Tim Steadmon, far right, is senior director of operations at Parallon and is shown with colleagues on Go Red for Women Day

Tim Steadmon is senior director of operations at Parallon, but he started out there like the more than 200 people he supervises, as a medical collections specialist. He came to Parallon in November of 1997 with considerable expertise. His love of people and his strong work ethic have seen him through five promotions with the company.

His gift of gab, a strong asset in the collections business, manifests as a calm directness. “Sometimes I’m too straightforward, you know, because I don’t know how to put a spin on things,” he says.

Success early on as a collections specialist

Steadmon hit the ground running at Parallon. He earned bonuses each month, was top collector, and was named employee of the year before his first promotion. By the year 2000, he was senior operations manager.

Soon after Steadmon assumed a management role, Parallon began focusing on employee engagement and offering benefits like tuition reimbursement. He’s seen huge changes within the company in his 20 years there – changes that made it possible for him to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.

“I was progressively moving through the ranks, but once I got to senior manager, I was advised by my director that … in order to move to the director role, at least a four-year degree was required.”

Perseverance through life’s obstacles

While Steadmon’s talent was clear in every job he had, earning honors and landing on the dean’s list throughout college, his life hasn’t been without challenges. He grew up in Smoketown as one of seven children, and his parents supported them all on factory workers’ incomes.

He married young and became a father for the first time at age 20. He was a divorced father of three, working at Parallon, when he and his second wife, Tawanda, married.

The couple are now parents to two teenagers and 10-year-old triplets. That’s enough to keep anyone busy, but Steadmon balanced his family responsibilities with a heavy work schedule. In addition to his position at Parallon, he still had a second part-time job in collections.

“I don’t think he slept,” says Parallon HR Manager Susan Rademaker.

Even with all that on his plate, he pursued a higher education. “I was still at McKendree, going to school, completing my degree,” he remembers. After that, he took the plunge, earning a Master of Health Administration from Webster University in just over a year.

Positive leadership with immeasurable impact

Parallon supported Tim Steadmon as he furthered his education, and he repays the company every day with every positive interaction he has with employees.

Steadmon makes employees feel valued and understood, and this has had a tremendous impact on team morale. Steadmon received an employee engagement rating of 87 percent and an approval rating of 65 percent last year — these were the highest in the company, despite collections being one of the more challenging positions.

While the numbers are impressive on their own, they can’t fully tell the story of how an employee feels when they receive an understanding word after a tough call, or how expecting people to rise to the occasion makes it possible for them to do so.

“I think that [working so long in collections] kind of helped me out with my people because when I coach them or talk to them on a daily basis, most people feel like management doesn’t know what they’re going through. So I was able to connect and bond with my people a lot better, I would say.”

A commitment to treating people right

Central to Steadmon’s life is his faith. “Every day, before I leave the house, I pray, and I ask to make a difference in someone’s life.” He puts that faith into action through his involvement with Volunteers of America, the only shelter in the region that works to keep entire families together — including dads.

Thanks to Steadmon, employees also have a chance to lend a hand. Many employees participate in the Volunteers of America “Power of 1 Breakfast” fundraiser each year, and they have plenty of opportunities to decorate for holiday parties and host game nights to raise the spirits of the families there.

“Regardless of what’s going on, I’m rarely in a bad mood. I have a smile on my face every day. A lot of it has to do with my upbringing and my background, and knowing where you came from and where you’re at now, and knowing that you can work through any type of situation if you put your mind to it, and also by treating people right.

“Nobody’s perfect, but if you try to treat people right, you know, you can just accomplish so much when people like you. They trust you. They know there’s not a hidden agenda.”

Interested in joining Parallon?

Do you want a job where hard work pays off? Parallon is hiring. Email the company’s Human Resources team at [email protected].