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Employee Spotlight: Ellen Michael


ellen michael

Strategic account management program leader at TÜV SÜD America

#FutureInYourHands – This motto properly describes how TÜV SÜD empowers its employees. It’s best to hear from TÜV SÜD executives and staff members what their personal experiences are working for TÜV SÜD.

Can you describe your role within the company?
I am a Strategic Account Management Program Leader for the Americas. In this program, the accounts have been identified as those where we can affect the most change by developing mutually beneficially, long-term relationships. We also utilize all areas of TÜV SÜD to help with account management for key customers. In the Americas, I maintain responsibility for 10 accounts, 2 of which are personal accounts that I manage, while the remaining 8 are accounts that I assist on, in order to help nurture customer relationships. I do so by arranging meetings, as well as forming connections with executive sponsors and the right people within the organization. I have been with TÜV SÜD for 6 years, the first 5 of which I spent with Global Risk Consultants (GRC), which helped me to expand my skill set and knowledge in order to make the transition into the position I am in today. I believe the One TÜV SÜD mentality of knowing that we are a community of people all striving to reach a common goal also helped me with moving positions within the company. So, I was able to grow into a role more tailored to my skills and interests.

How did you choose this career path?
I would say I pretty much fell into it. I worked as a risk manager, but eventually wanted to transition to something different. I think when I discovered GRC, I felt more connected to that side of the industry, which then lead me to account management.

What do you enjoy most about your job and working at TÜV SÜD?
There are so many things that I thoroughly enjoy about my role. I get to learn something new every day, which, in-turn, helps me become better managing the accounts at hand. It’s refreshing to still see new things pop up on the day-to-day, as I’m always seeking to learn more and expand my knowledge. I also enjoy meeting new people and fostering deep relationships through my interactions with other companies, as well as with our own employees.

Are there challenges you've faced in your career that have taught you important lessons?
Yes, I’ve faced many kinds of challenges throughout my career. I think patience is an important attribute to maintain. Also, learning to work with a variety of individuals at different levels can present challenges because sometimes different people require different kinds of communication. So, it’s important to learn how you can best communicate with others in order to ensure what you’re saying is coming across in an efficient and effective manner. I think being in a leadership position also brings challenges. Someone once said, “you manage things and you lead people,” which is a quote that has stuck with me throughout my career.

What do you think the industry will look like 20 years from now?
As far as the tech industry is concerned, I believe it’ll become much more advanced across many different industries and transform the way we interact with customers.

When not working, how do you spend your spare time?
I enjoy hiking and going off-roading. I spend a lot of time with friends and family, and I love to cook and hangout by the pool. I enjoy outdoor activities; I’m actually going to run a marathon in 2021, so I’ve been training for that. It’s been a goal of mine to run one before I turn 50.


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