For over 20 years, Sean Dameron’s professional career has been in banking. He’s managed operations for debit cards, cash, loans and quality control. But his current bank job is with a different kind of bank, an eye bank.
“This job and I found each other,” says Sean, who is the SVP of Administration at Advancing Sight Network, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring eyesight through cornea transplants and ocular research.
Leveraging his deep expertise working in the highly-regulated financial services sector, requiring scrupulous details, audit tracking and reliable results, he found a great synergy at Advancing Sight Network. The Birmingham, Alabama based eye bank network has joined forces with three other regional eye banks since he joined in 2019, as part of its strategy to provide better, broader care and be “better stewards of the gift” of donor corneas.
“Understanding the life-changing impact of the work we do, is a privilege.”
With the addition of each new eye bank, comes a new level of management complexity under Sean’s purview: from building and auto maintenance, to accounting, finance and all of the people operations. Sean works to ensure smooth onboarding, payroll and development as well as a connected, empathetic culture to better serve their clients.
Add to that, managing the rapid impact of the pandemic, which almost shut down the organization’s operations since cornea transplants are considered elective surgery. With the help of a PPP loan, when they did re-open, Sean helped the organization quickly accommodate remote work for its staff and ensured a safe work environment and practices for its teams.
Sean recognized the need for technology to help ensure reliable people operations that they could grow with and leverage for more resiliency as change happens. His first priority: getting a Payroll system that worked with their specific needs.
The organization, which operates in a model where literally every second counts, in a healthcare environment fraught with stops and starts, could not afford more change fatigue from its systems.
Zenefits is a good foundation for advancing our culture and our people to deliver even more to the global communities we serve.
Advancing Sight Network
Advancing Sight Network chose Zenefits People Ops Platform for robust, easy to use management for HR, onboarding, benefits and payroll management — from anywhere its people were. In 2022 that will be about 100 people in 8 offices across four states.
A Team Bridging Death to Life
The team at Advancing Sight Network is a fascinating combination of very special and specialized roles.
First are the call center representatives whose role is to contact potential donor families within an hour or so of the death of their loved one to screen for suitability, obtain authorization, and arrange for recovery of the eye tissue. “We deal with death every day, but never lose sight of the tremendous gift from our donors, their families, and our responsibility to honor and protect that gift,” says Sean.”This role requires extraordinary empathy and is often filled by nurses. I’ve heard our team members console and cry along with the donor’s families.”
Next are the recovery technicians. They work around the clock to perform the surgical recovery of the eye tissue to be used in transplants, research and education. The highly-skilled technicians wear many hats and are also responsible for reviewing donor medical charts, packaging the tissue, and communicating with hospital and medical personnel.
The organization also has a distribution team with highly specialized medical and logistics skills as well as extraordinary timing. Donated corneas have no “shelf life” so every minute matters. Advancing Sight Network has offices in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana, and they coordinate transport of tissue to corneal surgeons worldwide, across 49 states and as far as Greece, Egypt and China.
Advancing Sight Network is also piloting inspiring innovation as stewards of the gift of vision. The organization’s Chief Scientific Officer is heading efforts to preserve all parts of the eye which will aid medical researchers as they seek to find new cures and treatments for blinding eye diseases. Other research includes exploring biological printing.
Caring for the Team
This level of professional acumen is crucial to find, retain and grow. Although Sean says that their organization has very little turnover, he’s working to ensure he reinforces the team with competitive pay and benefits. The self service functionality of Zenefits makes it easier on him and for the growing team to make benefits selections and changes in their benefits information and track their pay stubs themselves.
“We started with payroll and time tracking in Zenefits,” says Sean. “As we grow, and have remote and in-office staff, the org chart in Zenefits is a great tool for all of us to understand and connect across the organization. This is a good foundation, in turn, for building out our onboarding experience and advancing our culture and our people’s development to deliver even more to the global communities we serve.”
On behalf of everyone at Zenefits, we’re honored to play a small part in supporting the Advancing Sight Network team that works to bridge the death of one person and provide hope and a new lease on life for another, every day.