September 29, 2022

“Sparkle and Shine”

This month’s employee spotlight is on Barbie Mahovich, Senior Director of Sales at Synergis and our resident “cheerleader.”  Anyone who knows Barbie cannot help but smile when her name is mentioned and will immediately tell you how her infectious spirit and enthusiasm are her “superpowers!” Barbie started her career at Synergis in 2002 and has successfully worked her way from customer service rep to Named Account Manager to Sales Director and then to the role she holds today, responsible for leading our entire sales organization and two separate sales teams.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Barbie for a long time and in fact she is the reason I found a home at Synergis.  As I write about my friend, I am honored to share some little-known facts while also celebrating her many achievements and accomplishments in her career here at Synergis. Barbie and I are from the same hometown of Nazareth and have lived here all our lives.  Since we have grown up together, I feel like she is part of my family – in fact Barbie and I used to be roommates.

One of Barbie’s passions is cheering. Barbie was introduced to cheer at a young age, and I believe that has had an incredible impact on the person she is today. When I think of the characteristics that describe a successful cheerleader, a few qualities that one must possess are focus, determination, strong work ethic, competitive spirit, team-oriented, and multi-talented. All these characteristics can be used to describe our beloved Barbie!

Barbie’s daughter, Gabriella, during a cheering event.

As we parallel her passion for cheer to her leadership responsibilities at Synergis, the word “coach” is most fitting. Barbie has helped to guide many of the young women she has coached into the successes they are today. And Barbie is no stranger to competition, as a highly sought-after competitive cheer coach, she possesses the drive and determination to “WIN.” Anyone who has been in a business meeting with Barbie, or on the sideline of a cheer competition, has certainly seen her tenacity – she will do whatever is required to accomplish her goal. I’ve had the unique vantage point of watching Barbie as both my sales leader and a cheer coach (coaching my daughter) so I see, first-hand, how her consistent leadership style and coaching skills are applied in each role.

After high school, Barbie moved into a coaching role for competitive cheer teams, and she found herself coaching at the Northampton Community College and for the Valley Dawgs.  She eventually found herself back at her alma mater, Nazareth High School, leading the Blue Eagles onto many competitive victories.

Recently, I asked Barbie why she continues to coach competitive cheer, and these days, her primary motivation is to spend more time with her daughter, Gabriella, who at 15 years old, made the varsity cheer team. Plus, I think she secretly hopes to get pom-poms into the hands of her stepson Damon’s baby girl, Avery Grace Mahovich! Barbie believes you’re never too young (or old) to cheer!

Speaking of age, Barbie shared this philosophy with me the other day: “The older you get the more you realize that kindness is synonymous with happiness. It’s never a weak thing to choose kindness. It’s the small things in life that truly make the difference. When you take a step back and choose kindness over anything else it reflects on everything around you. There is no better exercise for strengthening the heart than reaching down and lifting someone up.”

Finally, our Synergis President, Kristen Tomasic, had this to say about Barbie: “Barbie is so successful in her leadership role because she is not afraid to get outside her comfort zone and to ask more of herself and others. She challenges everyone to be better. She asks the tough questions and finds a way to give constructive feedback to help others grow and achieve their goals. She represents everyone’s best interests and is looking for the win-win-win in every situation. Barbie’s energy, her positivity, her fun-loving spirit, her enthusiasm, (oh, and a little bling!) are the source of her sparkle, and fortunately for us, she shares it with everyone she meets.”

By: Kristen Tilwick, AEC Team Lead, Synergis Engineering Design Solutions

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