This month, we are shining the spotlight on one of the longest-tenured JSAers, Karissa Campbell, Executive Vice President of Marketing & Account Strategy. Read on to find out more about Karissa’s role at JSA, her top tips on finding work/life balance, her passion for singing and so much more!
Karissa, you have been involved with JSA from the beginning as one of the original team members. What has it been like to be part of JSA’s growth over the years?
I can’t even begin to describe the incredible impact that JSA has had on my life – from the moment I met Jaymie for an interview at a little cafe in Tribeca (NYC), I knew that this company was going to take my career to the next level. JSA was very small at the time; just one client and not quite ready to hire yet, but Jaymie set out her goals and vision right before me and let me know she’d indeed make me part of her team one day. And about one year later, she called me and asked, “Are you ready to join JSA?” I said “Absolutely!” – and I have never looked back!
JSA is a second home to me – and the community we have built together consisting of our team, clients, partners and others in the telecom industry is nothing short of amazing. When I first started here, there were four of us, including myself and Jaymie. Almost 14 years later (!), we have grown to nearly ten times that size. But even as we expand, the true JSA dynamic stays the same – we are one big family, operating under the core values of Honesty, Integrity & Kindness, Respect, Client Focus & Success and Passion.
Over the years here, I found my confidence. I found my voice. I found new skills I never knew I had. I found dear friends in my colleagues and clients. And I found quite truly the most inspiring mentor I will ever have – Jaymie Scotto Cutaia! She truly has cultivated a one-of-a-kind company – a standout in this industry – and along the way of triumphs, trials and tribulations, has never stopped believing in her dreams – and each and every one of us. She provides us with the tools, love, guidance and support we need to flourish – and my career here will always be one of my life’s greatest blessings.
One of the things you’re known for here at JSA is establishing very strong relationships with all of your clients, can you give some insight into how you accomplish that?
In everything I do in my life, I am focused on staying true to myself. And a huge part of being my true self is utilizing my ability to connect with people using my heart…Quite simply, I find that establishing a solid, professional relationship with clients is built on respect, kindness, loyalty, hard work, and perhaps most importantly, cultivating authentic connections with each and every one of them.
Every person is different and unique, and being mindful of my clients’ individual personalities, characteristics and the work we do together each day helps me to understand how to relate to them both personally and professionally. Outside of work, we all have families, pets, hobbies, interests, opinions, favorite songs…and it’s fun to talk about that, too, alongside the important day-to-day business / project discussions. At the end of the day, I want my clients to feel cared about, valued, listened to and knowing that their business is in the best hands with me and our entire company here at JSA.
You’re also a huge advocate of work/life balance as a valuable asset for career success and have led several personal development exercises with the JSA team. What are your top tips for working towards finding this balance?
I am SO passionate about the need for self care – and everyone who knows me, knows that. 🙂 This is one of the quotes I live by: “Self care is not selfish or self indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, so that we can then GIVE to others from our surplus, our abundance …”
According to the National Library of Medicine, self-care is defined as “‘the set of activities in which one engages throughout life on a daily basis.’ Examining this ‘set of activities’ more closely, we see that a number of activities encompass ‘a person’s attempts to promote optimal health, prevent illness, detect symptoms at an early date, and manage chronic illness.’ Hence, engaging in self-care activities may result in a range of different experiences depending on the set of activities that are performed and the reasons for their undertaking.”
When it comes to self care and your career, it is physically and mentally impossible to perform at your peak without a good (and consistent!) self-care routine. Below are my top tips:
- As you start your day – try to get in a few moments of silence, clearing your head through meditation, prayer or journaling.
- Put good foods into your body and before you get to that coffee; try sipping room temperature water with lemon in it to flush out toxins and refresh your mind and body.
- Before sitting down at your computer, check your to-do list/project list so it’s easier to stick to those tasks and keep a schedule for the day. Obviously, many other things will come up, but having that core list really helps!
- Be sure to schedule much-needed breaks where you can in your day – balance outdoor time/exercise with those social media breaks we all like to take, too.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day, and turn on the music! I find music keeps me energized to work, and I even have playlists with music designed to help with focus and concentration.
- *BONUS: Schedule yourself – at a minimum, monthly body and/or mind work appointments – massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, yoga, acupuncture, facials, manicures, talk therapy – anything that will help you to release the tension in your body is amazing for self care!
Speaking of work/life balance, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
The question is what do I NOT do in my free time? I have a very hard time just sitting around with no plans – except for maybe Sundays after church – when I TRY to take it easy and find time to relax and prepare for the busy week ahead. (But I’m not always successful – you can usually find me cleaning and cooking up a storm on Sundays.)
I am so very blessed to have a huge circle of close family and friends and it’s my priority to make each day – and every moment- count with those I love. I love to make fun plans with my loved ones – and incorporate the outdoors when I can (the beach, a new restaurant by the water, hiking in nearby trails, and finally getting to try out canoeing for the first time this summer. We live near a beautiful river, and I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to take a boat in it!) I just LOVE being with the people I love and making wonderful memories with them. I also cherish the quieter nights at home with my husband, two children (ages 15 and 12) and our pets, watching movies (or our kids’ latest favorite YouTube videos or Tik Toks), playing games or just simply being together.
And last but not least, I love to SING, and I am fortunate to be able to do so in the great band I am in: Roc-Kin’-On. I’ve been with the band since November 2017, and it’s been an incredible experience learning how to put myself out there with no fear, singing with all of my heart and soul and entertaining all different kinds of crowds at a variety of venues throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and will even make our way up to Maine this summer for three shows. What do I love most about singing and performing? My mother, who passed away when I was five, always had a dream of singing on stage…I feel as though I am living out that dream she had – and each and every time I sing on that stage, I feel her spirit channel through me. It’s an inspiring and amazing feeling.