March 8, 2021 was International Women’s Day, a day for us all to celebrate women’s achievements and a call to action for the rest of the year to increase the visibility of these achievements.
To keep the momentum going, we’ve interviewed Aimee Jo Milendres, Dorigo’s Customer Experience Manager, as the first in a series of interviews that celebrates how the diversity of our team makes us stronger from engineering, manufacturing and quality control in order to deliver a seamless customer experience.
Meet Aimee Jo Milendres, Customer Experience Manager
In 2006, Aimee was looking for growth opportunities. That’s when she discovered, through her network, that Dorigo Systems was hiring and launched her career with the company.
She started in procurement at Dorigo Systems and then held a position as an operations coordinator gaining a broad based experience in electronics manufacturing.
Three years later, Aimee worked remotely for Dorigo Systems while she set up a business in the Philippines with her family. This opportunity was a win-win for the company as they were able to retain her expertise while allowing her to pursue a dream.
“There aren’t many companies that would consider such a request or work situation,” says Aimee, “I was fortunate that Dorigo Systems took a much more flexible approach to my career journey.”
After accomplishing what she had set out to do, Aimee returned back to Vancouver and continued her position as operations coordinator until the birth of her first son. Once she returned from maternity leave, she started as a planner at Dorigo Systems, her third role at the firm.
“My favourite part of working at Dorigo Systems during this time was how well we worked as a team,” says Aimee. “Not only did Dorigo offer me a new position to grow my skills, but they fully supported my onboarding after my pregnancy, something that made a huge difference after giving birth to my first child.”
After having her second child, Aimee moved into a generalist role where she jumped in and supported various groups at Dorigo Systems.
“I appreciated the opportunity to support different groups within Dorigo to see where I made the most difference,” states Aimee. “It helped me realize how much I enjoyed working directly with customers to bring their great ideas to market.”
That’s when Alex Chassels, Dorigo’s VP Operations, saw Aimee’s potential in leading a Customer Experience team to provide a Seamless Customer Experience with the launch of the new 105,000 square foot world-class manufacturing facility in Burnaby, BC.
Tackling the role of Customer Experience Team Manager
“I absolutely rose to the challenge,” says Aimee “I didn’t hesitate to take the managerial role and run with it. I really love what I do and find it very rewarding to work directly with the diverse mix of Dorigo’s customers.”
What Aimee discovered during the past 15 years of working at Dorigo Systems is that an open and honest relationship has allowed for opportunities to grow while being flexible about her life choices.
“Flexible hours is a privilege, not a right” states Aimee. “I have always been fully committed to my many roles at the company and they have always encouraged me.”
When asked what she feels is important for ensuring you succeed at what you do, Aimee leans into taking good care of yourself.
“You really can’t be good at your job if you don’t practice good self care,” comments Aimee. “How can I possibly support my team members and do well for the company if I don’t look after myself? I am so appreciative that Dorigo Systems’ offers an in-house gym and Yoga room. Something I will definitely take advantage of once the pandemic is over.”
Dorigo Systems has continued to stand together with Aimee throughout the pandemic, offering a work from home opportunity in order to keep the manufacturing firm operational during these challenging times. She has ensured that even though the team may not see each other face-to-face, that they stay connected through social staff meetings that are simply times to catch up with each other.
How does Aimee feel she can best inspire women seeking opportunities in technology-based professions?
She is always looking for creative ways to inspire and encourage women within the firm from giving informative “Lunch and Learns” to offering up mentoring opportunities.
“Establishing strong building blocks for my journey was essential for my success at Dorigo Systems,” states Aimee. “Without the commitment from the management team at Dorigo, I would never have been able to be a champion for others.”
When offering advice from lessons learned Aimee shares two insights. “Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and speak up when you need to be heard,” says Aimee. “Also, set realistic expectations for yourself.”
Her favourite saying comes from Sheryl Sandberg, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”