OpenWorks Employee Spotlight: Celebrating Cara Chalmers’ 25 Years of Success
Congratulations to Cara Chalmers, who is celebrating her 25th year working for OpenWorks! Cara is a District Manager for OpenWorks’ Washington region based in our Seattle office. As the longest-tenured person in our company (outside of Eric Roudi, of course!), we sat down with Cara to ask what makes OpenWorks an employer of choice and what has fueled 25 years of excellent work with OpenWorks!
A Quick Rise to Success
Cara joined OpenWorks in March of 1991, starting in the customer service department. Before that, she was a stay-at-home mom with a young daughter. She rose through the ranks quickly, entering a management position in just two years. She credits her fast rise to the advice she received early on from regional managers and franchise owners like Fred Pryor. The mentorship they offered is a company standard and a big reason OpenWorks is such a great place for a young worker looking to grow and excel quickly. Between training programs at the franchise headquarters to informal assistance from leading executives, OpenWorks has built a culture of constant learning and cooperation. Additionally, OpenWorks rewards high achievers like Cara with serious incentives like those offered through the company’s profit-sharing initiative and the President’s Club – an achievement-based initiative that awards elite employees with a 5 day/4 night trip to Mexico. The President’s Club is a highly-coveted distinction among OpenWorks employees and Cara has received the honor five times, including this year.
Working for OpenWorks Means Working with Family
Having spent all her life in Washington, Cara appreciates the opportunities OpenWorks has given her within her home state. She wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, so the room for growth was one thing that kept her at the company. Additionally, she loves the fact that the national OpenWorks franchise still feels like an extension of her family. While she has had other job opportunities in the past, none was enough to tear her away from the company that has been her home for a quarter of a century.
As a liaison between franchisees, clients and the franchise headquarters, Cara ensures that her franchisees are receiving the support they need and her clients are receiving the best possible service from her employees. A big part of her job is troubleshooting problems that occur in the field with franchisees or their clients and managing communication to preserve customer relationships. This skill, she says, was acquired once she learned that difficult conversations were an excellent opportunity as they showcased her team’s ability to rise to the occasion in times of crisis. Cara loves that her work is so hands-on, talking to clients and meeting with franchise owners of all backgrounds and cultures.
OpenWorks: A Culture of Continual Improvement
Cara might seem like an anomaly, but her tenure at OpenWorks is no accident. The company maintains an excellent retention rate and emphasizes recognition and continued education to keep its employees motivated and constantly improving. When you’re part of the OpenWorks family, your first job is to grow every day. This gives everyone a singular goal of making themselves the best they can be and constantly improving client services.
Interested in excelling at OpenWorks as well? Check out our careers page for more information about how you can join our team!