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April 2021

“Once a Miller, Always a Miller”

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“Once a Miller, Always a Miller…” Maybe you’ve heard James repeat this phrase before, but have you ever stopped to consider what this phrase actually means?  If so, please read on.  

 James’ dad was a great man. He spent his entire professional career working for Eastman Kodak Company. He started work in the mail room while studying for his bachelor’s degree at the University of Rochester– when James and his four brothers were young, his mom took the kids out of the house every Sunday so Poppa could study and complete his coursework and earn his degree, and that’s just what he did for more than thirty-five years until he reached retirement.  

I have often wondered why Poppa and so many others in the baby boomer generation decided one workplace is more than enough.  As a consultant, this is the opposite of what we know– the need for change, moving from company to company, these things require us to sharpen our skills often and with purpose and intent. Some argue working for a larger global company provides a similar environment of change– if you have an opportunity to move across departments within the organization. So, why would someone choose just one company . . . for life? We’ve have given this some serious thought and research, here is what we found: 

  • You believe you are part of something special:  culture, team, environment. 
  • You believe in what you are doing, and it has purpose and meaning. 
  • Your work is recognized and appreciated.  
  • You have a mentor who encourages you positively and professionally. 
  • You have trust in the business and the leadership.  
  • You are emotionally invested – and genuinely care about the company.  
  • You believe you are treated fairly.  

 When you consider about one-third or 30 percent of human life is spent working, this discussion becomes even more important. If you think about it further, this list represents what so many of us are seeking in our own personal lives, in our relationships with those we care about and yes, with the company we work for. At Miller & Associates, we are deeply invested in all seven reasons above. These reasons guide our decision making. We love creating a company that truly reflects the personal values that are important to so many of us.  

 Don’t just take our word for it, you can see it in the real lives of people who work here. Most M&A consultants come to us as strangers. It starts with a resume, a connection and a candidate selection.  As time goes on, a true relationship begins to form and you realize you don’t have to feel like a number. After a while, M&A consultants feel connected and while project work can come and even go–the relationship continues.  

 We see the relationship develop over time as consultants move from project to project or from one customer site to another. M&A consultants have become our customers and even our customers have become M&A consultants.  “Once a Miller, Always a Miller” defines who we are as a company.  We are people, drawn together through relationship, trust and shared values. No matter where you end up in the world, once a Miller you will always be a Miller, whether you’re a consultant, customer, referral, reference and friend. We’re so glad you’re here! 


Employees and Clients First: a conversation with Cheryl Derue, Principle Consultant, Miller & Associates

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written by: Lauren O’Dell
Over the last ten years, it’s no secret that Miller & Associates has established itself as a company that focuses not only on the bigger picture, but they will cater to their employees and clients first. One of their employees, Cheryl Derue, has been with M&A for six years and considers herself lucky to have found this company. I was fortunate enough to ask her a few questions about her experience with M&A in light of the anniversary, and this is what she said:
LO: What brought you to Miller & Associates?
CD: Growing up in the Buffalo area (Niagara Falls to be exact), most of my background was in people and operations management for many years. I had worked fora Financial Technology company as an implementation manager, and I found that I loved it! [So much so], I continued on with the people and operations management for another 6 years! I had my fill finally and felt that I was not doing what I wanted to do. So, I started my job search, and a colleague introduced me to James. I was extremely impressed with his quick response and ability to match my skillset with a consulting opportunity he had with a large supplier of medical imaging equipment headquartered in Rochester. I have been an employee of M&A almost six years now, and I could not be happier.
LO: What is your favorite part about being a member of the M&A family?
CD: They truly care about their employees. We have regular get togethers, if you need anything, you call them. They get back to you immediately if you have a question, or an issue, they are always willing to go the extra mile to help! M&A offers amazing benefits, and are active in many great causes within the Rochester area. It is amazing to see them on the TOP 100 list again this year! Often times, our customer has approached me with an offer to come on as a full-time employee, and I cannot give myself a good enough reason to do so! I want to stay with M&A as long as I can. I have a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude to them!
LO: What are 3 words to describe Miller & Associates and explain why you chose those specific words.
CD: We are Partners. M&A is a small boutique consulting company, for this reason I receive personal attention. This allows us to be able to share personal parts of our life. James and Judy came to my wedding, and they know my children, my husband, my father. This is very important nowadays when it is hard to juggle work life balance. They [always encourage their employees] to become an active part of Miller and Associates and they give back to the community as well! We are more of a team, than anything else. Dedicated they are dedicated to finding the right people for the right job. They truly care about their employees and what is best for them. They keep in touch and regularly call to check in. They are also dedicated in ensuring their customers are satisfied and maintain a great rapport with all of them!
Recognition often times in larger companies, your anniversary dates sneak by, with no call out. James and Judy always try their best to call the team out when they reach milestones. Whether it be a lunch, a phone call, a text or email. They go above and beyond for all of us.
Cheryl is one of the many hard-working, wonderful employees who continue to bring inspiration and purpose to Miller & Associates–we are looking forward to many more memories and accomplishments in the next ten years.