Growing up in the Portland area, Michelle Lappin did as many Mainers do: dabble in a little bit of everything.
A longtime Trueliner, Lappin’s previous professional life included stints as a sales and marketing director; managing director for two different Fortune 100 companies; and general manager for a privately held event-services company.
More recently, she’s been a personal trainer, a nutrition counselor and a wellness consultant—work she continues to do on behalf of friends or family facing chronic illnesses or other health challenges.
Recently, she helped her father face a health emergency by coaching him to adopt a more holistic nutrition regimen of plant-based and whole foods.
“It’s not a practice with paying clients right now,” she says. “It’s more about helping people close to me who need that help.”
No wonder Lappin found Trueline, a place where relationships matter and everyone seems to have an interesting story and a diverse array of skills.
In Lappin’s case, it’s both.
She spent most of her childhood in Greater Portland before heading to Hesser College in New Hampshire to study business administration.
Even growing up, it was apparent she had an inventive business sense.
“I was a lemonade stand kid for sure,” she says, telling the story of serving her father, who had come home for lunch.
“It was actually a beer stand,” she adds with a laugh, reminding, “This was the 1970s. We had a sandwich and beer stand waiting at the end of the driveway, knowing dad.”
“It was April vacation and I needed exactly $7 to buy a Clue game. That’s what I charged him for his lunch.”
(Dad reports the tuna fish sandwich, bag of chips and can of Schlitz was likely the best “meal deal” he’s ever had.)
Attacking the day
Lappin, who calls on accounts throughout southern New England from her Gorham home, has this advice for employees in the age of coronavirus:
“Always be ready for the day, is my big key to success,” she says. “Get up. Shower. Dress for your day, no matter where it takes you.”
That journey is largely taking place on the sales side, where Lappin spends her days connecting with businesses to learn about their goals and provide marketing tools to help them grow.
“The best part of my job is getting to bring the entire team into the mix. I’ve watched this company—and the people in it—grow and evolve. It’s exciting to be part of it all. Everyone at Trueline brings something different to the table.”
In offering websites and other collateral to small and medium-sized businesses, Lappin focuses on non-profit organizations and service professionals—accountants, lawyers, dentists and the like—who run great businesses but are burdened by underwhelming digital presences.
“Some of them have been piecemealing their marketing: brochure here, a Google ad campaign there, a social post,” Lappin says. “But really taking a look at the big picture and what their goal is, it’s about helping people get to their end goal by chipping away at some of these items.”
Tools of the trade
Take the dentist who’s been in business 20 years, doing just fine, but whose website is also from 20 years ago.
“There’s a need for him or her to be able to take his or her practice to the new century—the next level,” Lappin says.
Accordingly, she might suggest a Trueline web developer who tags pages with high-ranked content to improve SEO results and drive views.
It’s just one of the many skills this five-tool Mainer brings to her role as business development coordinator at Trueline. Prior to that position, she spent years as a content coordinator, getting her start doing editorial work for the company’s flagship publication, US Builders Review.
“After that, I was asked to produce stories for Vanguard,” Lappin says of the company’s highly successful law publication. “We’d just started the magazine, brand new, lots of opportunity, interviewing general counsels from all over the country, all over world. It was very enriching. I’ve interviewed everyone from the general counsel of our National Archives to top legal and business minds of multibillion-dollar global companies.”
The best part about working for Trueline? The variety, of course.
“The best part of my job is getting to bring the entire team into the mix,” Lappin says. “I’ve watched this company—and the people in it—grow and evolve. It’s exciting to be part of it all. Everyone at Trueline brings something different to the table.”
Favorite activity: Entertaining, cooking, downhill skiing, boating, traveling, reading
Trueline role: Business development
When not at work: Certified health and wellness coach; yoga and group fitness instructor; plant-based nutrition counselor; *huge* Patriots fan; three kids; three step-kids
Interesting fact: Owned a dating service before online dating was a thing. “The company that absorbed my company later sold to Match.com.”