Next week, Sept. 2-6, is National Payroll Week: a celebration of the unique partnership among America’s workers, their companies, the payroll professionals who pay them and critical government programs such as social security, Medicare, fair labor standards and child support. Together, through payroll withholding, they contribute and collect 70% of U.S. Treasury revenue, about $2.4 trillion per year.
Here at Vail Resorts, we're celebrating by introducing our Payroll team! From left to right, back to front: Carrie Messmer, Deidrea Bright, Scott Miller, Michael Bateman, Nick Dyer, Kristina Knezevich-Ausborn, Mary Mannion, Nicole Adolf, Maren Fadley, Gabriel Creek, Thelma Jimenez and Deborah Sanchez. Get to know these dedicated payroll professionals:
Payroll Tax Specialist
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? I actually started at Vail Resorts as temp! The payroll team was so welcoming and friendly that I immediately wanted to work here permanently. The job itself was challenging and pushed me to advance my skills. Two years later the payroll team reached out about an open position and I jumped at the opportunity. Here I am, eight years later and still loving it!
What are you passionate about? I am super passionate about reading. I even host my own book club. And…I am the biggest Harry Potter dork!
What is your nickname and why? Care Bear and I have no idea how it started. I guess it’s just because I was an 80’s kid and Care Bears were so popular back then. One of my childhood friends still calls me by this nickname!
What's your favorite bad joke? Why doesn't Voldemort wear glasses? Nobody nose.
Senior Payroll Coordinator
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? I came to Vail Resorts because my values aligned with the Company's and I was excited about taking on a new role and the opportunity to learn new things. I stay because the company is ever-changing and growing, giving me the opportunity to do the same.
What are you passionate about? Baseball, football, outdoors and traveling
What was your first pet? A rottweiler named Mariah
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Ireland
Senior Payroll Analyst
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? I stay because there is always something to learn and be involved in and I work with great people.
What are you passionate about? Traveling as much as possible
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A paleontologist
What's your favorite bad joke? Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees? Because they’re so good at it.
Senior Payroll Coordinator
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? What brought me to Vail Resorts was Rob Katz’s vision of Vail becoming the greatest leadership company in the world, also I had heard about something called EpicPromise and I loved the fact that Vail had a whole department committed to taking care of their employees and the communities we operate in.
What are you passionate about? Outside of work and snowboarding, anything that has to do with aviation. If you want to talk planes, come find me on the third floor!
What was the best thing that happened to you this year? I was able to have my Experience of a Lifetime and traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan, to help volunteer with an organization, Sozo International, that just launched a DBA program there. I was able to meet, teach and build relationships with the future generations of Afghanistan, and these are the kids who are going to positively impact and change Afghanistan for the better. And I can’t wait to go back!
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Bora Bora, or really anywhere where I can stay in those huts over the picture-perfect teal ocean.
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? I came because the company is growing and I identify with the company values. I stay because I enjoy a challenge and I love my team!
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about my family. I have a full house that keeps me busy with a husband, three teenagers, two dogs and two tortoises.
What is the last thing you geeked out on? My tortoises, I built an outdoor enclosure for them in the backyard. They are spoiled little dinosaurs.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a singer when I was a kid. I even took voice lessons as a teenager.
Senior Payroll Coordinator
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? I wanted to see the full cycle of payroll in a large company. Vail does a lot of really good things, not just for its employees but for the communities and Earth. That’s something to stand behind.
What are you passionate about? God and my relationship with him. Horses and sharing the beauty of life with each other.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Olympic Equestrian
What mythical creature would improve the world most if it existed? Unicorns!
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? It's close to home and I enjoy the culture.
What are you passionate about? Gardening (ornamental and vegetable)
If peanut butter wasn't called peanut butter, what would it be called? Ground Seed Pod Spread
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? An entomologist
What brought you to Vail Resorts: New opportunities and the mountains
What are you passionate about? Helping others
What was the best thing that happened to you this year? Moving from Pennsylvania to Colorado in June with 10 days to figure everything out.
Pineapple on pizza... yay or nay? YAY!!!
Gabriel “No Middle Name” Creek
Lead Payroll Tax Analyst/Lead Ukulele Serenader
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? Mark Getchell in IT kept taking pictures of himself on the mountain during the workday and posting them on Facebook. I thought, I want to do that, too! So I did. I still do.
What are you passionate about? Outside of being the best husband and dad I can possibly be, I’m passionate about making those around me laugh. Laughter breaks tension and reduces stress, and I try to be surrounded by it as often as possible. That’s truly my only passion. And I’m passionate about yoyos. I try to learn a new yoyo trick per month. So just those two things. And board games. I have 130 board games. But that’s it. And playing Ukulele…
What is the last thing you geeked out on? I spent about two months of nights and weekends building a costume of a xenomorph (from the movie Aliens) for my son and an eight-foot-tall Power Loader Costume (also from the movie Aliens). I won a “Best In Show” award at Denver Comic Con in June.
What's your favorite bad joke? It’s a 3-way tie:
1) Why did Adele cross the road? So she could say “hello” from the other side.
2) What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? (wait for the person to answer “Arrrr”) Ye would think so, but a pirate’s first love be the C (Sea)!
3) Knock Knock
Daisy me rollin, they hatin! Patrollin tryin to catch me ridin dirty!
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? I started out at Keystone and liked the company, its values, and the people so well that I was really hoping to continue with Vail Resorts when we moved to Denver. The rest is history!
What are you passionate about? I love to travel and I love the arts – theatre, concerts, books, museums, etc.
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Places I haven’t already been to – next on the list South America, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland . . .
What's your favorite bad joke? Why was six afraid of seven? Seven eight nine.
Payroll – Accounting
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? I worked at Vail Resorts as a contract worker and was hired on as an employee. I enjoy working with my co-workers and I enjoy the work I am doing for Vail Resorts. The Company was welcoming along with providing the employees with extra perks.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about my family. Family is the most important part of my life along with God. Working with all my co-workers as a team brings a new family to my life.
What is your nickname and why? Bones is my nickname. My dad started this because I was always so skinny growing up as a child.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? When I was growing up I always wanted to become a lawyer.
Michael Bateman, CPP
What brought you to Vail Resorts and/or why do you stay? I specifically came to work for Vail Resorts because they were committed to doing whatever was necessary to achieve the goal of becoming a world-class organization.
What are you passionate about? Not surprisingly, I’m very passionate about payroll. Specifically in dispelling the misconception of payroll being a simple, administrative position. Often times the sole purpose of payroll is seen as providing employees with their paychecks, but payroll is much more than that. Payroll also plays a vital role in protecting the company’s reputation by ensuring compliance with various federal, state and local regulations. Most people don’t realize, on average, there are over 10,000 legislative changes in the United States affecting the payroll function each and every year.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? It’s actually humorous. No one ever says “When I grow up, I want to do payroll.” The fact is I had wanted to be a marine biologist since I was a young child. When I couldn’t get the classes I needed in college, I switched majors and worked toward obtaining a law degree. During this time I was working as a payroll clerk at a local hospital to pay for college. In the end, I got the degree but never left payroll…go figure.
What's your favorite bad joke? Why did the scarecrow win an award? He was outstanding in his field.