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In Conversation with… Joyce Monsees, Head of Human Resources & Administration

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July 8th, 2020

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WeRobotics is a diverse, global team. To spotlight their unique talents and contributions to WeRobotics and to Flying Labs, we asked them to share a bit about their backgrounds, their roles, and their interests.

Q: Please introduce yourself: who are you, where do you live, and what’s your role at WeRobotics?

A: My name is Joyce. I'm an American living on the West Coast in California. My dad traveled internationally for work, so I grew up getting postcards from foreign countries and having maps on the walls. From living outside the U.S., I learned how we all have the same fundamental values while living and celebrating in wonderfully different ways.

At WeRobotics, I'm the Head of Human Resources and Administration, and I'm also part of the finance team. When we welcome new team members, I'm involved in their employment, from onboarding to daily and monthly payroll. I'm also in charge of the day-to-day financial transactions for grant contracts and general business needs.

Your passion and genuine enthusiasm for the company's purpose and mission will inspire your team to have it too. Your best influence comes from the examples you set, not from the words you recite.

How did you get started in your field? What were your academic background and critical work experiences?

Joyce at Disney's Storybook Land Joyce at Disney's Storybook Land

I've been working in the humanitarian aid field since 2012 when I started in operations for the Standby Task Force, a nonprofit founded by Patrick Meier to provide creditable data to responding organizations during a global disaster or crisis. As the organization developed, I moved to administration as the Finance Director on the Board of Directors. My favorite part of humanitarian aid is how much we value local knowledge and experience. Those who live in a region can contribute far more to an area and situation than information found from an Internet search.

I came to WeRobotics with this experience in nonprofit finance and with a background in human resources as a staffing recruiter and as SBTF's membership manager. My Master's Degree is in Information Science focused on Emerging Technologies in the global sphere. This includes a lot of study of universal information systems for virtual teams and fact-checking—which works well with my' over-the-top need to double-check every detail' personality!

My education also includes a Human Resources Technician Certification, managerial accounting, and nonprofit finance programs. Back in the day, I was a Disneyland Ride Operator and worked my way up to a term in Employment and Employee Relations. One of the main lessons I learned working for Disney is that your passion and genuine enthusiasm for the company's purpose and mission will inspire your team to have it too. Your best influence comes from the examples you set, not from the words you recite.

How did you get here? Why did you decide to join WeRobotics? What projects have you been working on?

I knew both Patrick Meier and Andrew Schroder from our overlapping work in humanitarian aid. When WeRobotics launched, I was impressed with a team that I knew was driven by compassion, integrity, and professionalism. When they approached me in 2017 to come on board, I was thrilled to be part of the work WeRobotics does.

What are you most looking forward to this year in your work?

I live pretty far from the rest of the team, so I look forward to retreats and conferences. Our last conference in New York brought together our WeRobotics team members alongside colleagues from many of our Flying Labs. It was great to meet teammates in person, share ideas, and enjoy each other's company.

While tools are great, I also rely on professional associations and networks... It’s essential to have a network of like-minded colleagues. Good relationships create an extension of teammates.

What are your go-to tools and resources for doing your job?

Beyond our HR and Accounting software, my needs are mainly organizational. I like a hybrid of task management software and old school categorized notebooks. I've tried many different tools—like Basecamp, MURAL, and Dropbox—but, for me, Trello, Google Suite, and calendar alerts work best. I'm a big picture person, so thank goodness for extra monitors!

While tools are great, I also rely on professional associations and networks, specifically for nonprofit management, financial and human resources, and humanitarian aid groups. It's essential to have a network of like-minded colleagues. Good relationships create an extension of teammates.

What do you like to do in your off time? How do you relax and unwind?

I live in Southern California, where the good weather makes it easy for outdoor fun, home improvement projects, and play with our rescue dogs. I'm a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteer for my city and stay ready to help collect data during a global disaster. And I can't wait for college sports to start up again—go Dawgs! Go Aggies!

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