Fisher Alumni Power the New Paychex Promise

June 21, 2019

Statistics show that many young companies can struggle to meet their cash flow obligations, often leading to closure within the first few years.

Three female Fisher graduates at Paychex

To help small businesses overcome those road bumps, Paychex, a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, human resource, retirement and insurance services based in Rochester, New York, called on a team of employees to launch a membership program idea to help small businesses. Among the team that served as the brains behind the new project were several Fisher alumni.

Kristy Wumkes ’05, Dr. Carly McCabe ’14 (Ed.D.), and Jane Mahar ’83 (pictured above, left to right)—work on the project daily.

Wumkes is the credit risk supervisor who runs the day-to-day operations of the program. She wears many hats as she communicates with marketing, sales, and training. At Fisher, she was a business administration major with a concentration in corporate finance. After graduation, she transferred that knowledge to Paychex, first working as a risk intern, before landing a full time position on the Taxpay unit.

As a project manager, McCabe strategically positions the program offerings and works to ensure each department is up to speed on the Paychex Promise. She earned a doctoral degree in executive leadership through the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education.

Compliance analyst Mahar is a Compliance Analyst and recently celebrated her 30th anniversary with Paychex. She joined the Paychex Promise effort midstream. She works with members of Compliance Risk to find stories that will resonate with the program’s audience and works with a small team to produce a monthly newsletter for clients enrolled in the Paychex Promise. Mahar started with the company as a Payroll Specialist and worked her way up through the Technical Writing department before joining Compliance Risk in 2009.

Several other alumni helped in the creation and launch of Paychex Promise, including Manager of Risk Review and Assessment Lori Flaherty ’94, Security Engineering Senior Manager Deron Johnson ’12 (MBA), and Director of Financial Operations Doug Baxter ’84.One of the more popular services, payroll protection, offers small businesses the opportunity to pay their employees even if they do not have the immediate funds. Paychex provides the client with seven additional days to cover their payroll, as needed.

“This helps with the unexpected issues like vendors not paying timely and equipment breaking down,” McCabe explained. ”Payroll protection offers the client additional time to fund their payroll to take care of other business critical initiatives, while also allowing the company to take care of employees by providing a timely paycheck.”

The project team has learned a lot in the program’s first year, and with its nationwide rollout, they expect big changes and expansions will further meet client needs. The program was purposefully created to be flexible due to the rapidly changing industry.

The team has a passion for innovation and trying new strategies. Wumkes said there are many challenges they face every day, but collaborating and brainstorming the solutions are rewarding. What some people see as disadvantages, the Paychex Promise team sees as opportunities to learn and grow.

“We aren’t doing this to make money. We are doing this because we really want to help these small businesses succeed in their communities, and to me, that is most satisfying,” she said.

This article was written by Chris Murray ’19.