Two years ago, I fell in love. Not with someone (that happened almost 20 years ago), not even with something. I fell in love with an idea. I started my journey in 2012. I met with Sheri Tomchick, someone who lived less than 2 minutes away from me and yet I had never seen, met or even heard of. Everyone in my circle of friends (including my husband) knew who Sheri was but I had no idea and vice versa. She told me about Plan A and how she needed help and despite the fact that I had worked the same job for over a decade and ran the operation, I took a leap of faith. As I sit here, I can’t tell you (without sounding crazy) why I made that decision. I didn’t even have to think about it at the time. Something was pulling me toward the opportunity and the only thing I can define it as is intuition.
I got to know the ins and outs of Plan A, the staff, the clients, the policies and the procedures. I moved from the role of Administrative Assistant to Director of Health Care Services. I was pushed to try new things, I was encouraged when I had to have new conversations and I was bolstered into new opportunities. I loved my job. I don’t say that lightly. I lived and breathed that job. I came in early, I stayed late and I’m proud to say that I got to play a role in the growth of Plan A. It was an opportunity for which I will always be grateful. Sheri and I were two peas in a pod. She was my boss, my mentor and someone I highly regarded. Sometimes we had no idea what we were doing but somehow, we always managed to figure everything out.
In June of 2014, Sheri laid down the gauntlet. She officially decided that it was time to incorporate StaffStat as a separate entity and bring it to the market. We were using it in-house and believe me when I say it was a game changer. The fine folks at overtheatlantic.com conceptualized our logo and moved forward with developing our website. Everything was coming together! In September, Sheri announced that she had the perfect person in mind to run StaffStat. She was confident that this person knew the product, understood the vision and could give this massive undertaking the legs it needed to get it moving along. Yes, dear readers, her announcement ended with: “and that perfect person is Mel Morin”. THAT, right there, is when I fell in love. The idea that we would introduce the market to our smoking gun, our trade secret and allow them to use it to solve the same problem I could relate to was more than fitting, it was a gift.
For the next two years, I would hustle. I would learn to be the face and not just a part of the ‘pod’. It was a huge transition. If there was an interview, I would be the one to give it. If there was a huge demo, I would lead it. I was making decisions that I never thought I would have to make. If something was done right, I got the credit. If something was done wrong, I took the heat. It goes without saying that Sheri was there for me. She was a sounding board and she was always more than happy to help when needed. She, however, had her own ship to sail and it was ultimately up to me to get this startup from no customers to successful. Since that time, we’ve built a base of loyal customers. We’ve added a Marketing Manager and two Solution Sales Specialists to our team, a solid team, one I’m proud to work with every single day.
And now, I take the time to bring you some breaking news: effective January 1st, I, Mel Morin will officially be part owner of StaffStat, Inc. I always knew that down the line, my ultimate goal would be to invest in great ideas. It never occurred to me that I could have my cake and eat it too! Beyond sweat equity, I will be putting my ‘skin in the game’. I will be an invested CEO. I always cared. It always mattered to me what happened to StaffStat. Like I mentioned, I fell in love a few years back. But this changes things. The perspective is different. I am now officially tied to ‘the little company that could’.
Despite the fact that I’m a woman who fell in love with an idea, make no mistake, this was a business decision:
- In the past year, StaffStat has grown its customer base by 92%.
- StaffStat just took home the win from the Innovator’s Den at the OLTCA Conference (we pitched along with 4 other companies and an audience filled with people who work in long-term care every single day voted in response to being asked which innovation would have the most impact in their home).
- StaffStat signed its first corporate contract in August of 2016.
- Our product is officially being piloted in a hospital setting, opening the doors to a whole new sector.
- Speaking of sectors, our product is sector agnostic. We can fill shifts in education, mining, the service sector and the list goes on. With a list that long, opportunities are endless.
- StaffStat is getting noticed. We’re being nominated for awards with titles like: “Innovation of the Year” and “Best New Product” locally and provincially.
- I’ve mentioned it several times but it bears repeating: StaffStat has an amazing story, and now, it has a whole new twist!
As I sign off, here’s what I know. There could never be a better time for me to invest in this company and there could be no better partner. It’s the ultimate marriage in success and while the future is uncertain, I know (just like I knew 4 and a half years ago that I had to take that leap) that it’s bright!