3 min read

Employee Spotlight: Michelle Lafountain

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What is Your Role at Hatteras and What Does Your Day Look Like? 

I am the Financial Controller, and I am the “Hawk” that watches the incoming and outgoing monies. I oversee all accounting operations and ensure that IRS-mandated rules and regulations called GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), along with Company policies and procedures, are followed.

I measure and report on the Company’s financial health by producing accurate financial statements, which ownership uses to make strategic business decisions. The numbers from the financial statements are also used to complete and file corporate tax returns and calculate tax payments which makes timely reporting critical. Accounting is typically viewed as “overhead,” but in the process of a job, accounting is the final communication with customers and vendors, and the department strives to maintain customer service that exceeds expectations. 

Why Do You Like Working at Hatteras?

I like the culture at Hatteras. There’s definitely a “family” vibe here. We have a mural on one of our walls that has words submitted by employees that describe what we think of when we think of Hatteras. On that wall are words like family, respect, forward-thinking, loyalty, commitment, and teamwork, just to name a few. I witness these things on a daily basis, and the energy generated by employees is infectious. I’m excited to be a part of that. 

What Makes Hatteras Special From Other Companies?

I think it says a lot that we have a very low turnover of employees. I have been here 34 years, and we have many employees over 10 and 20 years. In a society where on average, people change jobs every 3 years, I think that makes us pretty special.

Also, we are women-owned, and we went through a long and intrusive process to become certified by the WBENC as such. This special designation has opened doors to opportunities not all other printers have, making Hatteras notable. 

What are Some of the Challenges Specific to the Printing Industry That Your HR Department Helps Employees Overcome? 

I think that even though we are now looking at the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, we are still dealing with material shortages because of work stoppages during the pandemic, which has also resulted in a skilled workforce shortage.

It is frustrating as a business to struggle to provide what a customer wants or needs in the time that they need as well as maintain the quality they have learned to expect from Hatteras, and that exists partly due to these issues. That frustration trickles down to employees. We are constantly working to source the best materials at the best price.

Accounting specifically works closely with employees to make sure that jobs are invoiced correctly and also with production managers to be sure vendor invoices are correct and processed, and paid timely. It is more time effective to complete tasks correctly the first time. Still, corrections are sometimes necessary, so great effort to mitigate that necessity with extra training and teamwork is key. Building relationships with customers and vendors is also integral to what we do in accounting.

What Advice Would You Give to Someone Who is Considering a Career in the Printing Industry? 

I may be biased, but if someone is even thinking about a career in printing, they need to give it a chance. It is an industry that is constantly evolving and improving. Granted, there are a lot of industries out there that can say the same thing, but I’ve seen some pretty dynamic pieces produced at Hatteras, and the process and capabilities are fascinating. 

Fun Fact About Yourself? 

I basically grew up in an Ice Rink. I was a medal-winning figure skater and enjoyed performing solos in ice shows, which meant I spent a lot of time on the ice, but with my brothers and cousins playing hockey and my uncles coaching, I spent a lot of time at the rink as a spectator as well. We traveled as a family for Hockey tournaments and figure skating competitions quite often.

Join the Hatteras Team

Want to join a fun and collaborative team? We dedicate ourselves to diligent effort, foster continuous collaboration, offer unwavering support, and fearlessly inspire each other through constructive challenges. Apply today!

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