Celebrating a Decade of Work — Employee Perspectives: Natalie Shotts
Better Markets is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. To mark the event, Better Markets is publishing a series of blog posts profiling members of its staff and highlighting the work they do as lawyers, regulatory and legislative specialists, researchers, administrators, and fundraisers as they fight for the economic security, opportunity and prosperity of all Americans, particularly those who are disenfranchised.
Spotlight: Natalie Shotts, Director of Administration and Human Resources
Background: Natalie joined Better Markets nearly three years ago, bringing with her more than 15 years of experience in executive administration and office management. As Director of Administration and Human Resources, Natalie maintains all office needs; handles accounting activities and manages human resources functions. Overall, she ensures that the daily operations of Better Markets run smoothly and effectively — a challenging task during a pandemic with staff working remotely but one she has successfully managed. In addition, Natalie is a skilled graphic designer who is responsible for the design and layout of Better Markets’ white papers, special reports, annual reports and other visual pieces.
Prior to joining Better Markets, Natalie worked with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating the life-ending effects of mesothelioma, where she was responsible for recruiting, accounts payable and overseeing the nonprofit’s research grant program.
You wear more than one hat at Better Markets. What’s it like to be the HR director, designer and “resident techy?”
I like being the “behind the scenes” person who keeps everything running. Yet, I’m also a people person and a problem solver. I’ve been told by friends and colleagues that I could be dropped into any situation and would immediately take steps to make sure everyone is taken care of and that they get from point a to point b with the least amount of pain and the most fun as possible.
I also don’t like complacency and repetition so it’s a nice break to drop my HR/accountant hat and put on my creative one and design our reports. Since I joined Better Markets, I have designed the majority of our reports as well as our recent 10-year anniversary report, among other visual pieces. I also create the various images used with our social platforms and emails.
Our area is quite wonky, so I do my best to create documents that catch the eye but are also designed in such a way that makes it easier for everyone to understand the important work that we do every day. And being the resident techy — I think because I grew up at a time when home computers were flourishing in the 90s — I have always been interested in keeping up with the times and understanding technology and how it works.
You mentioned that the work Better Markets does is quite wonky. What interested you in working for an organization that focuses on financial reform?
Everyone who has a credit card, bank account, mortgage account or bank loan should care about the work we do. I know several families who took a huge financial hit during the 2008 crash. You can read the fine print all you want, but in some cases, it’s buried or you’re just taken advantage of by those who are financial predators. Consumers often really don’t know what they signed up for, and Better Markets is here to make sure the bad guys don’t take advantage of every illegal or questionable opportunity they can find.
What has made Better Markets so successful over the years?
I would whole-heartedly say our people. Outside of its mission, what drew me to Better Markets was the staff. I come from Chicago and the work culture there is so much different than what it is here in D.C. — here it is sink or swim.
Better Markets is the first organization I came across in D.C. that has a similar work culture and work ethic that I am used to. It’s a hard-working, collegial environment. The staff embodies teamwork, integrity, honesty and transparency — all qualities that we hold Wall Street and the financial regulators to each day. We all wear multiple hats and just about every project has in some way, shape or form been touched and finessed by more than one staff member. We always come together as a team.