Jennifer is the Digital Content Specialist for MATRIX. Her mission is to understand what information our various communities want and need from MATRIX, and to deliver it in ways that are enlightening, engaging and in sync with who we are as a company. She loves pop culture, Oklahoma football, and the great state of Texas.
MATRIX Employee Spotlight: Lisa Russell
Meet Lisa Russell. Lisa joined MATRIX after a long, versatile career as a Computer Engineer turned IT Consultant turned Global Technology Practice Director, who is now bringing her 30 years of experience to the Charlotte market. Read her story to find out what she brings to MATRIX and learn which pivotal product she wrote the code for back in the 80s.
What has your career path looked like?
I grew up in Buffalo, NY and graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and later got my Master’s in Computer Engineering. My first job after school was working as a computer engineer at AT&T Bell Laboratories. I was there almost 10 years working as an engineer, analyst, architect and developer. A fun fact about me is that while I was at the labs, I wrote the code for caller ID. Nine months of hard work that produced a very short piece of C code that I’d say most people can’t imagine life without today! I left AT&T to help launch a tech consulting company where I worked for 17 years in many different roles including development, business analysis, architecture, sales, CIO, and more. We started with seven technologists and grew the company to over 80 employees. My first IT staffing experience occurred at that company when a client that we were in the middle of implementing a digital transformation project for needed to add SQL developers to their staff. After relocating to Charlotte, I worked at a large national staffing company and most recently built the global IT staffing practice for a firm that worked in virtually every industry except technology.
I’ve never thought of myself as someone who works in staffing – at the core, I’m a consultant. I want to go into a company and fully understand their challenges so that I can recommend a solution, whether it’s to find them new talent or to help evolve their business with agile and digital transformation. That’s why I love MATRIX – their flexible delivery model and collaborative approach with clients is what really sets this company apart.
What’s unique about your role in Charlotte?
My background as a computer engineer, developer, architect and CIO has given me firsthand knowledge and experience to determine what approach will most efficiently solve an organization’s biggest pain points. I look forward to bringing more strategic staffing services to Charlotte with options like our Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) model where we focus on specialized recruitment needs on an as-needed basis. And I’m especially excited to bring in our talented team of agile coaches, developers and designers to innovative companies in need of agile or digital transformation.
Something else I’m passionate about is expanding the presence of Women in Technology in the Carolinas and the Charlotte market. Having three sons, a husband and a male dog, I enjoy and seek out the opportunities to meet, work with and mentor women. I recently joined the board of directors for Carolina Women in Technology (CWIT). I am very excited to work with the wonderful women in this organization to help build, support and educate a strong, supportive community of professional women in technology in the Carolinas.
What does your life look like outside of work?
Growing up, I played basketball, softball and soccer and have always had an athletic mindset. Raising three sons, I was often the lone mom on the field coaching their various sports. When they became interested in lacrosse, I became certified as a U.S. Lacrosse coach and later went on to serve on the Board of Directors of the (non-profit) Fort Mill Lacrosse Club. Eventually, all three of my boys earned athletic scholarships and became Division I athletes at Davidson, Duke and West Point. As you can tell, I’ve always been very active with my kids, whether it was coaching them when they were younger or following them around the country watching them play college football and lacrosse. Outside of work and my family, I enjoy water and snow skiing, mountain biking, playing soccer and now more than ever, golfing. I am very competitive and am always looking for new challenges. My most recent challenge is white water kayaking, and I just started taking lessons at the National white-water center. I can’t and don’t sit still long. A wise man once commented: “idleness is my enemy”.