Note: Each month, we will feature a different member of the WebPT family in our new Staff Spotlight blog series.
Growing up on his grandfather’s farm in eastern Tennessee, Mike Clevenger learned the value of a hard day’s work at a very young age. “We had days where the entire family—60 or 70 people with all of the grandkids—would come together, and we had to vaccinate all of my grandfather’s cattle,” he said. “That’s about 300 head of cattle, going one by one. I learned a lot about hard work and teamwork.”
Mike has since traded his boots and overalls for a headset and a computer screen, but his exceptional work ethic remains unchanged. As a Senior Training Representative in WebPT’s Member Care department, Mike now spends his days helping Members learn all the ins and outs of the WebPT application—which is kind of perfect, because he was always naturally drawn to teaching.
“When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher,” he said. “But my career path led me to corporate training, which is pretty much the next best thing.”
Before joining the WebPT family, Mike worked as a new hire trainer for Marriott International and as an insurance agent for both Progressive and Travelers. Those positions allowed him to hone his people skills in a business setting, but it’s his innate desire to lend a hand—anytime, anywhere, and to anyone—that makes him such a great fit in his job role at WebPT.
“It’s not about a sense of pride or a sense of accomplishment,” he said. “It’s that I was raised to help people with no expectation of anything in return.”
With his token Southern drawl and his friendly disposition, Mike has a way of making WebPT Members feel calm and at ease—even when they are confused, frustrated, or upset. His secret? Treating each caller as a person, not a number.
It helps that he lives and breathes a no-stress, hakuna-matata approach to life. (Well, except maybe when it comes to his computer desktop—rearrange his icons, and there will be hell to pay!) “I’m perky,” he said with a chuckle. “If I wake up breathing in the morning, it’s a great day.”
Mike’s unwavering positivity is largely the product of past struggles—namely, two bouts with cancer several years back. He is now five years in remission. “If it wasn’t for that [fighting cancer], there is no way I would be the father and husband I am today,” he said. “I feel blessed, like I have a second chance to do things right.”
Mike and his wife of nearly seven years, Rachel—an Accounts Receivable Specialist in WebPT’s billing department—have one daughter, five-year-old Elliana. Not surprisingly, Mike is a big softie when it comes to his little girl. Even though she is growing up in a city environment, she definitely inherited her dad’s appreciation for the great outdoors. “She’s my little country girl, through and through,” he said. “She’s getting her first bow and arrow for her birthday this year.”
When it comes to family life, the Clevengers like to keep things simple. When they’re not catching a baseball game or perusing the aisles at Bass Pro Shop, they enjoy spending evenings trying out new recipes at home. “We really like to cook dinner together,” Mike said. “I recently tried cooking chicken picatta, which turned out awesome, according to my wife.”
That brief dinner-hour reprieve is just a small taste of the simplicity Mike yearns for on a constant basis. Phoenix is nice, but in his eyes, nothing compares to the untouched beauty of rural America. While many people dream of big houses and shiny new cars, Mike’s idea of happiness goes back to his small-town roots.
“My ultimate goal beyond all this is that I want to own a ranch in Montana, Wyoming, or Colorado,” he said. “When I can wake up every morning, grab my cup of coffee, and look out at a landscape of mountains and farmland, then that’s when I’ll know I’ve achieved everything I set out to achieve in my life. That’s when I’ll know I’ve made it.”
Fave Five with Mike
- Favorite food: Classic burger with Swiss cheese
- Favorite movie: McLintock!
- Favorite sports team: Atlanta Braves
- Favorite band: Metallica (fave song: “Fade to Black”)
- Favorite place: Grandfather’s farm in Greenback, Tennessee