Director of Human Resources Integrations and Operations
Melissa Tarcea is the director of human resources integrations and operations at Norstella, joining us in January 2022. Her team supports HR systems, payroll and benefits for each business unit, while managing integration initiatives and harmonization efforts across Norstella’s brands.
How did you join the company?
My background was in manufacturing, and I’d worked in M&A integrations prior to this role. I led an HR integration at my previous company, and one of my former teammates joined MMIT in July 2021. When she joined, it was clear there was so much opportunity as MMIT was continuing to build out its relationships with Panalgo, the Dedham Group and Evaluate, and it was just a natural fit for me.
What was the transition to our new parent brand, Norstella, like?
The launch was great! I think the marketing and leadership teams did an amazing job. It was much smoother than anything I’ve experienced in the past.
What does your day-to-day usually look like?
That’s a difficult question to answer! There is no one day that’s like any other in what we do, and that’s part of the reason I enjoy it so much. We’re managing the day-to-day as well as multiple project plans across the benefits and payroll space. Every day is about making sure we’re on track with our actions, managing our vendors, partnering with all the right teams across our businesses and ensuring we’re executing on time.
What are some of the larger projects you’re working on?
We’re currently working on the consolidation of our payroll and benefits system across Norstella. Each business unit has operated independently, so we’re managing each individual project plan to bring them together. The goal is to improve the manager and team member experience while driving efficiency in our processes.
What are some of the common challenges of your role?
My background is not in pharma, so being new to the industry has been a bit challenging. I’ve had to work to understand what each business unit does and how they operate, and what the long-term goals are to ensure alignment of our activities and harmonization plans with business needs. That alignment is imperative to set us up for the growth that’s on the horizon for us. The collaboration amongst our teams here has been amazing — the willingness of our people, even those outside of HR, to work with us has made the learning curve so much easier.
What kind of advice would you give to new Norstella employees?
We recently hired a new benefits specialist, and it was so fun to work through offering him a role here and subsequently onboard him. It’s probably the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had hiring someone. Joining Norstella means you will be a part of something that truly impacts people’s lives. You will have the opportunity to have a rewarding role in a growing organization with an incredible culture and outstanding leadership team.
Which company principle resonates most with you?
When I thought about joining the organization, I spent a lot of time researching MMIT, and when I saw our principles, it was a big driver for me in wanting to join the business. As far as which one resonates most with me, it’s resiliency, mettle and grit. I’ve long appreciated the term “grit” — it pulls together perseverance, passion and drive — and when someone truly has grit, they generally find success, even in the most challenging circumstances. When teams are built with that mindset, amazing things happen, and I see it every day at Norstella.
Where do you see Norstella in the next year or two?
From a people perspective, there’s an incredible amount of growth on the horizon. With the harmonization and integration activities going on, we’ll be a more unified organization both from a people and processes perspective. I am excited to watch the teams achieve our growth targets while strengthening our culture, embedding our principles, and ensuring every team member understands our mission and their role in accomplishing it every day.
What do you like most about working at Norstella?
It’s so difficult to narrow down! Being part of an organization with a mission that truly changes lives is humbling, and it creates a sense of pride I hadn’t expected to feel so deeply. In addition, the teams I’ve had the opportunity to work with across Norstella are incredible. We have the most talented, driven team members who believe in what we do and are dedicated to our mission. It’s truly a testament to our leadership and our culture at Norstella.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Everything outside of work is devoted to my family. My husband, my 8-year-old daughter and I spend a lot of time together outdoors. We spend the summers camping and traveling, and my daughter is very active in gymnastics and 4-H. We live out in the country and spend time raising our chickens and goats. We stay busy and do our best to enjoy as many experiences as a family that we can.
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