Employee Spotlight: Jen Wagner

As the Service Operations Coordinator for General Communications in Madison, Jen Wagner is a “Jack-of-all-trades.” She gained her experience in the company’s accounting department while she was in college pursuing a degree as a medical lab technician.

Why did Jen switch career goals and stay on with General Communication for more than 20 years? Read more in our recent interview.

So, what’s a typical day for you as the service operations coordinator at the headquarters in Madison?
Every day is different. If a 9-1-1 dispatch goes off the air, it affects their day-to-day operations. I am the first person who will receive that phone call and from there I rely on and work with our team of service techs to get the customer back online. Our commitment to them is 24/7.

My job involves maintaining all the maintenance agreements. I provide support to all the team members from customers to internal support. If a customer I’m working with needs assistance, I’ll help sales facilitate the next steps. It’s all about teamwork.

You changed course a couple of times early in your career. Tell us what led you here.
I started in a part-time position in 2000. Verne and Sharon Vlack were the owners back then and career-wise they supported me along the way. I was in college studying to be a medical lab technician, but had taken some accounting and management classes. Most people don’t know that I was hired to work in accounting and worked there for ten years in accounts receivable and payable.

At the time, I was training a new hire for the service operations position, so I thought why don’t I do this job? I felt my career could grow and be more diversified in the role. Twenty-one years later, this is still where I want to be.

What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned on the job in the past year?
We overcame the challenge that the pandemic presented and that proved how versatile we were as a team. We quickly adapted to our staff working remotely or in the office and were able to maintain safety in the field. Our essential workers, like our technicians, still had to go to the hospitals despite the virus outbreak and were face to face with customers. They did not falter during that time. It allowed for seamless customer service.

What are you most passionate about at work?
Establishing personal relationships with our customers. Working for a family business, you are not just a name and number. I have a history with our customers, so they know me. If they have a question, they can call me and I’ll direct them to the right person.

My growth, both personally and professionally, has been a rewarding experience. It’s great to be part of this company and establish so many friendships.

What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?
The theory of beer has always fascinated me. Over the years, I’ve studied the history and types of beer hoping to obtain a Cicerone certification.

I love to travel and enjoy music. The last concert I saw was the Lumineers in Milwaukee on the Wednesday night before COVID shut down entertainment venues. This year, The Brothers Osborne are first on my “must see” concert list.