Every company has that one person who is the “glue” that keeps everyone and everything running smoothly. Janet Simmons is that person at PondelWilkinson. Entering her 15th year at the firm, we asked the Los Angeles native some questions about her professional and personal life as part of our ongoing Q&A series.
What was your first job?
It was with Bell Industries, working at their manufacturing facility in Burbank. I started out on the plant floor and ended up in the front office, working with the CEO and CFO on corporate communications and administrative matters. Stayed there for 34 years.
How long have you been in the industry?
The last 15 years of my career have been with PondelWilkinson. I joined the firm right after I left Bell Industries, which ironically was one of PondelWilkinson’s first investor relations clients. I already knew and loved everyone at the firm, so the transition was seamless.
If you had to pick one word to describe what you do, what would it be?
Variety. I cover everything … from administrative duties to preparing quarterly analytical reports for clients, issuing press releases, updating websites and more.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I would have to say it’s interacting with people. I enjoy working with everyone at PondelWilkinson and with our clients. Even though we are working remotely these days, we always find time to stay connected and enjoy a laugh or two.
What is your least favorite part about your job?
That’s a tough one. I really enjoy all that I do here, but I’m not a big fan of tight deadlines. I know it’s part of the job, but short turnarounds can be very stressful at times.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love gardening, hiking and going out with friends.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done?
My husband and I recently went on a “Jeep safari” in Moab, Utah. While navigating the Hells Revenge trail, we started to climb a super-steep Lion’s Back, when I jumped out of the moving car and walked back down the hill. I don’t know about being the weirdest, but it definitely wasn’t the smartest thing I ever did.
What’s something that recently made you smile?
The other day I noticed a squirrel in my backyard trying to get my attention. He was looking at me through my kitchen window, as if to say, “Hey, the bowl is empty, are you going to fill it?” I literally laughed out loud because the squirrel was so animated. Needless to say, I filled the bowl with food, smiling the entire time.
What’s next on your bucket list?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
That would have to be from my dad, who often said, “Better to be early than late.” Simple advice, but something I live by in everything I do.
— Shannon Clemons, email@example.com