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Employee Appreciation 2018

2018 Employee Appreciation week was a success! Staff enjoyed yoga from the Yoga Joint, a night at Xtreme Action Park, massages and more.

My Panthers Story

Hometown: Ashland, NH

Years with the Panthers: 5

Lembo began her career with the Panthers as an account executive with what she describes as "really no sales background" outside of an internship with the ECHL's Manchester Monarchs. In no time, however, she discovered her strengths and pinpointed exactly what she wanted to do.

"What I really love about my job is the experiences that I'm able to give," Lembo said.

After finding her calling in sales, Lembo said she was to expand her role even further thanks to the support of her superiors. With a background in coaching, she was able to turn her passion for developing the skills of others into improving the onboarding process for new employees.

"The Panthers have been really flexible with any ideas that I've had," Lembo said. "When I saw that one of my former bosses had a lot of things on his plate, I asked if I could just take over the training schedule. It was one thing that I really wanted to do. He told me to go for it."

From there, Lembo's job evolved even further. In addition to scheduling, she also began to work on an updated presentation for new hires that would kick off their first day with what she calls a "real wow moment." This presentation kicks off two-weeks of training in which Lembo teaches all new sales associates everything from how to act in the office to the history of the franchise.

"It's about the skills that it takes to do a few different things, such as how to run a phone call from start to finish to making a successful appointment," Lembo said. "It's really about building relationships. Ultimately, what the client wants in their best interest is what we want to help them out with. We have to figure out the right questions to ask to figure out the right plan with them."

After arriving to the Panthers with an idea and discovering a calling, Lembo believes that having a passion for your position is a necessity when it comes to joining the Panthers growing family.

"Follow your passions and what you love," Lembo said. "It's a corny saying, but I'm a big believer in that if you find something you love to do that you never work a day in your life. Find your passion, follow it and never be afraid to ask questions."

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL

Years with the Panthers: 4

Smith began his career with the Panthers as a part-time member of the organization's outreach group, Panther Patrol, which promotes the team at local events. From there, he spent time as a marketing intern before transitioning back to working full-time in community relations.

"I worked a lot in print trade and with our bar program, which eventually developed into community relations," Smith said. "As an assistant, I was in charge of handling the day-to-day operations of the Panther Patrol and booking events out in the community. We do around 180 events a year. Now, I'm more centrally focused on our outreach in the community."

That outreach includes several season-long initiatives, such as fulfilling partnerships with non-profits, organizational collection drives, overseeing employee service days and executing the "Heroes Among Us" program. Entering its sixth season, "Heroes Among Us" is one of the most noteworthy in-arena activations the Panthers have, as one serviceman or woman is honored at each home game at BB&T Center. To date, more than 200 veterans have been honored.

As a native of Coral Springs, Fla., Smith said his biggest joy has been giving back to his local community.

"I grew up as a big fan," Smith said. "My family had season tickets. In my current position, I am able to come into work every day and make a difference in the lives of people where I'm from. It's great."

Having climbed the through the ranks, from part-time employee to full-time coordinator and landing on every rung of the ladder in between, Smith's advice for new employees is simple.

"I always come back to a bit of advice I got when I first started out, which was to always say yes," Smith said. "We have a great group of people in this organization. Never be afraid to lean on someone, whether it's a colleague in your department, your boss, or someone outside of your department. We're truly a family here."

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Years with the Panthers: 13

The longest-tenured member of Florida's sales department, Meloff's career with the Panthers began after an impromptu trip to a job fair at BB&T Center - then the Office Depot Center - which convinced her that her people skills were a perfect fit for the field of inside sales.

"I always knew people was my area," Meloff said. "I love talking to people and building relationships. I thought sales would naturally be a good fit. If you have to sell something, why not sell entertainment and fun" I thought I'd give it a try, so I went to the career fair and have been with the Panthers ever since."

After spending six seasons working in ticket sales, Meloff eventually decided to branch out into a brand-new department known as client services. In her new role, she was tasked with working directly with fans, ensuring their satisfaction and making sure their experience was memorable.

"That's where I found myself," Meloff said of client services. "My area was always client retention and client relationships. That's always where I felt that I flourished. I started this job as a 22-year-old graduate and now I'm married and a mother of two kids… It's been a fun ride."

With two young children at home, Meloff said one of the main perks of working for the Panthers is the importance the organization places on a family, both at home and in an office setting.

"I think one of the biggest advantages is that my family is involved," Meloff said. "I think a lot of people think that it could be a difficult task, but with the culture that we've developed as the Florida Panthers family, it really involves your own family."

Having already spent 13 seasons (and counting!) in Sunrise, Meloff's advice to new employees mirrors her own experience with club. You have to be able to adapt and never be afraid of trying new things, for in moving out of your comfort zone you are able to discover what you're best at. "Be open minded," Meloff said.

"That's one of the biggest takeaways I always promote to people that I'm onboarding. Always be opened minded and open to change. Never shut yourself down to any ideas or other people's ideas. I think we learn and grow from other people's experiences."

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