Michael Shelton was Stephanie’s Manager at Ingram Micro
Wow…there are a lot of familiar faces here today. For those of you who don’t know who I am, let me take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Michael Shelton, I work at Ingram Micro and my relationship to Stephanie Chiang transcended over a number of years and the type of relationship changed frequently due to Stephanie’s desire to ascend the ranks of sales management.
My very first experience that I encountered with Stephanie was when I had recently been promoted to Sales Director and I had a sale rep position open that I was hiring for. Stephanie walked into my office sat down, handed me a resume, along with a business plan and said you need to hire me. My first instincts told me that she was correct. However, after countless interviews and reviewing company policy, which I’ve been known to disregard when it comes to hiring the right person for the right job, I found out that Stephanie didn’t have the tenure to qualify to interview. Normally this circumstance would have easily been discounted by Mike Shelton but for some reason I decided to adhere to company policy. So Stephanie and I agreed that there would be another time and another place that we would end up working together.
Shortly after this initial relationship, I took on a new role and started a new division at Ingram Micro. We were 12 months into the new division, we set all kinds of sales records and it was time to start expanding our headcount. The first person who showed up at my door was Stephanie. This time it was a little different though. Stephanie was within the hiring policy and she had already received another offer from another sales director at Ingram. In rare form, Stephanie sat down, handed me her resume, which included a business plan and said “You need to hire me!” At the time, Stephanie was already being recruited by several different directors at Ingram Micro plus she already had an offer on the table. As I concluded my interview process, I determined that Stephanie was the right candidate for the job. However, this is where Stephanie’s true character came to light.
Unbeknownst to me, I gave her an offer that was several thousand dollars less than the other hiring director. She thought about it, tried to negotiate more money, but when it came right down to it she said “Mike I can’t not take this job because I will get the opportunity of a life time to sell into Fortune 100 company’s such as AT&T, SBC, Sprint, etc. In addition, I will get to work in a growing division where Ingram Micro is making investments. Plus I know that 99% of your sales are Cisco equipment and I want to be associated with the #1 networking IT vendor. Lastly, I like the management team. I think I will be able to learn a great deal from you and I think working with Tyler Coughlan as my supervisor will be very rewarding.”
We talk about character in many different forms, but Stephanie lived character. This decision to take a job that was equivalent in title yet paid several thousand dollars less not only showed the greatness of her business acumen to evaluate competing offers based on industry structure, management team, investment resources and vendor partnerships but it said volumes about her character.
Stephanie’s character was about doing things just right. You know there are two types of people in the world. There are the people who do things with an attitude of “It’s good enough” and then there are the people like Stephanie who do things that are “Just Right” or said another away done to perfection!
To close out my business relationship with Stephanie I’m going to read a letter of recommendation that I wrote on her behalf that pretty much sums up our relationship.
July 8, 2004
To whom it may concern:
For several years, I have had the distinct pleasure of managing and mentoring Stephanie Chiang.
As a manager, I truly enjoyed Stephanie’s enthusiasm and drive to meet or exceed her stated objectives. She methodically attacked her long range goals using a disciplined and focused approach of daily planning. She wisely incorporated other associates, managers and directors to assist her. Stephanie is a team player who is results oriented. She is someone who you absolutely want on your team.
As a mentor, I’ve invested countless hours instructing her on many disciplines: goal setting, people management, team building, strategic thinking, win-win negotiating, hiring practices and most importantly how to live a balanced life. All of these disciplines add up to a foundation in which she can continue to chase her dreams; wherever they may lead.
She is a delight to know as a person, as a co-worker and as a friend.
Michael R. Shelton
Sr. Director – Business Development
(714) 566-1000 x22473
Prior to her leaving Ingram Micro for Tyco Healthcare, Stephanie and I had one final conversation, which covered the spiritual side of balanced living.
As Stephanie was packing up her office at Ingram Micro, I dropped by to wish her well on her new endeavor at Tyco Healthcare. During our conversation, and displaying her infinite desire to improve herself, she asked me a very unique and inviting question. She said “Mike is there anything that you think I need to be working on that is going to help improve me”. And after what seemed like a few minutes of thought and review of all the numerous skills that Stephanie had acquired over the years, I pensively said yes. There is one thing that I think you need to work on. I told her that she needed to spend some time developing the spiritual side of her life. Without hesitation she said “Mike, that is really weird. I just spent 5 hours flying home from East coast with some lady who shared the salvation that Jesus Christ offers us.” I’m going to pursue this and work on this area of my life.
Stephanie was taken from her loved ones at the peak of her life. Many would say too soon, but the bible talks about the brevity of human life, no matter the number of its years, from God’s perspective, for James 4:14 reads, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Jesus promised in Matthew 5, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted… Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Ultimately, the most important thing about the life of a Christian isn’t how long it remains on earth but where it spends eternity. We grieve the loss of Stephanie to her loved ones. But we are comforted, take heart, and rejoice in the reality that she is now in the arms of Jesus Christ, who made her, died to save her, and called her to be part of His kingdom in heaven forever.