Meet the Team: Michelle Padilla

Meet the Team: Michelle Padilla

Welcome back to Meet the Team, where every month we introduce you to someone here at Telcion. This month we're talking to Michelle Padilla.

Michelle Padilla

COO/CFO

Years at Telcion: 14

Hi Michelle! What are your main responsibilities at Telcion?
I basically handle day-to-day operations of Telcion and oversee the finance department and the marketing department.

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?
I am actually working on my master’s degree right now. It is something I’ve wanted for a really long time, and I am doing it in leadership and management. It’s something that is ongoing but has taken a lot of time.

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
Creating our internal leadership program here at Telcion to grow leaders is actually something that I am proud of. We’ve been wanting to do this for several years and just haven’t been able to get the mechanism together to do it. We call it “TCU” for Telcion Communications University and we have several different levels of leadership growth that people can take advantage of. It’s a lot of fun to facilitate those classes and watch people blossom into some leadership skills.

If you could add one thing to Telcion’s office, what would it be?
A soda machine. I want a soda machine [laughs]. It would make my heart happy to have a soda machine.

What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
I have a very go-to thing that I do all the time—I write a gratitude list. It is something that I just believe in and I do it every single time I’ve had a bad day. It just helps me put things into perspective of, yeah, maybe I had some challenges today or whatever may have happened or some frustrations, but I have so many things to be grateful for on every given day. So it’s something that I do practice often.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
That I was a row crop farmer and sheep farmer while still doing my day job here. Most people would not look at me and think “farmer.” And when I say farmer, I mean out doing the irrigating and the harvesting and delivering sheep and feeding sheep and sheering sheep—complete farmer besides my day job here.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Again, not something somebody is going to think of me when they see me, but I actually wanted to be a lawyer in the criminal justice system. That was my all-time dream. When I was a junior in high school I actually started focusing on being a paralegal, and I geared all of my classes towards being a paralegal. I was very much about the details, working on specific projects, hence why the job I have now—it actually followed me through my life.

But when I got out of school I did become a paralegal for 10 years in probate, trusts, things like that. Probate and estate planning is where I got my claim to fame for 10 years. I just found that I loved the elderly. I loved their stories, I just loved everything that they have to share. And I felt like they were kind of under-loved, so being a paralegal in that area fed me. But we moved to the valley and I couldn’t do that job anymore, so that’s how I got into what I do now.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
I have so many people that it would be fun to trade places with, but if I had just one wish it would actually be Roger Goodell. He is the COO of the NFL. He’s the commissioner of the NFL, and to be able to do what I do now but for the NFL would be nirvana. Even for a day.

I love what I do as a COO, it’s a passion of mine. I love what I do and I love doing it here. But I love the NFL so much that it would just be a dream. It’d be fun.

What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?
Currently a lot of studying because I am trying to wrap up my masters degree. But my husband, my kids, my grandkids—they’re my heart and everything, so you will find me spending as much time with them as I possibly can. And also on weekends I love to do ministry work, so you will find me a lot at church, bringing people one step closer to Jesus.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?
I think I would tell myself, “Be driven, but also make sure that you enjoy life along the way.” I’m a very driven person and that’s not a bad thing, but don’t be so driven that you don’t enjoy the little things in life. Follow your passion because if you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s what I would tell my teenage self. I do my passion so I don’t actually work because I love what I do. But because I’m so goal-oriented I don’t think I did my gratitude list enough when I was younger to realize and be grateful for the little things in life. It was just head down, keep moving forward. I don’t think that I really embraced the joy.

What’s one totally irrational fear that you have?
I am severely claustrophobic. Not everybody would know that, but I am. I know there’s no rationale behind it and I’m working on getting better, but it’s a pretty severe fear. Just a few weeks ago I learned how to go through a car wash without hyperventilating. It’s not just being in an elevator or just being in a little small space. Airplanes were another problem but I’ve overcome that with my travels.

But the car wash—I actually couldn’t go through one, I had to close my eyes and somebody else had to drive. Or I would let somebody else take my car through and I’d walk to the other side and wait for my car to come out. But in the last few weeks, I’m really learning how—I do crank up Christian music to get through it, I’m going to be honest—but I’ve been able to go through the last few weeks by myself.

What’s your favorite sport to watch and which team do you root for?
Well, we can all guess it’s football. Absolute favorite sport, does not last long enough. I root for the Raiders. I think that the first words that came out of my mouth were, “Go Raiders!” I was four years old, we have it on tape. My dad was a Raider fan and so I grew up being with him, you know, doing the whole football thing. It’s a long time to be a Raider fan, because sometimes they can be very challenging to love.

What book are you reading now?
I read several at a time, depending on the mood that I’m in for that day, but currently I’m reading “The Ride of a Lifetime” by the former CEO of Walt Disney. I’m a very big Disney fan and I love leadership books, so those two fit together. And I’m also reading another book that I love and it’s called “You Are the Girl for the Job” by Jess Connolly.

Thank you, Michelle!

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn.