DiRAD is its people – we firmly believe in building a company culture around our personnel and not the other way around. Our low turnover rate on employees is proof of that. This edition of the DiRAD Technologies Company Spotlight features DiRAD’s longest-running employee, President and COO Maria Massa. She didn’t start in that position when she joined the company nearly 3 decades ago but she has proven herself as a strong leader, with even stronger values.
What is your title and how long have you been at DiRAD?
I am DiRAD’s President/Chief Operating Officer. I’ve been with the company for 27 years, 4 months, and 13 days. But who’s counting?
What inspired you to get into your field?
I’d like to say it was my lifelong desire to enter the world of communications. But that’s not exactly the case. DiRAD was my first ‘real’ job after college. I was hired as a Sales Assistant and have held a few different positions since then, ranging from Technical Support Coordinator to Project Manager. Somewhere along the line, I discovered I really like performing business analysis and designing solutions to help our clients be more efficient and successful.
As far as being a business owner – Ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to own my own business. I grew up in my parents’ pizza parlor and thought it was so special they owned their own business. They worked very hard, long hours and we didn’t take many family vacations. But it was rewarding to have such a presence in our town and see familiar faces walk through the door and greet my parents like they were part of our family. I am truly grateful for the work ethic my parents instilled in me, and for the opportunities I was given at DiRAD.
What is your favorite piece of technology?
Hmm. Given the past year of unending Microsoft Teams/Zoom calls, I’ve become pretty close with my wireless headset.
What is your favorite thing to do?
I like to spend time with my family, cook, work out and go to the ocean.
What word would you use to describe the company culture at DiRAD?
I’ve thought about this question a lot. A few words come to mind but I’m going to go with ‘genuine.’ Not only does DiRAD genuinely care about its employees, but the employees genuinely care about each other. We have a great team of extremely hard-working very, very nice people. When someone asks how your vacation was or what your birthday plans are, they really want to know.
Tell us about home/family life –
I grew up in a small town in central New York where everybody knew my family. I went to a small school. Tiny! There were 22 kids in my graduating class up until 8th grade when we merged with a neighboring school and then I had a whopping 97 kids in my graduating class. After high school, I attended Binghamton University’s School of Management. I moved to Albany shortly after graduating and started working at DiRAD soon after that. I am married to my college sweetheart, and we have two fun and interesting kids who are into sports, music, dance, and hanging out with us on the beaches of Cape Cod.
What’s your favorite quote?
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite anything. Favorite song, favorite movie, favorite book. However, I’ve always liked the quote: ‘Well-behaved women seldom make history.’ And although I don’t think the beloved blue Muppet won a Pulitzer Prize for this one, it made me laugh: ‘Today me will live in the moment. Unless it is unpleasant. In which case me will eat a cookie.’