October 4, 2022

One of the Best Places to Work in New Hampshire: Our Interview With Deb Clark, VP of Sales & Ops

Is Chameleon Group one of the best places to work in New Hampshire? We’d like to think so! Our passionate team strives for an unbeatable, employee-centric culture. We understand that to get the best talent, it’s up to us to create the best workplace.

That’s why we channel our efforts into being a Recovery Friendly Workplace and offering mental health support and resources. We provide hardworking people with the opportunities they deserve, second chances, and room for growth. 

We sat down for a chat with Deb Clark, Vice President of Sales and Operations, here at our Dover headquarters to give you a peek behind the curtain. She shared her journey and why she believes in this company and team—and why she feels it truly is one of the best places to work in New Hampshire.

A Bit About Deb & Her Start With Chameleon

Deb Clark and our founder, Dana Lariviere, met well before Chameleon was born. After graduating from college, Deb started her career with Cabletron Systems, a well-known New Hampshire tech company during the 1980s and 1990s. There, Dana was her boss for a few years.

As Deb moved on to other jobs in the tech field, she stayed in touch with Dana. He later hired her at Aprisma, a Cabletron spinoff, where they worked together for several years. Eventually, Dana launched Chameleon, and a few years later, he asked (more like lovingly demanded) that Deb join him here.

“It’s been many years of collaboration with him in different settings. And it’s been a pleasure!” Deb says of her working history with Dana.

Deb is a Granite State native from Marlborough, a small, blue-collar town outside Keene. She has been married for 29 years and resides in Stratham with her husband and two adult children. While she loves her fast-paced company and job, Deb explained that she enjoys taking it slow outside work. 

“So the opposite of how I run Monday through Friday,” she explains. “At this point in my life, I like to seek out the quiet, casual slowness.” 

It’s no wonder, then, that she enjoys reading, spending hours in the backyard with friends sharing cocktails and stories, and being with family in her free time.

A Chameleon Career Journey

Deb joined the Chameleon Group in 2007. Early on, she and Dana discussed her career, her goal of becoming a manager, and what that would look like.

A woman working at one of the best places to work in new hampshire

“There’s no better way to figure out what that entails than by doing the job itself!” Deb says. Like many other Chameleon team members, Deb started on the phone, splitting her time between that and being a sales trainer. She worked her way up until she obtained her current role as VP of Sales and Operations.

“It’s been an interesting journey. I’ve learned so much. I hadn’t really managed people before—outside of my head, anyway!” Deb says with a laugh.

Eager to learn, Deb scheduled weekly meetings with Dana. She used the time to ask questions and get advice, learning from him a little at a time.

“Dana was really good about not giving all the answers but allowing you to come to a conclusion on your own, which has been a great tool for me and something I’ve learned to do with others,” Deb explains. “Sometimes people don’t realize they have the answer until you prompt them in the right direction.”

Another special aspect of Chameleon Group? It’s one of the best places to work with no experience! Many start their careers here fresh out of college or even high school. 

“It’s fun to take them on the journey as long as they’re an active participant in it!” Deb says of coaching new employees.

Why is Chameleon One of the Best Places to Work in New Hampshire?

“I like that people view this as a safe place to be,” Deb answers without hesitation. “Not just a job, but a safe place to be surrounded by people who care about them; people who are supportive yet hold them accountable.”

Deb emphasizes that Chameleon’s warm, welcoming environment makes it one of the best places to work in New Hampshire. She counts Dana and the management team among her friends. Their wide-ranging life experiences make for interesting conversations and ensure they complement one another. 

At Chameleon, we:

Deb herself loves gathering a group and trying to understand a problem, getting input, and finding solutions. Dana, who leads by example, wants people to be strong problem solvers and solution seekers.

“That’s what we do here every day. No day is the same as the one before!” she says enthusiastically.

How We Stand Out With a Diverse & Inclusive Culture

Deb highlights to new and prospective employees that Chameleon is one of the best companies to work for in New Hampshire because you gain a second family, and every team member is genuinely supportive and cares about one another.

“The size of the organization allows us to interact with every single person, every single day,” she points out. 

“We get to be creative together. Everybody brings something new and different to the table. That never ceases to amaze me when we bring new folks on!”

An office with a diverse and inclusive culture

Contrary to what you’d expect, Deb shares that many Chameleon employees who excel are introverts. They often find their comfort and confidence on the phone as they engage with clients, learn about the product, and understand how to represent the company and its offerings.

