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Collette Wilshire

What is your role in the Service Center of Excellence?

I am taking the lead role in staff training and development, with a focus on finance and compliance training and professional development for Finance and Administration, and with an added focus on internal role training within the SCE. Since Meredith Weiss’ departure, I have also taken a role in project management and assisting with the organization and planning of the SCE, tapping into my previous experience standing up a similar organization at the College of Arts and Sciences.

What did you do before you came to the SCE?

Prior to coming to the SCE I was in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences dean’s office for five years, most recently as assistant dean for the finance business center. In that role I had a team of accounting technicians reporting to me, and we provided customer service to departments within the College. Prior to my role leading the business center, I was a budget analyst in the dean’s office and assisted department chairs within the College of Arts and Sciences. Before coming to UNC-Chapel Hill, I took six years off to have kids, but was previously the director of finance and human resources for the School of Arts and Humanities at Sonoma State University in California.

Why are you excited about joining the SCE?

I love building something new. I think it is fun and exciting to be a part of the organic process of change to create a new team and new processes in order to improve customer service. I also love seeing my coworkers get excited about it. While I was in the College of Arts and Sciences I had the opportunity to help build the finance and human resource service centers, and the most rewarding aspect of that was seeing the staff take on new roles. They got to use their own experience and ideas to build some of our process — instead of top-down, it was more from the bottom up, and that is where innovation happens. It is the people who are closest to the day-to-day processes and transactions who can really help innovate and change things for the better. And I enjoy facilitating that process and then just watching it unfold, because it takes on a life of its own. The other positive aspect of a dramatic change is that when everyone is involved in something like building a service center together, it gives us the opportunity to have a true team-building and bonding experience that doesn’t happen in an existing organization. And that group will take that sense of team forward with them, and you may never get that opportunity again.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I have two children and two stepchildren, so I love spending my time with them and all of their extracurricular activities. My daughter is a gymnast, and my son loves math, and I enjoy watching them engage in their passions from the sidelines. I’m also a very creative person, so I spend a lot of time working on arts and crafts projects with the kids. My zen time is spent in my garden.

What is something people probably wouldn’t know about you?

In college, I spent all my extracurricular time in drama and the theater. I did a lot of costuming, and that experience, coupled with my true “inner geek,” led me to be the princess in the Colorado Renaissance Fair for three years. It was an incredibly fun but exhausting (and dusty!) experience. I only just recently got rid of my princess costume earlier this year. I guess my princess days are behind me.

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