While some people are stuck delivering coffee for overbearing bosses their first years out of college, Alison Stultz was delivering giant cheques to lottery winners.
Today, Stultz is the vice president of people development at Atlantic Lottery Corporation, which conducts and manages lottery games in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. She started working for the corporation as a summer student before landing an entry-level position in public affairs once she graduated.
Employee retention rate
Participation rate in new wellness program
Score achieved in the newly initiated Employee Experience Index
Despite the fact it was an entry-level position, Stultz wasn’t stuck with menial tasks—in fact she found her role to be intensely rewarding. “The winner’s relations was part of my role and I had the chance to meet winners and present them with cheques,” says Stultz. “That was probably the best job I ever had.”
During her tenure at the corporation, Stultz has worked in a variety of departments. “I was in public affairs for 10 years,” says Stultz. “And throughout the time I was there I worked my way up to department manager. I kind of worked my way through the communications field.”
Eventually, because of some company restructuring, Stultz was able to transition into marketing. “We brought a bit more of the marketing pieces into communications for a period of time,” Stultz says. “I kept the same portfolio though.”
Once she officially moved over from public affairs to marketing, Stultz got to work more directly with the products the company was developing. “I worked on product development and launching those products into market,” says Stultz. “The other role I had was category manager for the corporate brand.”
It was during her time in marketing that Stultz got to play a significant part in rebranding the company. She discussed with the then vice president of marketing (now the CEO) about how the corporate brand had stagnated.
“It hadn’t evolved to meet the changing needs of the marketplace,” says Stultz. “So we embarked on a rebranding exercise.” Having studied marketing as a student, Stultz was thrilled by the prospect. “It was neat to be owning a large brand and having to revamp it,” says Stultz. “It was a company I’d worked with for more than 13 years, knew the company well, and then to be able to put my schooling to practice and turn it around and market it was really exciting.”
The rebranding initiative involved much more than just advertising and a new logo. “We did a lot of work internally with employees and also externally with our players,” says Stultz. “We also had an agency that worked with us on the file to help with the creative and the brand positioning.”
Getting people to believe in the company was a passion project for Stulz, because the company she works for is one she really believes in. “At the core of what we did was we wanted to ensure that we were living our brand from the inside out and being authentic to who we were as a company,” says Stultz. “And what came out of that is we landed our vision as a company: Making Atlantic Canada a better place.”
That idea has gone from a vision to a motto and Stultz says it remains strong in the company’s culture seven years later. “People come to work every day, they give their very best effort, and they have a lot of pride in what they do,” she says. “That’s one of the things that resonates with our employees in that they know what they do makes our region a better place.”
In 2015, Atlantic launched a renewed vision, mission, and operating principles within the organization. “It really connected with employees,” says Stultz. “They can see how the work they do ties to improving the region.”
Stultz also appreciates being able to see how the work she does makes a difference in her community. “I was born in Atlantic Canada,” she says. “I took my education here and now work here, so the region is important to me. Working in a company that has integrity and responsibility as its core values is really rewarding to me.”
Stultz’s work on the rebranding project helped prepare her for her eventual move into people development by allowing her to discuss the company with her fellow employees. “We did a lot of interviews with employees,” Stultz says. “We held focus groups and workshops and talked to people—new employees and employees who’ve been here a long time—to identify what they loved about the company. What would improve their work experience? And that really helped us evolve the culture and bring back the fun. As after all, we are in the gaming business.”
Despite the many rewards of her job, Stultz maintains the best part is still when she gets to meet a winner. “The music will come on in the halls when we have a large winner coming in to collect their prize, so you can go down and be part of the celebration,” says Stultz. “The day I stop having goose bumps when I meet a winner will probably be the day I should stop working.”