Picture of meHi there! My name is Erika Payne and I am the Project Manager for Monica at MayeCreate (aka Problem Solver in training). I have been working here for about 4 months now and have loved every minute of it. My first day at MayeCreate was such a memorable experience, one of our talented interns made a comic of it. You should check it out, it’s a pretty funny story. I am really excited to be working in this amazing and forward thinking environment with my fellow MayeCreaters. The best way to describe my role as Project Manager is to look at it like a conductor . . . I know sounds crazy right? Hear me out. Conductors work with individuals who play different instruments, each with their own internal rhythm and the conductor’s job is to get everyone playing on the same beat. In my case, I work with people who have different skill sets and each work within their own process. My role is to get all parties involved to work “on the same beat,” to reach our goals as efficiently as possible and to create something awesome, whether it be a website, print design or a new marketing strategy . . . See Conductor!

Lake Girl

I was born and raised at the Lake of the Ozarks along with my two sisters and gobs of cousins. Growing up in the summers I would spend every day swimming in the lake with cousins or at Big Surf Waterpark with friends. Once I turned 15 I go my first job working on the gas dock at Kelly’s Port Marina. I spent 4 summers tanning and getting to know an array of different people from all walks of life while gassing up boats . . . I could tell you some crazy stories! Winter, however, was a different story.  All of the summer businesses like putt-putt golf, go-carting, lake restaurants and the water parks closed down, we had to get creative on ways to entertain ourselves. We usually ended up at the movies or having a bonfire in a field . . . true small town style. I feel very fortunate to have grownup at the lake, with summers full of new adventures and people, and winters giving the small town charm and providing us a chance to get our creative juices flowing for entertainment.

Picture of myself and my twin sister

It’s a Twin Thing

Fun fact about me . . . I have an identical twin sister. It’s a little weird, but we can’t even tell ourselves apart when looking at pictures of us as kids. Yes, we do continuously try to read each other’s mind, unfortunately we have not had any luck . . . maybe 30 will be our year. 😉 We do, however, often find each other wearing the exact same outfit or hairdo on accident. Even today, living in two different cities, we will facetime each other and will be wearing the same shirt . . . and don’t even get me started on how we came to purchase the EXACT same glasses on accident.  We are still very close and visit each other often. We are co-owners of our now 9 year old rescue dog Sandy, who lives in St. Louis with my sister, so it is always a treat to get to see both my dog and sister in one visit.

My Journey to MayeCreate

Like I had mentioned earlier, I got my first job at 15 working during summer breaks from school.  Once I started college I got into the restaurant industry. I was in the industry for almost 8 years and I really enjoyed all the places and people I worked with and met. I was able to work my way up the food chain (get it) pretty quick, starting as a server at a bar & grill and working my way up to managing a higher end wine bar in St. Louis. The restaurant industry taught me how to be quick on my feet and ready to handle anything that comes my way with a smile on my face. One of my many roles at the wine bar in St. Louis was event coordinator. Planning these events is where I found my inner conductor. I realized how much I enjoyed working with others on a project to achieve a goal, which lead me to seek out MayeCreate.

Looking Forward

I have lived in Columbia for about 6 months now and have loved exploring all the wonders COMO has to offer. I am continuously finding hidden gems and new activities in this town, and look forward to the fun places I have yet to discover. I am eager to continue my training in marketing, sales, project management and other MayeCreate awesomeness. Furthermore, to establish new bonds with our current and potential clients and learn more about their passions.

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