MilliporeSigma Employee Spotlight: Annie Mayrose
As part of our employee spotlight series, we’re sitting down with Annie Mayrose, business partner, sustainability & social business innovation, employee and community engagement at MilliporeSigma, to learn more about how she’s driving positive social change.
1. How did you get your start with MilliporeSigma?
I was working at a community development organization that focused on urban agriculture and community gardening, and helped to facilitate multiple MilliporeSigma events to coincide with the 2016 launch of its global, skills-based SPARK™ volunteer program. Meanwhile, my interest and excitement in corporate social responsibility was growing as a way to make a deeper impact. When I went back to school to get my master’s degree in social work, I continued to stay connected with some of the fabulous employees I met. A few years later, I saw the perfect local opportunity that combined my love for community service and philanthropy, and joined MilliporeSigma’s Corporate Responsibility team in June 2019.
2. Tell us about your background (where you grew up, went to school, your family, etc.)
I grew up outside of St. Louis and was lucky to live near a massive park. I spent much of my time outside and in the woods. My mom was a middle school health teacher and my father was an electrician. My parents accomplished their goal of bringing my sister and me to all 48 continental states by the time we graduated high school. I think the countless hours spent camping, riding in the back of an old Suburban, being under the stars, and gazing at prairies, mountains and bustling city centers definitely helped me appreciate what you can learn from different cultures, people and places.
I was very active in the community and some of my early jobs included changing oil ‘in the pit’ at Valvoline Instant Oil Change, hiking and recording plant inventories for a U.S. Forest Service study, and working in a blown glass studio. I received a Bachelor of Science in forestry, Bachelor of Arts in painting, and a Spanish minor from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I have a master’s degree in social work, and a specialization in social entrepreneurship from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining MilliporeSigma, I spent my professional career in the nonprofit space, leading program development, volunteer management and fundraising efforts.
3. Explain your role at MilliporeSigma.
In my role, I work to advance employee engagement through MilliporeSigma’s global philanthropic investments, nonprofit partnerships and skills-based SPARK™ volunteer program™. I love my position because I can apply social work values to benefit community health and education on a global scale.
4. Tell us more about how MilliporeSigma is ensuring equitable access to communities globally.
MilliporeSigma is committed to accelerating access to health for people everywhere, while sparking curiosity in the next generation of scientists and paving the road to a future filled with innovative breakthroughs. We accomplish this through partnerships in the areas of scientific research and science education around the world, and through robust employee engagement programs. These initiatives are modeled on the principles of inclusion and equity. We focus on underrepresented populations in science, including people of color and women. We model this behavior as diverse leaders and volunteers work directly with students in their own communities. We want to inspire young students by showing them that scientists all over the world, who look just like them, are working to create a better tomorrow.
5. What is most rewarding about your job; what makes it all worthwhile?
I’m dedicated to creating positive social change, and passionate about enhancing access to resources and opportunities so individuals, families and communities can thrive. A child’s zip code should not dictate their future. I’m grateful to work for a company that mirrors my values and is authentic in its commitment to improving outcomes in health and education. It’s rewarding to partner with diverse stakeholders to problem-solve and create meaningful experiences in science education to meet students where they are. I have never worked for a global corporation before, and I cherish meeting new people and collaborating across countries and cultures. My amazing team spans multiple languages and continents, and includes subject matter experts in sustainability, green chemistry, recycling and more!
6. How do you engage and excite employees for the SPARK™ volunteer program?
We harness the diverse, dynamic talents and expertise of our employees, allowing them to give back to the communities in which they live and work. We turn our global passion for science into action via our Curiosity Labs™ and Curiosity LabsTM at Home programs, our Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab, and our signature science education programs that bring hands-on, interactive science lessons to students around the world. There is something for everyone! Employees can also get involved through events like meal-packing, site tours, career panels and science expos, and create their own unique events to match their personal interests while meeting their communities’ needs. I love tying these volunteer experiences to our signature and localized partner organizations, so the accomplishments and relationship can build.
7. What is one thing that few people know about you?
I spent three days backpacking to reach one of the seven wonders of the world: Machu Picchu in Peru. Along the way, I almost got knocked down the mountain by an alpaca stampede — it was a very narrow, steep trail.
8. How are you impacting your community outside of the office?
As a mom, I’m doing the best I can to raise my daughters with strong community values, a desire to leave things better than they found them, resiliency, and a good sense of humor. I support social justice, healthy living and youth development through service on the South City Family YMCA Board of Directors. I’m a board member of STEMpact, and work to address the inequalities in the STEM pipeline by equipping educators and school districts with critical tools, training and knowledge. I’m also a contributor to the Professional Advisory Committee for the Management Specialization in Social Work at Washington University. I was active with the St. Louis Alliance for Reentry,United Way, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Honduras.
9. If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
It would be my personal hero, Dr. Brené Brown. She has an extraordinary ability to translate complex scientific knowledge and research to our most raw human concepts and emotions: vulnerability, shame, courage and empathy. I love how her work helps us all dare to grow and evolve ‘wholeheartedly.’
10. What’s your top remote working tip?
I’ve successfully worked remotely in a previous role, but quickly learned 2020 was going to be very different with multiple people working in the same space, while balancing homeschooling and additional life stressors. To stay focused and efficient, my most important tip is to prioritize each day. I make sure the critical items and deadlines are taken care of, while also taking small steps toward the bigger vision. And, I use LOTS of post-it notes.