Lisa Becker, Maintenance Manager for Atmos International in Annaheim

How would you describe your job in a minute?

I’m a Maintenance Manager and I’ve been with Atmos for seven years based within the maintenance department in Anaheim. My current role is something that is designed to be there for our customers and ensure they’re getting what they need and when they need it. I act as an interface between the customer and the rest of the team. For me, it is about ensuring they are reassured that we’re looking after them at every stage of a project and our services to them.

I’ll work with our customers to get them everything they need. So that could be a sales request or information on a current project. I’ll help them with anything relating to maintenance as well. A key aspect of my role is that I’ll liaise with other departments too, so the customer has a seamless experience. The role was really established to ensure that our customers are always happy.

Bearing in mind your multi-head role, what’s a typical day for you?

I’m usually on the phone early on, speaking with customers and prioritizing the day ahead. If I’m not on the phone, I’m liaising with my fellow maintenance co-workers. We’re always reviewing work to ensure we get no surprises. I guess 60-75% of my time is speaking to people – helping them to solve their problems and issues. The rest of the time I could be on customer sites, checking operations and set-ups there. Then I’ll be at the office following up, that could be sales requests, additions to their pipelines and proposals from sales. I’m helping everything to flow smoothly between the customer and Atmos International. To give you some perspective, I’m personally monitoring something like 200 pipelines across 37 sites.

Tell us more about your start with Atmos and your previous career.

I joined Atmos over seven years ago and started out as a project engineer. Then I moved over to maintenance about 2 years ago. I previously worked as a pipeline structural engineer, analyzing ethylene and ethene pipelines and plants. I then moved on to work on high capacity lines for AT&T before joining Atmos. I have to say Atmos is definitely my favorite job hands down. The company, culture and people are really great here.

What do you feel your biggest achievement to date is personal or professional?
I would say I’ve got a bit of a blend for mine. I’m a Mom of two-year-old twins so along with being a wife, I have to balance family life with holding down a professional career. It’s finding that work-life balance that so many of us strive for. I feel it’s a great achievement that I’ve done this because not everyone can find this.

What three words describe your role?

My first term is technically two words – customer relations. The reason why I chose it, is because it’s really central to what I do. I’m here making customers happy with Atmos and building a longer-term relationship with them too. Some of these guys have actually become friends too.
My next word would be review. The reason for this is I’m regularly reviewing work before it is placed on customer’s servers. I’m double-checking if anything has changed.  My last is sales. I’ve chosen this because I’m constantly in contact with sales, working with them on proposals and following up on customer needs.  In summary, I’d say Relations. Review. Sales.  My role is pretty much a 360 degrees role and providing a lot of post-sales support as well. I really like giving great customer service too. By having a great customer relationship, I hope they’ll come back and work with us again and again.

If you could swap jobs with somebody in the business, who/what would it be? 

Honestly, I’m really happy in this company so I guess I would like to just switch roles. I’d like to take the management role further, helping to develop a team for example. I think it would also be great to see how other functions operate such as sales and marketing, to better understand the company as a whole. I want to be more rounded in terms of the company beyond engineering and this is something I’d see as part of my ‘five-year’ plan.

Who would you choose as a mentor?

This is pretty easy. It circulates back to my personal and professional achievements and what I’m most proud of. I’d pick Jun (Atmos International CEO) as she has demonstrated that you can have both – motherhood and a successful career. You can be a mom and a CEO. She’s also well rounded in terms of building and running a business, being an engineer and supporting her children growing up. I think it’s really impressive that she’s been able to juggle all of that. For me she’s living proof you don’t have to compromise on your ambitions or family in any shape or form.

If you could go back to your 16-year-old self, what would you say?

I actually knew at 16 that I wanted to be an engineer. So, I’d probably say ‘stick the course and great jobs will be out there. Just stick it out because getting an engineering degree isn’t easy but keep going even when it gets tough.’  My uncle was my inspiration. He graduated early and has a very high IQ. I used to go up and see him in San Francisco every summer for a week and he’d always talk to me about college and what I wanted to do when I grew up. He’d ask me what things I liked and what I felt I was good at, eventually pointing me in the direction of engineering. He probably planted the idea from the age of 13 or 14 years old and it stuck and blossomed from there. I think he’s really proud that I was able to accomplish everything that I have and that I stuck with the things we used to discuss back in the day.

As Atmos continues to grow, what's your advice to recent new recruits?

There’s a lot of opportunities to grow as the company continues to grow. That means there are opportunities in other types of roles and specialisms. For instance, the role I have now as a Maintenance Manager wasn’t around when I started seven years ago.  I’d also say that you need to listen, ask questions and be prepared to develop as an individual rather than just waiting for something to land on your desk. The company is great to work for, the EAT (team building) events are great fun and I think this makes us feel like a little family. Plus, I’m the breakfast manager here. We have a Friday breakfast which everyone looks forward too.

What’s your motto or mantra?

Treat people as you want to be treated. I keep that in all aspects of my life, that’s really who I am. So, if someone is very frustrated and angry, I’ll always keep calm and try to figure out where they’re coming from. It’s having empathy and listening to what they need – they’re not always right but I try to help calm the situation and be professional.

Do you have a favorite blog, a newspaper or media title you go to?

Anyone in the US will probably already know this. I’m a massive fan of collecting points, usually air miles and particularly how to boost your credit card to get them. In return, we can get free flights, which is really useful as a family of four now. I am sure a few colleagues will smile when they see this but my favorite blog is the ‘Points Guy’. (US site | UK site).

As a regular globe trotter. What’s your favorite country?

It's got to be New Zealand. We’re keen travelers and have already taken the kids out of the country. We love to go places and see new cultures. New Zealand has this great culture which is really laid back. The people are so friendly there. I recall getting our car stuck in the mud on a remote country road and we hadn’t seen any cars in a long time. The first car that came, stopped and got us out of the mud and they were so helpful and friendly. I haven’t seen that in the US for a long time. Plus, it is so much cleaner there in terms of the quality of the air and environment. The food and wine are a big win for me too. I’ve even been able to snowboard there too. Dare I say it? I think I like it better than the US!