bob and Cathy [Smith, founders of PAR] have created a real culture of giving throughout the company.” Clearly, Dress for Success is about much more than just finding appropriate clothing for a job interview. “It’s very personal,” says Heather. “The women we serve want to tell their story. They’ve all had some sort of struggle, and they’re getting back on their feet. Tears are shed! It can be exhausting, but it’s so rewarding. And when they find the right suit—their whole face transforms. It’s really beautiful.” To learn more about Dress for Success, visit www.dressforsuccess.org and click on the Locations link to find your local chapter.