Merissa Armstrong - Regional Manager

Published on : 5/3/24
  • Persistence, resilience, and an openness to trying new things have characterised Merissa Armstrong’s career journey with Sodexo over the years. Beginning her career as a FIFO Housekeeping Supervisor in the Western Australian Greater Brockman Area region to her current role as Regional Manager, living locally in Tom Price with her wife and family, Merissa's path is a testament to her willingness to embrace new challenges and lifestyle changes.

    For the most part, Merissa’s exponential progression can be attributed to her cool, calm, and collected demeanour with friends and peers. On a professional level, it’s her passion to learn and support her team that has made all the difference. 

    Joining Sodexo in 2016, she quickly became known for her team spirit and can-do attitude. Growing in her career meant growing her responsibilities to managing payrolls and coordinating rosters across six sites. Her passion for administration and exposure to leadership inspired her to pursue further growth within the company.

    “I thrived in admin work, especially when working Fly-In, Fly-Out (FIFO) at the same time—it kept me busy, which I loved,” she said. 

    “I was also exposed to Sodexo’s leadership team and the variety of projects we do, which inspired my drive for growth and career progression.” 

    Merissa was so motivated that she quickly outgrew the position and asked her manager for a new challenge. 

    “I not only wanted to upskill but also show my adaptability. I had learned a lot at Sodexo and was eager to put these new skills into practice, so it was rewarding to progress to Assistant Manager and, later, Regional Manager.” 

    Big decisions

    Merissa-profile-pictureAs someone who loves a challenge, Merissa decided to take a break to start a family, a big decision for her at that stage of her career but one she was excited for.

    “Taking time out for parental leave when you are kicking some serious career goals is challenging, but I didn’t have any doubts that Sodexo would support me in this decision,” she said. 

    “As well as considering the implications for my career, I also prepared myself for stigma surrounding same sex families. But with Sodexo’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion frameworks, networks, and support, it was a non-issue.”  

    A few months before going on parental leave, Merissa and her wife made the leap to move to Tom Price to simplify their FlFO rosters and embed themselves in a community that Merissa affectionately describes as ‘a kind of retirement village’. 

    “Everyone knows everyone here. The pace compared to Perth is relaxed, and as a family we have been able to adjust at our own pace with the support of a close-knit community,” she said. 

    “Even though I love to be busy, I did feel it was important to dedicate time to my new family but also my new home—to show up and make connections. 

    “I joined a wonderful childcare support network and accessed Sodexo’s Grace Papers online sessions, which has made the transition to full-time work that much easier.” 

    Connections make the world go round

    After an 11-month hiatus, Merissa returned to Sodexo as Regional Manager—and has been thriving ever since. In a ‘full circle’ moment, she now oversees the site and neighbouring villages where she started her Sodexo journey. 

    Reflecting on her progression, she believes ‘the next step in your career is entirely up to you’. 

    “I always say to my team ‘go ask for it’—there is so much opportunity here at Sodexo,” Merissa said. 

    An advocate for mentorship and employee development, Merissa is dedicated helping create development plans for her team, emphasising the importance of seizing opportunities and putting yourself in the driver’s seat. 

    "I've always had amazing mentors at Sodexo. I want to make sure that I pay it forward and create ‘success’ plans—There's nothing better than seeing your team achieve great things in the work they do, and for Sodexo," she says. 

    As a people manager, Merissa hopes to give her team the support, resources, and opportunities to realise their career aspirations.

    “We are a business that covers so many different lines of work—everything from hospitality to cleaning, but no matter what line of work, I want to help others develop in an area that they are passionate about. 

    “You will be surprised by the rewards that come when you know your goals, show up, and put in 110% on the job,” she said.

    Merissa's story with Sodexo is more than just a career; it's about making meaningful connections, embracing challenges, and contributing to a supportive and inclusive work environment. As she continues to meet her own personal and professional aspirations, Merissa's journey inspires others to pursue theirs. 

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