I Am Clayton: Tech Manager Expresses Gratitude for Experiences

I am Clayton: Tech Manager Expresses Gratitude for Experiences Hero

Senior tech manager Stephanie Alexander looks at her 13 years of experience in working at Clayton simply with “an expression of gratitude.”

“I have never felt so supported, encouraged or wanted, and invested in, in any job that I’ve ever had before working here,” she says.

Since 2008, Stephanie has held a variety of key roles during her time as a team member at Clayton. Those different positions helped combine her passions for finance and technology while also building a team focused on strategic planning, budgeting, prioritization and forecasting technology solutions.

“And that put me over the edge, because I fell in love with technology, and then I really fell in love with leading people,” she says.

About 3 years ago, Stephanie moved to the home building division of Clayton, Clayton Home Building Group®, to support Clayton Properties Group®. She built a team, and now supports several parts of the company.

“And this is by far the most fun I have ever had at work,” she adds.

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Imagining the Possibilities

Stephanie, who began her career in social work and psychology before joining Clayton, wants others to see her journey is proof you don’t need a traditional education in a specific area to excel in a career that interests you. Within technology and development, she saw a need for skills like problem solving, project management and organization.

“It’s really just an attitude of seeking to understand, and any intimidation I felt about needing to be super technical kind of faded away,” she says, crediting Clayton’s character as a company, as well as its willingness to teach and explain.

Her career began to evolve once she saw what was possible for her. “All of those things that I thought before and those boundaries that I put on myself were 100% self-imposed, and Clayton has provided me with an environment to ask, ‘Why not?’ And that allowed me to think about my career in a way I hadn’t before,” Stephanie says.


A Passion for Development

Because of her experiences, it’s easy for Stephanie to pinpoint what has made Clayton such a great fit for her.

“My favorite, favorite thing about Clayton and working at Clayton is that I don’t feel like I ever have to sacrifice development, or diversity in my career or diversity in my skill set, for what I get to do,” she says.

The mentorship and professional development Stephanie has received from various team members is something she now strives to give back to others. With her own team, she’s focused on career development and goal setting, while creating a safe space for her employees to explore what they’re interested in, especially if they don’t have a tech background.

She says because she’s looked beyond the boxes she originally put herself in when it came to her career, it’s easy and fun to help others do the same.

“There are these people that I’ve met that I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” Stephanie says, adding she’s met her best friend while at Clayton, and has been in team members’ weddings.

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Giving Back to the Community

In her time at Clayton, Stephanie has also given back through a variety of programs. This includes Clayton Impact™, a companywide program that offers team members paid time off to volunteer. Stephanie and her team have used some of their time to paint a mural at Muse Knoxville, a local children’s museum for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Employees also recently used their volunteer time to help build a home for a local woman in need through Habitat for Humanity.

Through Tech For Good, which provides tech team members with opportunities to support the community and local organizations, Stephanie also participates each year in Coury Cuddles. This event collects stuffed animals for patients at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, in honor of late Clayton team member Mike Coury.

“I am just so proud that our organization gives me so many opportunities to talk about cool stuff that we do,” she says. “And the goal, and I truly believe it, is to leave the world a better place than we found it.”

Within Clayton, Stephanie is also co-chair of the Boundless women’s team member resource group. Boundless is a company-wide diversity and inclusion program, focusing on four main areas:

  • Awareness and engagement
  • Personal and career development
  • Education and recruitment
  • Team member resource groups and community outreach

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What’s Most Important to Her

Outside of the office, there’s a big reason why Stephanie does everything she does: “My family are my favorite people.”

She loves relaxing and spending time with her husband of 9 years, Daniel, and their 5-year-old daughter, Charlotte. And that includes playing with their two dogs, Rooster and Tank.

Stephanie’s work-life balance is important to her, and she says Clayton has given her a place to prioritize that.

“I’ve never felt like I had to choose my family or my job. And I think a lot of times there are some tropes that we do have to choose between being a mother and being a business lady, and I don’t experience any of that.”

As Stephanie reflects on her own career experiences so far and imagines a future where her daughter is both challenged and encouraged, she adds, “I hope for Charlotte that she will do something that makes her feel energized.”

“My career is part of my personality, and I don’t feel sorry for that. I think being good at my job and loving my job makes me a better mother, makes me a better partner — it makes me better at my job. And I hope she finds something that puts fire in her belly, too.”

For Stephanie, it’s seeing her own passion and drive reflected in Clayton’s growth over time that brings her back to those feelings of gratitude. Clayton, she says, is building homes differently than they have ever been built before, and never losing its foundation of community and family. That makes it a wonderful time to be part of the company.

“I don’t know that another place could feel like home, and I really like that.”

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