She calls this another interesting and unexpected part of working here, noting introverts shouldn’t be afraid to apply because their personalities and communication styles could be valuable assets!

What Chameleon Means to Deb

“This company has helped me grow both professionally and personally,” Deb answers, stating that her time with Chameleon has shifted her perspective for the better. “It’s helped me understand how to best guide and educate people on the job.”

Deb describes Dana as highly supportive, empowering his employees to grow and even supporting people through difficult times in their lives. She recalls several years ago when her stepfather passed away, and she had to take time off to be with her mom. 

“In a situation like that, you don’t want to think about what you’re jeopardizing because the most important thing is in front of you. Dana and the whole staff were more than supportive, allowing for that time.”

Dana, she says, understands making family a priority. “Dana’s values are family first, and he makes sure that translates to every single employee here.” 

Even on the most challenging, frustrating days, this support and attitude that stems from Dana and the team remind her why she’s here.

Daily Highlights From Deb’s Desk

Next, Deb shared her three favorite things about her typical workday.

Celebrating the wins: Deb enjoys having direct access to all the reps on the floor as they make constant phone calls. She gets to hear about their successes and see their reactions as they learn, grow, and help customers.

Strategizing: Often, managers will come to Deb and ask for help to work through specific ideas, issues, or projects. Other times, reps will ask her for advice. She loves this collaborative effort and helping team members create and problem-solve. 

Being a sounding board: Sometimes, she even acts as a confidant, with people sharing more personal challenges to ask her how to make their commitment to their job and Chameleon work with life outside.

Deb is passionate about guiding people to look at the whole picture and consider as many scenarios as possible. She uses her forward-thinking, analytical approach and is not afraid to bring up the what-ifs and help team members prepare for all outcomes.

What to Expect as a Chameleon New Hire

The primary feedback Deb hears from those who have gone through onboarding and training is that every Chameleon employee is incredibly supportive, caring, and genuinely happy to help.

“Everybody is very welcoming, and I think it’s easy for everybody to search back to when they first arrived and what their experience was like, and what made the difference for them. And I think they carry that forward with anybody that comes into the organization.”

Employees at a recovery friendly workplace in new hampshire

In Deb’s mind, Chameleon being a “safe place” also means that you can trust the people around you to lift you up and help you move forward. And you don’t have to fear being “different” from everyone else, thanks to our diverse, welcoming culture.

Building a Career vs. Doing a Job

Another key insight Deb shares with new hires: You get out of this job what you put into it

“The folks that do really well at this job make the effort to go above and beyond to understand the business they’re calling on behalf of, the industry that they play in, and who are the competitors out there.”

She says, “If something doesn’t exist today and we have the ability to create it because we understand a need that’s not being met today that somebody might be great at, then we’ll do it. The opportunity is theirs. They just need to understand how to show it, communicate it, and make it happen.”

Deb explains that team members get the most out of their time here when they view it as a career instead of just a job—even those who view it as a stepping stone or one chapter. 

“There’s nothing better than seeing somebody moving forward, and if we’re a little piece of that in their journey, that’s ok! We like to see people get started and then move up and out.”

Making a Difference

Deb is happy to have been a part of Chameleon as the company and culture have evolved so much over the last five to six years, partially because of our involvement as a Recovery Friendly Workplace and a mental health-friendly workplace—designated as a “Place.”

“I’d like to believe that at some point, I was able to help someone move forward, help them grow, help them learn, take away something from their time here, overcome challenges, or just be a part of helping them move their lives forward. That’s rewarding to me, just to see people do good,” she says.

Deb’s Final Thoughts

When asked about any final thoughts about her experience at Chameleon, Deb reiterates the themes of family and getting out of it what you put into it. She explains that while we’re a small company in the corner of Dover, we have a vast reach in terms of our clients and their customers, who are located globally.

“My entire journey here at Chameleon Group has helped me grow. It’s helped me look at things differently,” Deb reflects on her time here. “I am surrounded by great people every day. Dana has been an incredible mentor and friend, as well as everyone else on the management team!”

“That’s what makes it worth coming in every day.”
To learn more about Chameleon Group and see for yourself why we’re one of the best places to work in NH, let’s chat! We’d love to get to know you and show you all we can offer you as a part of our team.

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