At Ambit, we recognize that team members are a company’s greatest asset. We create and support a culture that cultivates lifelong learning, teamwork and leadership development. Every member of our team offers a unique and valuable perspective and set of skills.
This month we wanted to spotlight Tamara Lies, Ambit’s Business Manager. Tamara has been invaluable since day one! Matt Ford, Ambit President, shared:
“One of my favorite stories about Tammy was right when she first started, I mean week one, I got to the office from a meeting and apparently she’d gotten into a little disagreement with our office cleaning company. She ran up to me and said something like: “I fired your office cleaning people, I’m sorry I’ll find someone else & I’ll clean the office and bathroom until I do. I’m just not going to put up with that kind of attitude and laziness!” I was like “Whoa!” It takes some guts to be brand new at a job and to step up and make a decision to fire someone without consulting anyone, but it showed that she had Ambit’s best interests in mind and she always has no matter the decision, which is just one of the many qualities that makes her such an awesome teammate. So, when she says she started as an Administrative Assistant, she actually started off firing vendors and cleaning bathrooms & she’s done almost everything else at Ambit since.
A lot of Tammy’s job is behind the scenes and not everyone can see all that she actually does for our team, but she has been a huge part of our success over the years and we’re truly fortunate to have her as a member of the Ambit Family!”
Tammy’s willingness and determination to help with any project she is given and her genuine desire to best serve our clients makes her an indispensable member of the Ambit team.
We asked Tamara to give us some more insight into her professional and personal life, and here is a look at our conversation:
Tamara Lies Team Spotlight
Q: When you were young, what did you imagine doing when you grew up? What was your path leading to Ambit?
I always wanted to be a lawyer. I was probably about high school aged when I really had this fascination with law, but I don’t know what drove me to want to help people in that regard – I just knew I wanted to help people.
However, I went on to work for one of the largest healthcare providers in the US (Kaiser Permanente) for 10 years and decided that I wanted to make more money by selling medical devices.
I got married and moved to Arizona in 2001. After getting let go from my job I got so irritated that I looked at my husband and said, “well then I’m just going back to school full time to get a degree in a path that will allow me to sell medical devices.” I graduated from ASU in 2008 and unfortunately, with the economy as it was at that time, no dream jobs existed.
Ironically, it worked out that my husband at that time had a great job; we relocated to California and I didn’t have to work. When he got back and wasn’t going to be traveling anymore, I became really bored and knew I needed to get a job…
Q: Why did you decide to join the Ambit team?
I found an ad on Craigslist for an Administrative Assistant position and submitted my application to Matt Ford, Ambit President.
I was only Ambit’s fifth employee at the time and I had never worked in the land surveying industry before. They were so busy then, so all they said was “We need you to help us get our jobs organized!” So I was on my own! But it was a great learning experience and so much has changed and grown since then.
Fast forward to October 2013, I became the Business Manager and now primarily work with the project managers and helping guarantee we’re best serving our clients.
Q: How does your childhood desire to ‘help people’ come into play with your role at Ambit?:
I definitely play a huge supportive role to the Project Managers and to Matt by taking care of things that they don’t have time to do. I look at Matt like he’s a treasured family member, I have a strong loyalty towards Matt and Ambit. Both sets of my grandparents and my parents were small business owners, so I grew up understanding how hard and rewarding that can be. You need trustworthy people to work for you.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
I really really like my job and I think it’s mostly because of the people I work with.
Pre-COVID, I would go to wireless events and represent Ambit. I would go to see very specific clients and build relationships with them (including delivering the best sweet treats – like Beverly Best Bakery).
I would identify their needs to help improve their jobs through our projects, and provide satisfaction by modifying products to help save them money and time on both sides, in the ever changing world of wireless.
Q: What do you feel sets Ambit apart from other companies in the industry?
The thing that sets us apart by far and large is absolutely, our outstanding customer service and quick response timeframes. That’s why our clients love us! We are very responsive. Emails do not go unanswered and requests do not go unaddressed or handled. We have a client that insists everyone on their team exclusively uses Ambit. We’re proud of the service we provide and so grateful to have clients that recognize our hard work and dedication.
We’re always open to having honest conversations to best serve our client’s needs and we will work hard to consult with them on the product that they end up needing.
For example, if budgets change on the provider side, we’ll work with our partners to modify the scope of delivery to still cover everything needed but fit within their modified budget. Everyone wins and makes their margins.
Q: As a predominantly male industry, have you found anything to be challenging as a woman in your field of work?
That applies more to the field work, in my opinion. I get to just go out and have fun with the clients and fact-find and get to genuinely build relationships with them. I tell clients that Ambit doesn’t even trust me with CAD on my computer! But, I will ask the right people for you and I will get you the right answer.
While our Operations Manager, Sarah, will still occasionally get the “No, I want to talk with a registered land surveyor” comment, there are so many women in Telecom now, and great organizations like ‘NTCA Women in Telecom’ and ‘Global Telecom Women’s Network’ that I think we’ve come a long ways.
Q: If you could change one thing about this industry, what would it be?
I would change the level of understanding carriers need to have to see what it really takes to make their networks work – from start to finish.
I also wish there were more people interested in land surveying. Because it is really an interesting field and if you like the great outdoors there is nothing more exciting than doing land surveying. It’s a dying trade, there aren’t many applicants coming through.
Q: What is the weirdest thing that’s happened while at Ambit?
We have 26 love birds that return every spring to our Tempe office and hang out with us when we feed them.
Q: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?
Being in the outdoors – camping and traveling. The Southern California (San Diego) kid in me wants to be anywhere but home and experience something fun and outdoors.
Q: What is the last show you watched on Netflix?
I just watched a Netflix Original movie, Elona Homes (Sherlock Holmes sister). It was actually a cute movie.
Q: Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Cancun! I’ve been there 13 times. I love the humidity, the people, the water, just all of it. I love Mexico.
Q: What is your drink of choice?
Q: What is something only those closest to you know about you?
I’m extremely competitive. I grew up going to Glamis and my older brother raced motorcycles. Growing up with the mindset that anything my brother can do, I can do better. So I loved to race, and I loved to win.
I could be competitive with something as stupid as board games or when Waze maps says it’s going to take me a certain amount of time to get there – that’s a challenge to me, I’m going to beat that time!
I also want to cook chili better; make a better drink – I am just competitive about the dumbest things.
I realize now that I’m older and I can poke fun at it, and just laugh about it – but when I was younger I was very serious about it.
Q: What’s your favorite quote / book / life lesson?
I really liked the autobiography about Barbara Walters and her message of ‘work hard and persevere’ and ultimately rise high. I loved how she talked about the male-dominated field and how through incredibly hard work, she rose to the top of her field.
Q: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
I just have to say that one of the things that has been the biggest eye-openers during COVID is how Ambit and others realized their businesses weren’t going to fall flat on their face if they had their entire team working from home. While it isn’t for everyone, we’ve actually seen some really positive cultural and team shifts with a heavier ‘work from home’ balance.
To learn more about the Ambit team, or to apply for an open position, visit our About page here: https://ambitconsulting.us/about/