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April 25, 2024 | 7 min read
Employee of the Month: Samantha Wallace


You pass them in the halls, see their faces on Teams calls, and exchange emails. You know their job title and department and might even know their extension by heart. But do you truly know who you’re working with? Get to know Samantha Wallace, a Business Operations Analyst and Tandym’s Employee of the Month for March 2024!

Who are you?

I was born in the Bronx, but moved to Mahwah, NJ with my parents and brother when I was 10 – so I’m more Jersey girl than anything else. I was a product of Mahwah public schools and an avid dancer growing up – mostly doing tap and ballet. After high school, I went to Bergen Community College with a focus on childhood education. I realized I loved children but didn’t want to deal with the parents that came along with them. Ironically, I ended up becoming one of those parents. I currently live in Bloomfield, NJ with my husband of 19 years and our two sons, ages 16 and 9. They keep me busy and on my toes. And when they don’t, my dog Hannah does the rest. We rescued her back in 2022 and we all love her, but she’s a handful. If anyone from work has been on an extended call with me, they all know when “Hannah goes bananas”.

Who were your heroes / role models / inspirations growing up?

Honestly, all of my family. My parents of course, but also my aunts and uncles. We have a big Irish, Polish, Russian, English – you name it mixed in type of family. They’ve always pushed me to achieve anything I wanted to.

If you could immediately gain one skill, what would it be?

I’m so fascinated by people who can just read sheet music. I love music, but I’m not musically inclined like that. I think it’s incredible that someone can read a sheet, sit down at a piano, and just play with no problem. And then when they’re done with that, they can just pick up the guitar and play that just as well. My nephews are talented like this. I’m always standing there in amazement wondering “HOW?!”. They always promise to teach me, but I don’t think they’d get very far.

Did you find Tandym or did we find you?

Well, I came over with the TechLink merger, so they in a sense found me. But if I’m being honest, the Potenzas (Tom & Mike) found me! I’ve known them since I was 13 years-old and was the primary babysitter for Tom Potenza’s family growing up. After I got out of college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and was at a bit of a crossroads. Luckily, Tom told me about an Office Administrator role they needed at his company, so I hopped on board. I worked there from 2001 to 2009, mostly handling administration duties, but dabbling in sales as well. When my firstborn was 2, I took a couple of years off from 2009 to 2011. I eventually came back and took on the role of Manager of Administrative Services, which I did up until Tandym acquired us. I eventually moved over to the Biz Ops team in 2020 and have been enjoying it ever since. I get to work with every line of business at the company and have met so many amazing people.

If I visited your city, where is the first place you would take me?

That’s an easy one. I would take you to Holsten’s. If you’ve ever seen “The Sopranos”, it’s where the final scene is filmed. I usually go there a few times a year. They have a great milkshake. And for the record, the onion rings were never on the menu. They got added after that final episode because people wanted to eat what Tony ate. Fun fact: that specific booth was sold for $80k on eBay. It’s just a simple, solid diner, but obviously popular considering the circumstances.

How did it feel to win Employee of the Month?

Not going to lie, I almost fell out of my chair. When they announced Kyle Mattice had won, I didn’t realize it was a joke, so I applauded like everyone else. But then, they revealed that I had actually won and I was truly speechless. I’m not sure if anyone saw my face on screen, but I pretty much froze up. If I needed to unmute myself to say anything, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Have you ever seen the Charlie Brown show and how all the teachers and adults talk in that muffled noise? That’s all I could hear. It was a whirlwind of emotion – all good ones though! So, when the Tandym recording came out after the Town Hall finished up, I rewatched the whole thing to make sure I actually won and I heard what I heard. It’s truly an honor and privilege that other divisions of the company are being recognized for Employee of the Month other than sales and recruitment. Everyone at this company is amazing and hard working – especially all my people in the middle and back office. This victory isn’t just for me, it’s for all of us!

If you could sing like any famous singer in the world (living or dead), who would it be?

Oh wow. That’s a good one. Okay one thing you need to know about me is that I’m a huge country music fan. The old, the new, I love it all. I’m going to have to go with one of my original country girl favorites, Dolly Parton. Not only does she have a great voice, but she’s an amazing person. Her kindness, her charitable work, her style, I love everything she’s about. It’d be a privilege to be able to have her voice.

What advice would you give your coworkers on how to qualify for Employee of the Month?

Just be yourself, be honest, and have those open lines of communication with not only your team, but everyone across the board. I’m truly a person who just wants to help – and I think that’s a great quality to have and even a talent in itself. Harnessing that mindset and putting your best foot forward every day is what earned me this recognition. Even if you don’t feel it or see it on a regular basis, hard work does get recognized because people are always watching, and they do appreciate the effort and commitment. Winning this award showed me that.

If I handed you a plane ticket right now to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I have two and that’s because they’re both bucket list places. It’s been my dream since I was a kid to see the Northern Lights. I’ve always wanted to do one of those trips where you go up north to one of those countries, get to sleep in a glass dome and just lay down and see all that amazingness. I had a friend go one time and unfortunately the weather was terrible, and they didn’t get to see anything. That’s why I have my second option: Bora Bora. Have you ever seen those videos of bungalows right on the water and being able to swim up to your bedroom with the fishes swimming below you the whole time? I dream about just laying out there with a cocktail and not having a worry in the world. And since the weather is consistently amazing in Bora Bora, let’s go with that one as my choice. Who the hell can afford a plane ticket there anyways? Not me! So, if it’s free, I’m in!

What is one meal you know you can cook better than anyone else?

My kids beg for my homemade mac&cheese on a weekly / biweekly basis. It’s a recipe passed down from a family friend. I make it probably 3 times a month and can probably make it with my eyes closed. It’s a super simple recipe, with a secret ingredient that you’ll never guess: Land O’ Lakes American Cheese. It can’t be any other American cheese except Land ‘O Lakes. I’m telling you it’s so good. It’s creamy, delicious and warms your soul. It brings me back to when I was a child and my mom’s friend used to make it for me. I bring it to every party and people love it. Like I said simple, but I do it best. Next time, I make some I’ll bring it to the office.

What are your goals for 2024 and beyond with Tandym?

I’m all about growing in my role and making sure those lines of communication between front office and back off stay wide open – since I kind of sit right in the middle there. Whether I’m working within my Biz Ops teams or even teaming up with our Legal team, my goal is to always keeping getting my work done efficiently and on time and, of course, lending a helping hand wherever I can use my expertise. I’ll be honest I’m stoked to see what all these new systems have in store. I’ve always been the go-to person for this stuff, so I’m looking forward to becoming an SME in all things new for the company!

If you had to be a famous person’s personal assistant, who would you choose?

I’m going to be goofy with this answer, but I don’t care: I would love to be a roadie assistant for either Luke Bryan or Garth Brooks. How amazing would it be to just travel the world and enjoy amazing music along the way. I don’t even care if I’m stuck with all the grunt work, just having the opportunity to do that would be awesome!

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