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Since starting at ISG as a 20-year-old receptionist, Executive Project Coordinator Stephanie Merdan has found that ambition and an “Achiever” spirit can create exciting opportunities. Those opportunities have seen Stephanie serve a lot of different roles at ISG in her 15 years, from proposal writing, to preparing contracts, to working in HR, and managing professional licensure. Outside of work, Stephanie’s life can have even more variety: whether she is volunteering, sewing wedding dresses, or taking on challenging plumbing projects.

What experiences best serve you as an ISG Employee Owner?

Growing up on a small farm in rural Minnesota, I learned early how to work hard, work together, and appreciate the rewards that hard work brings. My favorite farm job has always been baling hay—when I was small, I rode in the tractor with my parents and grandparents, and when I got a little bigger I graduated to stacking bales in the loft. I watched my family work hard, and I learned first-hand that there is a lot of pride in a good day’s hard work. Similarly, I really enjoy the opportunities to share in the work and successes of ISG with my fellow Employee Owners.

What has kept you at ISG for nearly 15 years?

There is no place I’d rather be than at ISG! I love the people I get to work with every day and the “can do” attitude we all share. When I first started, there were less than 60 people—now we are closing in on 300! As a young person starting out, I was just eager to work, but when I was ready for the next thing, ISG kept putting it in front of me to go after. I really appreciate the abundant opportunities we all have to succeed when we work together and the way leadership views and helps you capitalize on your strengths. It has been an awesome adventure, and I’m excited to be a part of our continued success!

What are some of your most rewarding experiences working at ISG?

I am naturally drawn to helping, teaching, and mentoring others. I love helping people understand things, answering their questions, and truly supporting them until they know the ropes. It is extremely gratifying to take someone under your wing and then watch them soar on their own!

I have had the opportunity to train and mentor several new ISG staff over the years, and I am excited to be part of a pilot E3 STEM mentorship program at Apple Valley High School with several other ISG’ers. I love to volunteer—especially if it involves kids—they have so much potential, and I love being a part of helping them realize that!

Which do you enjoy more—dress alterations or plumbing?

They both have something in common—the challenge!

Whether I am knee deep in taffeta and tulle or installing a new faucet or even a toilet, once the job is complete, it comes with a great sense of satisfaction. Remember: where there is a good attitude and will, gosh darn it, there is a way!

What advice would you give to someone starting their career?

My advice to anyone looking to be successful and realize their dreams:

Be nice, and try. Everyday. Where there is a will and a good attitude, there is almost always a way.

What’s the number one item on your bucket list?

I have always had a passion for reading and writing, so authoring a best-seller is #1 on my bucket list! I have a few different plot ideas so far, but one thing they all have in common is a happy ending! #Positivity

What are some more things people may not know about you?
  • Growing up I had lots of different interests and aspirations, but the one thing that always remained constant is that I always knew I wanted to be a wife and a mom, and I’ve been extremely blessed. Family is everything.
  • I have been a parent volunteer at school, a volunteer Sunday School Teacher, and a VBS Crafts Coordinator for several years.
  • I am a saver of tidbits of information. I like to know something about a lot of different things. I have a pretty good memory, and I like trivia.
  • I love vanilla ice cream topped with homemade brownies and chocolate syrup! It’s the best! My second favorite snack: popcorn with extra butter and a Mountain Dew!!
  • My favorite movies are all comedies. If I get to choose, I want something that makes me laugh!
  • My morning coffee teeters on more creamer than coffee!
  • My words to live by: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” –Thessalonians 5:11. We all make an impact on those around us. I want to be someone that makes your day better.

Join the conversation #ISGMinneapolis #ProjectCoordinator #EmployeeOwned #ControlYourDestiny

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