Cheryl Standish: Awesomely Weird

CAMACC System’s Human Resources Manager recently scored “72% weird” on a popular social media quiz. When she shared the result in the staff lunchroom, the most common reaction was along the lines of, “Hmmm… that score seems a little low.”

Those reactions tell you as much about Cheryl Standish as the CAMACC corporate culture that she has helped shape over the years. Specifically: be yourself, and bring your best self to the job, every day.

Cheryl Standish with daughter Elliot.

Cheryl Standish with daughter Elliot.

Cheryl started at CAMACC Systems 11 years ago as a temp, working part-time as a receptionist and shipper/receiver when CAMACC’s National Operations Manager broke both of her elbows in a freak motorcycle accident. As the company has grown in size and operational scope, so, too, has the need for professional Human Resource management.

“Now we can’t live without her,” says Jen Mayer, National Operations Manager (whose elbows eventually healed). “In addition to the expanding HR role, Cheryl is integrated with so many teams and activities across the company, like the Crusaders fundraising group, the environmental Green Team, the Christmas hamper program, and event planning.”

“CAMACC’s geographic spread and occupational structure has increased dramatically over the past 16 years,” says Cheryl. “We’ve grown from a 5-person shop in Victoria to a 70-person operation across North America, with hundreds of sub-contractors, suppliers, safety teams and other people who need to be schooled in the CAMACC way.”

As such, Cheryl’s HR work is a lot bigger than processing timesheets, administering staff benefits, and managing new staff recruitment. “The paperwork is important, and has to be done right,” says Cheryl, “But CAMACC culture is really paramount. Everything we do reinforces our CEO’s vision to hire for attitude, and create a family-first environment that values hard-work and innovation.”

Elliot Standish, CAMACC's baby.

Elliot Standish, “CAMACC’s baby.”

That family-first environment was demonstrated two years ago when Cheryl took nine months off work to adopt an baby girl from Ethiopia. The process was long and difficult, and a financial challenge for Cheryl and her husband, Kevin. CAMACC staff helped by fundraising to support some of the travel costs. “Elliot is really CAMACC’s baby,” says Cheryl about her beautiful daughter, who is often seen at CAMACC softball games and other work team events.

Originally trained as an elementary school teacher at the University of Victoria, Cheryl is now working towards a credential in Human Resources at Camosun College’s School of Business. “The professional designation is really valuable to the company, as it connects me to a larger body of research and best practice,” says Cheryl. “It’s helpful in sorting out how to keep an issue from becoming a problem.”

With Cheryl helping to keep CAMACC’s healthy corporate culture alive, those issues are just part of who we are: awesomely weird!