Elise Starr

VP of Operations and Finance

Elise Starr

VP of Operations and Finance

You know IIS as well as anyone. How has IIS developed from when you started to today?

What an impossible question to answer! After John & Tom started IIS, they hired one person to do the technical integration work. When they finally decided they needed office help, I was hired. That was May 1992 – and we were working out of a basement in Kings Park. My first real assignment was finding an actual office – where we moved in July of 1992. My initial tasks were anything that needed doing, including helping with integration. By the end of the year, there were 6 of us, and currently, there are 85 of us. We went from servicing one customer with a small, tight-knit group, and expanded to multiple customers, multiple departments, multiple sales reps, various areas of expertise, a consulting division, etc., but still as a tight knit group, with the same goals. IIS was always a leader in technology. Tom & John have stayed in front of the curve from day 1. They have always moved forward and driven the company to places I never imagined. I am the back office. The key to my job was meeting the commitments they made (even if it seemed impossible), finding a way to do whatever needed doing, whenever it needed doing, and make it all appear like we’ve been doing it for years. And along the way, if I could save some money, or find a way to be more profitable, that was a plus.

Describe your role at the firm and your responsibilities.

I think the single most important thing I’ve done over the years is hire the right people. People who understand that the customer comes first, always. People that are willing to stay late, or come in early to meet a request. People that strive for excellence. People that don’t give up when they’re told “it can’t be done” and find a way to do it. My role includes overseeing every aspect of the day-to-day operational activities and making sure the team has the tools they need to succeed. I helped create customizations for our ERP system, and some of the tools we use to make the system work better for IIS. My team is responsible for all activities from quoting through delivery for all customers. I am also responsible for the financial side of things – making sure we have the credit lines we need, our bills are paid, and the inventory in the warehouse is accurate. If it isn’t sales or technology, chances are it falls under me.

How do you, as a leader at IIS, share your knowledge across the firm?

I try to have meetings with the team to impart information as needed. I oversee the IIS Newsletter, which we use to share information. I email employees with important information. And my door is open for all. I’m happy to have my brain picked, and I try to be transparent.

What does a typical day at IIS look like?

There truly is no typical day at IIS. Some days, it’s reactive – to emails, to customer concerns, to delivery issues, etc. Other days, I have my head down working on financial reports or consulting with our outside accountants. I could be in meetings with vendors, or planning company meetings. I could be working on a new program within our ERP system, or working with our key vendor partners to fix something that isn’t working right.

Meet the rest of the team