By Josh Rees
Julie Ray continues to make her Bell and Howell colleagues smile on a regular basis. She has been the company’s Payroll Manager since 2002.
Outside of the payroll department, you can often hear Julie Ray’s infectious laughter.
“I take pride in my team’s ability to make people feel good about receiving their paychecks,” said Ray, who is Bell and Howell’s Payroll Manager since 2002.
Payroll is a department that is often overlooked, but is essential for any company.
“We work hard because we love the work that we do, and the people we serve,” Ray added. “If the benefit of the task outweighs the burden, we make it happen.”
Ray has been working in payroll for 34 years, 15 of which has been with Bell and Howell.
“Payroll is such an interesting job,” she said. “You don’t get bored or tired of it and it gets in your blood.”
Ray spends many hours staring at a computer screen, causing her to have frequent debilitating migraines.
But one day, she unexpectedly found a solution that has made her migraines go away.
“I had a particularly intense migraine and didn’t think I’d be able to drive home,’ she said. “Our receptionist asked if she could help me by putting her hands on my head.”
The receptionist happened to be a Reiki Master (a Japanese healing technique used for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes physical and emotional well-being).
After five minutes of realigning her energies, Ray said the receptionist effectively cured her migraine. And as a result, she decided to learn how to become a Reiki Practitioner.
She added that there are two levels at the practitioner level and two of the master level. She is currently a licensed level-two practitioner.
“There are no powers involved, you’re just rearranging a person’s energy,” she said. “As you give it, you receive it too. My migraines have been gone for years now.”
Due to the nature of her job and the long hours, Ray relies on her family mantra to always migrate towards the laughter.
“My family has been through some really tragic events, so that is our survival motto,” she said. “The most positive energy you can release or receive is laughter.”
Outside of work, Ray enjoys destressing by making wreaths for people.
“It’s just so therapeutic,” she said. “I know who I’m making the wreaths for, so it makes me feel happy and think pleasant thoughts about the person that I’m making them for.”