Employee of the Quarter Spotlight: Rachel Pumphrey

January 22, 2018

A new year is upon us but we aren’t entirely done with 2017 yet. We’ve just named our most recent recipient for the Q4 2017 Ken Deggs Employee of the Quarter, Rachel Pumphrey, Associate Vice President, Client Relations. Working at DDC for just under a year, Rachel immediately jumped in to go above and beyond. This past quarter, Rachel worked extensively to make sure everything was squared away for her clients to finish the 2017 year stronger than ever.

Check out our interview and learn a little bit more about our newest honoree below!

Are you an early bird or someone who likes to burn the midnight oil to get work done?

Actually a combination of both. I prefer to catch up on emails and the news before going into the office to prepare for the day, and then I work on projects at night when I can focus on them while not getting pulled in multiple directions.

Working in client relations includes a lot of phone calls, what’s a normal day in the office look like for you?

Every day is different, which makes it fun, but that means I don’t necessarily have a “normal” day. However, one item I do every single morning is review my to-do list. I keep an overall running list of action items via WunderList and each morning review what the top priorities for that day are, but then my list always shifts throughout the day depending on what comes in and needs immediate attention. Each day is a moving target, and with hours of internal and client meetings each day, multi-tasking is a definite regular occurrence.

How do you keep a healthy work/life balance?

Honestly, as most Washingtonians know, this can be tough sometimes. However, I make sure to limit the amount of evenings I work each week to ensure that I get quality time with my husband throughout the work week and to spend time on the phone catching up with family and friends who don’t live in the area. I also try to make it to my church small group on Tuesday evenings. I don’t make it every week but it’s good to have a night that I aim to block off from work. When I work over the weekends, I choose either Saturday or Sunday and don’t ever work both. Everyone needs at least one full day a week of life outside of work to recharge. Otherwise, you’ll burn out and then get lazy! Lastly, I try to take a vacation day or two here and there. Week-long vacations are great, but the little breaks for long weekend getaways throughout the year are what keep me going!

DC has a ton to do all year round. What’s your favorite season and why?

Finally an easy question! Spring has a pretty special place in my heart as I got married and went on an amazing honeymoon only a few weeks after I started at DDC last year but fall is no doubt my favorite season. Everything in DC becomes more charming when the leaves change to autumn colors and when the air gets that crisp, fall feeling. Fall is also the best time for day trips throughout Virginia to visit Mount Vernon, Great Falls, or any of the many vineyards.

You’ve almost got a year under your belt here at DDC. What advice would you give someone just starting in public affairs?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to admit when you’re wrong. Obviously work hard and push yourself to improve upon your skill set, but you can’t do that without asking questions or being willing to admit you should have done something differently.

What is the most rewarding part of working in client relations?

If I have to choose just one, the most rewarding part of this job would be the people I get to work with – both the individuals I get to work with internally and the clients I get to assist as their Account Manager. The client relations team I am on is the best team I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and furthermore, everyone at DDC works hard, is willing to help, and is trustworthy. Getting to work with so many amazing teams within DDC such as Data, Technical Support, Web Development, and Project Management (just to name a few) is an honor. It’s very refreshing to be working with a group of individuals with such strong values and work ethics. Additionally, as a former client, I truly understand the value of one’s relationship with their Account Manager. I thoroughly enjoy getting to now play that role for others and am so glad that I have opportunity to build relationships with my clients.

Technology certainly has an increasing importance to any advocacy or PAC campaign. What trends do you think are important to keep in mind when talking to clients about achieving their goals?

It’s important to remember that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” option for everyone. Each PAC and advocacy campaign is going to be somewhat different and have its own factors to consider. With that said, when looking at technology and trends to consider in helping you achieve your goals, you need to know your audience and know what matters to them to be able to move forward with the most-effective strategy possible. One of my favorite parts of being an Account Manager is getting to hear my clients’ goals or obstacles they’re facing and then finding where DDC can best help them achieve their goals and solve their problems.

What is one professional lesson you’ve learned at DDC that you did not know before working here?

I learn something new every day, but if I have to pick one item, I would say I’ve learned how to be a better team player. This is by far the biggest office I have worked in since being out of college. With that brings the opportunity to work on a larger team and with multiple other teams which I hadn’t done at this scale before. I’ve truly been able to learn the value of teamwork in this office, and as cliché as this is, teamwork does make the dream work! I ultimately can’t get my job done without relying on others, and I know others rely on me for the same. That’s a lesson I thought I had learned much earlier in life, but I don’t think I realized how vital teamwork is until I started working at DDC.

The Ken Deggs Employee of the Quarter Award honors DDC employees who go above and beyond to ensure the success of our clients, and our company. Named after longtime friend and colleague Ken Deggs whose character and work ethic exemplified excellence, the award provides donations to the Ken Deggs family while honoring his proud legacy.


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