Staff Spotlight: Justin Stovall

2018 Recipient of The Chairperson’s Award for Excellence in Management

By Shawn Deiter

Justin StovallOne person on LVCC’s staff can truly say that LVCC has been a part of his entire life. Justin Stovall, IT manager, began his career with LVCC back in 2004, but his personal experience with the organization began much earlier. Justin’s mother enrolled him as an infant in the childcare program at LVCC’s Judith Chase Early Learning Center, where she taught, and later became assistant center director.

“LVCC complemented the values we learned at home, the basic rules of thumb—respect, responsibility, integrity, knowledge, tolerance for what’s different to one and customary to another. I can say that this still holds true to this day as an adult,” Justin said.

Along with the strong educational foundation Justin received from LVCC, a number of family role models who chose a life of service influenced his outlook on life. His mother served as a teacher, a music minister, a choir director, and a troop leader. The N.A.A.C.P. of Allentown voted Justin’s father “Man of the Year” in 1987, mainly for his revered work in the community as a church founder, pastor, and a teacher. Justin’s sister worked as a medical technician, a nurse, and—following in her parents’ footsteps— a teacher.

Justin’s children now receive the same lessons on values. And they serve as his biggest inspiration.

“If there is anyone that I’d most like to be, it’s my kids,” Justin said. “I love their minds and especially their wonderful outlook on the future, their excitement to go all-in with their dreams.”

As IT manager, Justin’s responsibilities include the management of LVCC’s network infrastructure—a large nonprofit umbrella encompassing 30 locations, an administrative office, and roughly 200 employees. Justin offers side support on the computer systems and devices that staff and children use daily at LVCC. His professional dedication and passion for providing outstanding support to his coworkers is what earned him the LVCC 2018 Chairperson’s Award for Excellence in Management.

“He has been a major part of improving LVCC’s technology throughout the years,” said Karen Kemmerer, LVCC CFO and VP, Finance and Justin’s direct supervisor. “No matter what the problem or issue, he gives 110 percent until the project is complete. We are very fortunate to have him on our team.”

Just as he safeguards LVCC’s devices and equipment, Justin is equally mindful of his interactions with his coworkers. His jovial personality shone through during the following Q & A session.

Q: What’s one thing you couldn’t live without at work?

A: Windows updates have been serving IT people with job security for decades and counting. Keep ‘em coming Microsoft! Seriously, I need to interact with people, even for a few seconds a day to exchange pleasantries or a smile in their direction. It’s that opportunity to share a smile with someone and just be kind that I don’t think I’d be able to live without at work.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?

A: The cloak of invisibility. Before anyone speculates, I am not a fan of Harry Potter. I just like the cloak. The possibilities would be endless with that piece of hardware under my grasp—nothing sinister, just some very light-hearted fun at the expense of others. Please excuse me. I’m just having some fun with this question.

Q: What three traits define you?

A: I stay humble. I never enter a situation thinking it’s beneath my level or claiming to know everything. IT provides a different lesson every single day.
I stay approachable. I never want to give the impression that anyone is out of line in asking me for help on issues; I try to show kindness and respect.
I stay professional. IT provides challenges that sometimes can’t be met in the time I expect to have them resolved, and that alone can wear on emotions, but I will never take my emotions out on anyone else. I work to maintain professional demeanor and work toward the solution as quickly as possible.

Q: What is your personal philosophy?

A: Continue being a student. Never get too cocky. I’ve found that there’s always something that will humble you. I strive to work safe, work smart, and give as much focus as possible—concentrate on the hammer hitting the nail. Lastly, to work until the work is done to everyone’s satisfaction.

Q: What does true leadership mean to you?

A: I once read a Forbes article by Amy Anderson that touched on this, and loved it so much that I wish to share in a paraphrase:

‘True leaders know who they are and what they stand for. They know their values, and stay true to them regardless of the circumstances faced. They’re committed. They listen without being condescending and are willing to hear what others have to say without rushing them or rendering judgment. True leadership and/or leaders display patience and a desire to understand thoughts and feelings of the people they lead.’

Q: How do you define success?

A: The idea of success can be thought of easily by physical accolades like recognitions, awards, and promotions, but it’s also longevity in a business that has tremendous outreach and growth or when others value your input. I personally value when I have made a lasting, good impression with my co-workers, and leave them with a smile. Success is seeing the positive impact made by the things we do in whatever capacity, up front or behind the scenes. Every one of us counts and, as long as we all feel that we had a hand in this together, that’s a huge success.