We want to take you back to the year 1997. The Spice Girls are dominating the pop charts; world champion chess player Garry Kasarov has just lost the first match of his career to Deep Blue (IBM’s artificial intelligence system); Tony Blair becomes UK Prime Minister and Titanic (one of the top-grossing movies of all time) is released into cinemas worldwide. Can you remember where you were or what you were doing?
For Monica Jumper, answering those questions isn’t so difficult. She was embarking on a new career journey with a company that, at the time, was known as Ahlstrom Filtration. Little did she know then, her journey would span more than 23 years.
Here, she shares her Ahlstrom-Munksjö Milestones.
July 1997 - February 1999
Administrative Assistant to Sales Department, Ahlstrom Filtration LLC
When I started my career with Ahlstrom in 1997 as the Administrative Assistant, I was told by everyone in the community, “once you start there you will never leave”. I said that reminded me of the song Hotel California. But the truth is, it was like joining a family. We all worked so closely together and were able to make the teamwork the dreamwork, as they say. I made it a point to learn as much as I could about the business as it has always been so interesting to me!
Fortunately, a vacancy opened that I had been hoping for and I applied to move into a Customer Service role. Having worked the switchboard and with all the listening to other conversations, it was a pretty smooth transition. I was excited to know that I was working for a company that promoted from within before looking for talent outside the company.
February 1999 - August 2005
Customer Service Representative, Ahlstrom Filtration LLC
Oh my goodness, what a ride it was back then, everything was handled in one system. If a customer was new, we added them into the system with the sold to and ship to information, added instructions, added the product(s) they wanted to order to their account, set up the credit limit and then the terms in about 5 minutes! Can you imagine that?! Then we simply entered the order and filed the paperwork until the order shipped, matched up the documents from the plant and that was the end of the process.
The system handled everything from confirming to shipping documents. I enjoyed my time in this position, being able to learn about the products, our processes and it was more like an inside sales position than just order entry. I am thankful for the ability to have started at the beginning of the process. It truly helped me to grow into the position I have today. Never forget where you start as it leads to where you want to go! Our work rule has always been about the customer – without them, we would not be needed.
August 2005 - August 2011
Customer Service Manager, Ahlstrom Filtration LLC
This was my first opportunity to step into more of a manager/leader role. I enjoyed working with our team and the time we shared. My goodness, a lot sure changed over the years and I was able to dive into more of the company workings and to travel to other locations. We shared best practices and we all worked together yet still separately, if that makes sense!
Reports were not electronic but printed out on the big green bar paper (😊) – makes me sound like a dinosaur! I started having a few accounts to manage and began to get a true taste for Sales. The work-family started to change a bit and there were a few bumps in the road at this point with changes in business. We moved converting twice, we moved Customer Service, we adopted a new computer system, but what I remember after the dust settled was that the team never quit, never gave up and continued to make great strides in growing the business even through the pains of change. I believe it brought us even closer together and for this I am grateful to have had the experience with the team we had at the time.
September 2011 - present
Sales Manager/Operational Product Manager/CSS Manager | Ahlstrom-Munksjö
Where has the time gone? It seems to have just blown by! I turned around to see this past July as my 23rd year with this company. We have grown and we are making a difference in this world. Our company name might not be stamped on the side of the products on the shelves, but for sure our pride is in every shipment. The journey was not always easy, but I learned the grass is not always greener in another pasture and being part of an amazing company that is family-oriented was definitely where I wanted to be.
All activities for CSS moved back to the plant four years ago now and my goodness we have an amazing team! There are more systems to maintain then when I started and changes come and go, but one thing that will always remain is our willingness to find the right path for our diverse and growing markets. We strive to say let’s try it this way to make it work for our business type which has always been our strong suit as a division. The systems may not always fit what we do but we find a way to get the jobs done. Our customers have been our constant and have remained steadfast through all that we have changed! They like the interaction and quick replies, the care and concern we give.
I cannot imagine having 23 years without such an amazing, supportive team. I am humbled that I was asked to share all this with so many of you. I am grateful that my family has always been so understanding of my work too. When I started traveling a lot, my kids were in high school and then college. I would share the stories of my adventures and the places I had been. I would talk about our awesome products that are used in everyday life. My oldest son would say, “when I graduate from college, I want to do what you do, it sounds so exciting!”. I am grateful to have shared the best of what we do in a way that would inspire others. He worked hard and I am pleased to say, my son Tyler now gets to experience the wonderful world of Liquid Technologies after having spent time with the Filtration Team!
Always share your passion, you never know who you might be inspiring. Celebrating 23 years with family both in and out of the office has been fantastic. Tough times will come and go but with the right mindset and the right people beside you, you can do anything. Always remain teachable and humble. Be willing to help others and to ask for help when you need it.
Careers at Ahlstrom-Munksjö
Looking to take the next step in your career – or maybe start a new one? At Ahlstrom-Munksjö we have positions in various fields in locations across the globe.View our open positions today