Fifteen years ago, Allison Schaffer graduated from Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, on a Saturday, moved to Brookings, South Dakota, on Sunday, and started at Daktronics on Monday. Since this memorable weekend, Allison has been making an impact on Daktronics and those around her.
Allison’s supervisor, Eric Bauer, recognized the tremendous asset Allison has been to Daktronics in the past 15 years. “Allison is a terrific team player and valuable member of the Daktronics family,” he said. “She genuinely cares for this company and the people she works with and wants nothing less than to see us succeed in all the challenges we take on together.”
Allison was hired into the IT department, first focusing on Glovia development and support. “I was involved in some major upgrades and integration projects, including the shift of service from Glovia to Amdocs,” she said.
Allison then transitioned to an integration developer role. She served on what was the IT software development team and had the opportunity to work on large integration projects like product lifecycle management (PLM), shifting engineers and part creation to Windchill, and the integration of global service integrations (GSI).
“Allison’s tremendously coachable,” said Eric. “She willingly pushes herself outside of her comfort zone and seeks feedback regularly in order to gain insight into potential growth areas that she can harpoon and address.”
Currently, Allison is an IT solutions architect where she analyzes requests, formulates solutions options, leads development teams to design, and delivers valuable solutions to stakeholders.
“Although I’ve been in the IT department for 15 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with departments across the organization, which has helped me learn more about our business,” she said. “One of my favorite things to do is go to the Gemba–I love learning how people perform their work and relating that back to our systems and how we can best support the work that needs to be done.”
Allison also serves as a scrum master for one of the development teams which involves behind the scenes communication, collaboration, and coordination with other scrum masters and IT leadership as they navigate IT’s transition to Scaled Agile Framework.
Allison described fond memories of implementations from before IT embraced the agile philosophy – they often required late nights or weekends to deploy a solution to production. “This might be the biggest adrenaline rush you get as a software developer!” she said. “Those go-live events are always memorable–caffeinated, sleep-deprived at times, intense and funny moments with the team–bringing something to life that you’ve been working on for months, maybe more.”
“Allison is impressively thorough in her drive to understand any scenario presented; her knowledge of various areas of Daktronics runs deep,” Eric said. “This shows in obvious ways as she works with product owners and subject matter experts in analyzing problems in pursuit of technical solutions.”
Eric was not only complimentary of Allison’s work ethic, but also her personality. “‘Fun’ is Allison’s middle name,” he said. “She brings an infectiously positive attitude to her interactions with others and listens with intent to connect and understand. Whoever holds a conversation with Allison can rest assured they’re being heard.”
In her free time, Allison loves to create meaningful memories and adventure with her family, friends, and her dog. Her ideal day is outdoors, with plenty of sun, warmth, and no agenda or schedule so she could enjoy the adventure as it unfolds. She also loves to travel and explore the people, food, sights, and lifestyle of different cultures. She really loves Europe, with Italy being her favorite. Allison said she plans to do a lot more traveling in life as she exclaimed, “There is just so much to see and experience!”
Allison is inspired by growing in her faith and studying Scripture. This has an impact on her whether she is alone or in a group. Allison also shared, “I try to attend events that focus on personal and leadership growth. I find it very inspiring and motivating when others share stories of how they have overcome adversity in their lives and what they have learned from their experiences.”
Eric said, “Her faith and involvement in leadership clubs and organizations within the community are a testament to her drive to become the best version of herself.”
Allison grew up on a farm near Redfield, South Dakota, and studied computer information systems at Dakota State University. She continues to live in Brookings with her son Zeke, cat Rascal, and dog Finley.
It is so evident how proud Allison is of her son Zeke. “…as a parent, there is nothing more important than your child. Seeing them through life’s storms, seeing them grow and evolve, there is nothing more rewarding,” she said. Zeke will graduate from high school in May 2020.
Allison said her lifetime goal is to live a life of purpose and make a positive impact on those around her. It is clear she is living this at Daktronics and beyond.
This article is by Jacqueline Wolles
in Employee Communications