An interview with Rose Schaefer, MESD's new director of Business Services
My private sector experience included working as an Operations Analyst reporting and analyzing financial and operational functions and supporting the CFO and VP of Operations for Southwestern Bell Wireless. These experiences have taught me the importance of developing positive working relationships and teamwork; working together toward common goals and customer service; in addition to providing accurate work products so that others have the information they need to achieve their goals.
In the short time that you've been at MESD, what are your initial impressions of the differences between ESD/K-12 business operations and those in state government?
From what I have seen over the two weeks since my arrival, I think the primary differences between ESD/K-12 business operations and those in state government is that ESD/K-12 operates more like a private business and is less bureaucratic than the state government entities I have been involved with. Some of this may be due to size and some may be due to the type of services provided by the MESD. The MESD is smaller and doesn't have to rely on "shared services divisions" from outside of the District for its business services.
Business Services staff have more of a connection and understanding of the work of the MESD departments than the "shared services" business staff I have dealt with in state government which were not co-located, were much larger and served multiple agencies. The MESD as a whole appears to be more innovative and competitive is nature in that departments provide a menu of services that Districts select to participate in which also makes us more like a private business.
One of the tasks you've been asked to undertake is a review of how MESD's Business Services Department operates and how it interacts with the our various stakeholders. What kind of a process do you envision for this review?
My plan for reviewing how MESD's Business Services Department operates and interacts with our stakeholders is to meet with the parties involved - staff, stakeholders and partners. I have been meeting with Business Services staff to learn what their current roles and responsibilities are, who their backups are and what the processes are. I am also beginning to meet with individuals within MESD's departments to learn what services we're currently providing them, what they would like to see us provide, what is going well and what we might improve upon.
Next week I'm going to meet with the District Business Managers and our neighboring ESD Business Managers for their input. In general, I plan to listen, learn and collaborate. My goal is to develop open lines of communication and positive working relationships with staff and stakeholders and provide excellent service to our internal and external customers.
What do you do for fun when you are not working? Hobbies, interests, travel?
I am a native Oregonian (I grew up in Salem) but did live in Texas for 6 years in the 90's and was fortunate enough to come back home. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I have been married for almost 25 years to Casey. We both love the outdoors and enjoy biking, hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, camping and long walks with our dogs.