You may not realize how much of what you learn, and the daily resources you use as a P1 Group associate come from Vanessa Taylor, IT Special Projects.
Most of us have touched base with Vanessa at some point with an IT issue or task, and solving our various conundrums is exactly why Vanessa chose a career in IT.
It all started when “Santa” brought Vanessa’s household an Apple IIc (the fourth model in the Apple II generation of personal computers) for Christmas when Vanessa was in junior high.
“I was on that thing nonstop,” Vanessa said. She says she was hooked on the computer.
Vanessa was interested in both technology and 4-H, learning how to cook and other home-ec skills from her mom. She thought she’d go into either IT or the restaurant business.
“My dad was very influential in getting me into the computer field, so that’s where I pointed my career,” Vanessa said.
She was on her way to a degree when she got a job with the Shawnee Mission School District – the very first help desk person they’d ever hired, in fact.
And her love of solving a puzzle is what has kept her in the IT field all this time.
“I’m huge on puzzles and games,” Vanessa said. “The thrill of troubleshooting, and figuring it out, is what I really enjoy.”
And Vanessa has been instrumental in creation and contribution to some of the very learning tools that give P1 Group associates that extra edge.
Her first project at P1 Group was to build an intranet resource for associates, which became “The Hub”, we all use for valuable information and updates.
“One thing I never thought I’d be doing in IT, but really enjoy, is the training videos.” These videos are part of P1 Group’s online Learning Library that most associates can access anytime, ranging from topics on safety, estimating, Facility Management and Operations, and more.
Vanessa never lost her affinity for the other side of being creative, however. When not at work, she’s heavily into quilting and scrapbooking. She has space in her basement, including a crop room, where friends gather to scrapbook.
She has another room dedicated to sewing in which friends meet weekly to sew.
In addition, she helps create crafts for a good cause. Vanessa’s threader’s group makes prayer quilts for those in need of a spiritual boost, as well as sellable crafts. The money goes to people in need directly within her community.
But those of us at P1 Group probably know Vanessa for one craft in particular: the P1 Group 100-year quilt she made from shirts and other materials representing the richness of P1 Group’s centennial celebration.
“P1 Group has always been very good to me, and I came up with the idea because I wanted to find a way to show the company how much I appreciate what they’ve done for me,” Vanessa said.
One quilt was awarded to Smitty on his birthday, and one is now framed and proudly displayed at the Lenexa company headquarters.
You can’t talk about the work you do without talking about the people who do it, and Vanessa is one of the fascinating and talented personalities bringing the P1 Group culture to life.
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