This month’s Family Matters feature lets you in on a little American family secret: Julie Mensing is Ryan Roer’s mother-in-law! Julie is American’s Conference Coordinator and Ryan is American’s Branding & Special Projects manager, and even being on the same team, many don’t know the familial bond these two share. Read on to learn more about their journey together in and out of the American walls.
How long have you known each other?
Julie: We met Ryan right before he started working at American in 2011.
Ryan: Her daughter Brittany and I started dating in 2008 and were married 5 years later.
How long have you been with American?
Ryan: 11 years
Julie: 31 years. I was pregnant with Brittany when I started
How often do you work on projects together?
Ryan: Almost daily.
Julie: He works on all the branding for conferences and I worked on all of the planning for those events. Even with my role changing, we are still in most meetings together. We get to tell each other what to do.
How has it been working on the same team?
Julie: Great! Family can be honest without having anyone’s feelings hurt. Family is thicker than water. We run things past each other before running it to the team for feedback.
Ryan: I can let her know how I’m feeling with things without the risk of being hesitant.
What’s the hardest part about working with your family?
Julie: Getting together outside of work and not talking about work. I always have one more thing to say and he’s much better than I am about keeping it at work.
Ryan: I’d say it’s a blessing and a curse. I feel like Julie and I have been able to have a stronger friendship because we work together. We can catch up on things when we go out outside of work. But then the curse is spending some of your weekend nights talking shop.
Julie: He trains me by saying “You have one question and then you’re done.” Haha! You just have to let it go and not let it dictate your evenings. It’s let us be friends though and that’s cool. How many sons/mothers-in-law get to do that?
What’s the easiest part about working with your family?
Ryan: I might not help all the time if she was a regular employee.
Julie: There’s nothing really “hard” about it. Luckily, we haven’t had any disagreements that we haven’t been able to talk through. I lean on him a lot for technology expertise and he teaches me whereas someone else might not give all that time to me.
Why do you recommend working with family?
Julie: I’d recommend it only if you know you have the personalities to get along with each other and don’t have that friction. Luckily, Ryan is a good worker and not lazy. It would be tough if he came to work and wasn’t doing his job, that would cause a riff. That would put me in weird spot and vice versa.
Ryan: We can bring our spouses with us to events by paying for them and enjoy some family time after the events. The biggest thing I would say is, it brings relationships that much further outside of just weekends and holidays. Getting to work with her on a weekly basis, we’ve built a much stronger bond.
Julie: It also helps our spouses find out what we actually do at work and how we operate.
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