Following acknowledgement for its contribution on multiple public health initiatives, seeing its CEO named an Engage FedGov Honoree, and twice being named an Elev8 GovCon recipient, we caught up with J Michael Consulting’s Michelle Sparks; Elena Jordanov; and Tim Longo to discuss this team’s connected culture, how that supports and empower clients, and how they have maintained perspective through growth.

Diverse Perspectives Moving Forward as One

What quickly becomes evident when you look at JMC is the diversity in backgrounds that has been amalgamated to create this team. From public health informatics to construction at a corporate level to private healthcare consulting, individuals bring perspective from widely disparate communities, and yet, their stories and what brought them to JMC are very similar.

What they share is an introduction to a company that stood out as unique, that engaged them personally, that from the start, felt ‘different’, and was one that was focused on work that matters.

“When your first introduction to a company is the CEO, when each individual feels hand-selected to take on a specific role for what they bring to the table, and for who they are, when you feel right away the emphasis on collaboration and communication, you know from the start you are walking into something different.”

Hand Selected with Purpose

An organization led by the mantra that the “Leadership Team actively supports employees to ensure success in achieving clients’ public health mission” suggests an environment that is without ego, fueled by a desire to work together. “You can send out a broad message asking for help or looking for an answer to a question and get a dozen responses within a matter of minutes from people wanting to step in and help.”

Investing time to ensure everyone is on the same page, that people are elevated in their knowledge and skills when and as they wish, the environment has been described as one of authentic integrity focused on teamwork, mentorship and empowerment.

“Our interview process is multi-stage and very deliberate. Beyond skillset we really are looking for people who have the mindset, that are open to collaboration and will be able to step into the team seamlessly from an attitude and desire view. It is about the right person in the right seat but that also includes with the right attitude.”

That is not to say everyone brings the same personality to the mix. Amongst this small representative group there are differences but differences that are embraced and recognized and provide an opportunity for a more blended view.

Coming Together

A proponent of holistic wellness and culture, JMC team members across different practice areas find multiple ways to come together, both from a work and culture view. Events like the company’s annual wellness challenge and breakout group events that mingle different practice areas are just some of the ways this team engages.

There is an element of transparency here that allows anyone who wishes a ‘look behind the curtain’ so to speak. In addition to biweekly meetings that offer a glimpse into our operations, everyone has the opportunity to access relevant information. This creates an environment where individuals with valuable ideas can contribute to enhancing the company’s functionality, fostering collaboration across teams within the organization. Remote, but that Doesn’t Matter

This close-knit team asserts that they can discern each other’s moods not only through the tone of their voices during calls but also by interpreting the nuances in their messaging. They’re willing to travel to meet in person, and their bond is marked by a unique level of comfort and friendship.. “There is a safety here, a culture where individuals commend others for their achievements rather than exclusively attributing the success to themselves.”

Whether it is hiring, decisions around projects or forward direction, there is a shared decision-making process, a collective mindset that comes into play that invites everyone to be invested in the company, the work it is doing, the direction it is headed.

Client Empowerment

That same view of empowerment applies to clients who are given the knowledge, training and skills they need to move forward with technical implementation, meeting facilitation, stakeholder engagement and more.

“There is a transparency that applies to our clients and partners alike that encourages more. If we get to the end of a contract and have hours left, we look for what else we can do for the client that they may not have expected or known they could get.”

The team notes this notion of client empowerment was especially critical under the strain of the pandemic and included seeking to understand employee turnover at public health agencies, laboratories and departments and ways that could be mitigated.

Culture through Growth

Now sitting at more than 45 employees, JMC has fortified its previously organic approach to culture to one that has been formalized to ensure it is not lost as the company grows, as it looks to implement new tools or new approaches.

“We understand that how we’re going to communicate our mission to future team members will evolve but by ensuring that everyone’s voices and concerns and ideas are heard, we’re ensuring that no one is getting left behind.”

That flexibility and adaptability applies externally to clients and partners as well. And internally, ensures there are opportunities for growth and learning across the team that encompasses both personal and professional skills.

Lunch and learns, a learning library, multiple interest-based Skype channels, a book club and book swap, and working groups around a variety of new initiatives are just a few ways this team engages, learns from one another and helps move the company’s culture forward.

Another component of its outward culture is the company’s internship program which seeks to engage young people with an interest in public health. “We bring them in, they learn from us, but we also get the chance to tap into them, see new ideas, learn from their passion and vision.”

What interns also learn from JMC is how to be part of a team, to embrace trying new things, stretching yourself and learning from that whether it succeeds or fails. They learn that people who work together can be like a family and together they can drive forward critical missions of federal agencies.


Not Yet a Premium Partner/Sponsor? Learn more about the OS AI Premium Corporate and Individual Plans here. Plans start at $250 annually.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Leave a Reply