Tracey Barry, Norstella’s payroll manager, recently celebrated 12 years with the company. She joined the team in 2011 as the Accounting Manager, handling A/P, A/R and month end close. In that role, she worked closely with the Director of Human Resources on all payroll and benefit-related tasks. In 2016, she was promoted to HR Manager. The rapid growth of the HR team allowed Tracey to move into her current position, in which she focuses primarily on payroll while still working closely with HR.
Tell us a bit more about your role.
My main role is managing payroll for all Norstella employees, which will soon include our Citeline employees, across the U.S. and Canada. I also work closely with our benefits and HR teams. My daily tasks vary a lot, but the one constant in my role is meeting bi-weekly payroll deadlines and ensuring our employees are paid promptly and accurately!
What first brought you into the world of market access?
For many years, I worked at the University of Pittsburgh for the Chief of Cardiology. As his Executive Assistant, I managed his calendar and assisted in submitting grants to the National Institutes of Health and manuscripts to the leading heart failure journals.
While we were working together, he was also setting up a small biotech company in Philadelphia, PA. Once that biotech received funding and took off, he offered me a place on his team as the Office/Accounting Manager. I moved from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia for a fresh start both personally and professionally. As the first employee, my role was to set the company up and help build a team to support the development of the drug. The company grew to 35 employees, but the drug we were developing sadly never made it to market.
Through that experience, I learned that I loved working in pharma. I joined MMIT back when it was known as MediMedia Information Technologies, right after we were acquired by Susquehanna Growth Equity. I was one of the first employees hired after that acquisition. And here I am, 12 years and several acquisitions later.
What are some of the larger projects you’re working on?
In the recent past, we had different instances of ADP for each Norstella business unit. ADP is our current payroll system that also offers time tracking, HR and talent management, and benefits administration on a single platform. In 2022, we rolled all of these iterations under one instance, integrating our payroll processes across the company.
In a few months, we’re going to launch a similar process on a much larger scale. We’ll be consolidating Norstella payroll into one system by January 2024.
What are some of the common challenges of your role?
As you can imagine, consolidating systems always presents new challenges. When people are used to doing things one way and they need to learn a different process or adjust to a different policy, it can be taxing. When we moved from the 24 pay periods to 26 pay periods, a handful of employees reached out with questions, but they really just needed to get a better understanding of what the go-forward process looks like and get comfortable with the changes.
What’s been your career highlight to date?
This job, as a matter of fact! When I started with the company, we only had about 60 employees. At that time, I managed HR, onboarding, and payroll—I wore a lot of different hats. As we grew, the workload became near impossible for one person to manage. In the last year and a half, I moved away from the employee relations/HR elements of my job and moved solely into the payroll manager position, which is what I love doing the most.
Which company principle resonates most with you?
I would say resiliency, mettle, and grit. It’s true that nothing ever goes entirely according to plan, but how you deal with the challenges really makes a difference to whether or not you succeed. I think back to integrating all of the business units into one instance of ADP, which presented quite a few obstacles. But whenever we hit a road bump, we worked through it, came up with a solution and completed the integration.
What would you tell someone just starting their career with Norstella?
The one constant at Norstella is that there will always be change—and I mean that in a good way. As the company grows, it gives us the opportunity to learn and grow with the expansion. If we just embrace the changes and go along for the ride, it will be more fun than we could’ve imagined!
What do you like the most about working here?
First, it’s the people. I’ve been really lucky in my career to work with great colleagues and managers. I can honestly say that I like everybody I work with, which is really a blessing. And secondly, I love continuous learning. When I am getting ready to tackle a new challenge that I haven’t done before, I love figuring out what I need to do. There’s always something new to learn.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to travel and spend time with my family and friends. Ireland was one of my favorite destinations. We also take a yearly vacation to the Outer Banks with my extended family, and we absolutely love relaxing there.
I also recently found out I’m going to be a grandma, so I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my life. My daughter and son-in-law live nearby in Philly, and this is my first grandchild. I’m so excited!
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