GRIT Awards Winner Spotlight: Heather Harrington

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Harrington Collaboration Award

The GRIT Awards acknowledge individuals who have gone above and beyond in embodying the ECS core values of collaborate, focus and lead in the workplace. Heather Harrington, Director of Training, is our 2023 GRIT Awards – Collaborate winner.

Q: How did you come to ECS? 

A: I was referred to ECS by a friend. At the time, I wasn’t looking for a long term job. Fast forward to now, it’s been 23 years at the company and I’ve had numerous opportunities. Back then, Leo Titus interviewed me and I’ll never forget that feeling on my first day or what he said to me. “People will not remember you for what you said, but instead for how you made them feel.” That has stuck with me this whole time at ECS.

Q: What motivates you to work hard?

A: Seeing projects get done.  I love bringing our employees ideas to life through training.  We have seen so many great ideas die at the table because we haven’t had anyone to push them home. Being on a team that can bring these ideas to our employees is a HUGE motivator.

Q: What was your first job? 

A: My first job was working at a Pizza Hut answering phones and making pizzas.  I was 18 and got all the free pizza I wanted, what wasn’t to love!?  My first job at ECS was as a data entry clerk.  I typed field reports all day.  I enjoyed it because the admin staff was a great and we had a good time at work.

Q: What advice would you give someone just coming into the industry?

A: If you want something, ask.  The worst someone can say is no. 

Q: Being tough is a necessary part of having GRIT. Who in your life helped you develop this quality?

A: My mother: She overcame so many obstacles in life, including being a single mother to mischievous twins.  She always responded to any challenge she faced with patience and grace and I strive to do the same.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment? 

A: My career has been my greatest accomplishment so far; I have been given the tools and guidance to build a position and team that simply did not exist a few years ago. 

Q: What are the future areas you would like to extend your work – a good guidance for the next generation?

A: As the Director of Training my work expands through the company, and I am so lucky for it.  My future focus is bridging the gap between regions and working to bring cohesive learning throughout the company. Guidance for the next generation on that, write your ideas down and share them!  You’d be amazed at how many great ideas get lost because they were forgotten.

Q: What does winning the GRIT Award mean to you?

A: I cried when I found out. I felt like I had just won the Publishers Clearing House big check.  It really is such an honor to be nominated, but to be a winner… wow.  It made me feel validated and appreciated.