Over 25 Years at Attainment: Interview with Theresa O'Connor
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Theresa O'Connor, Administrative Supervisor

We want to help you get to know some of the people that make Attainment great, so we’ll be offering occasional behind-the-scenes posts.  If you want to see passionate, engaged professionals, look no further than Attainment! Theresa O’Connor is our Administrative Supervisor, and she has been with us for over 25 years. The whole Attainment team relies on her in so many ways!

What brought you to Attainment initially?
I was married in July of 1988 and was working for a large insurance company in Madison, Wisconsin. I was looking for a small company closer to home. In February of 1989 I saw an ad in a local paper and applied. I started in March of 1989. At that time, I had no idea what Attainment Company did and was a little leery of working for a company I didn’t know anything about.  

What was Attainment like when you first started?
It was very small – I was the 7th employee hired to basically just answer phones, enter orders and apply payments. We worked out of a very small building that 2 companies shared. The office staff all worked in one small room.

What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed over the years?
When I first started we wrote everything down on paper – the orders, catalog requests, phone messages. We printed out carbon invoices on a dot matrix printer. The development of the internet and email has sure changed how a company runs. Also, our product catalog has more than doubled in size, as has our customer base.  

What has stayed the same?
The people – I am working with the same staff that I started with. Attainment Company has always been family-oriented. 

Is there a particular aspect of Attainment’s mission that resonates with you, and why?
Attainment Company produces products for children and adults with a wide range of significant disabilities. It is absolutely amazing to see these products in use and to know how they are helping these individuals live and be independent.

How would you describe the Attainment team?  What motivates them?
Our products have needed to change with the times (software, apps, AAC devices, etc.) so our staff has needed to adapt to change too. I would say the Attainment team is highly adaptable and the success of our products motivates us. We continue to develop more products and strive for the highest quality of curriculum and special education resources.

What is your favorite thing about living in the Madison/Verona area?
I grew up in Verona and at that time, it had a small-town atmosphere, but it was close enough to Madison to shop and go to restaurants or movies. I currently live in New Glarus, Wisconsin, which is even much smaller than Verona. Both my husband and I grew up in small towns and we love the small town atmosphere. It’s nice to be able to walk from one end of town to the other, admiring the beauty and taking time to say hello and talk for a moment when you run into people. 

Is there something special on your work desk you could tell us about? 
On my office door I printed out a couple of pictures and stories from customers who purchased product from us and really appreciated the help I gave them. I love to see their success stories.

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