“One of the things that I always smile about is sitting in our conference room with a tremendous deadline looming and an unbelievably stressful situation hanging over our heads and then laughing so hard that I really feel like I’m just going to bust.”
Infotech Consulting is a tight-knit group, often found brainstorming and hard at work together in their team conference room through hurricanes or cloudless days. Shifting to remote interactions hasn’t dampened their productivity or their connection, however, and the laughter is still contagious over Zoom.
As the Director of Case Development for the team, Jodie Newman does something different every single day. Her team handles the industry research and litigation workflow for the statistical, economic, and econometric consultants, which means deep diving into a lot of information on a variety of topics.
“We, as the case development team, need to become experts in industries from capacitors to dental supplies,” she said. “I think one of the skills that I bring to our team is to kind of be the go-between from our group- which is largely statisticians and programmers and analysts – to our clients who are lawyers. I’m a lawyer by training and by education. I speak their language.”
It’s no surprise that Jodie also finds herself assisting clients and teammates with project management, considering her background in human resources – a job she had at Infotech during her first years with the company, before leaving to spend time with her growing family and start a cookie company.
As her children grew, however, she got a call from the Infotech founder and CEO about a new position.
“Jim [McClave] called me one day and said ‘We’ve got a mountain of research. I know you’re baking cookies but wouldn’t you rather come and work directly with me?’ The idea of working on the Consulting team was really appealing to me and so I said sure, I’ll come and I’ll give you five hours a week. A couple of years later that was something that we just laughed about, because my five hours a week of research basically evolved into this full-time position that I think we never really thought that we needed. We all realize now that it’s really critical work worthy of having even a little team – which is the case development team.”
With more casework than ever and a somewhat stressful national situation on the mind, Jodie said she has two hobbies she uses to unwind.
“They’re actually at odds with each other. The first one is I love to exercise. I’m a former aerobics instructor which is how I made some of my money when I was in law school. I have three kids and a husband. It’s mostly the only time that I’m alone,” she chuckled.
And then there’s her other favorite pastime, cooking and baking, which she’s sharing with her daughter as they experiment with new recipes.
“It’s very difficult not to be eating constantly,” Jodie said.
Balance is everything though, and there are more benefits than just fresh recipes to be gained from foodie television.
“My all time favorite is the Great British Baking Show. Oh my gosh, it is the ultimate calming show. If I’m super stressed or I’ve just finished a report or my family members are off doing something else, I light a candle, I pour a glass of wine and I turn on the Great British Baking Show. It is the best.”
It’s a full life, she said, making memories with her family, their shedding Jack Russell Terrier, Jasper, and her team at Infotech.
“In terms of just fun, fabulous times with the Consulting team, you know, we’re constantly laughing. And under the worst of situations, work-wise in terms of stress, we can laugh about something like having to reward ourselves with a bathroom break after we’ve solved some major issue with our analysis.”
That sense of humor is a part of the culture, she points out, created and upheld by Dr. Jim McClave, the man who started it all.
“I consider myself lucky every day to work with Jim,” Jodie said. “I’m guided by what Mr. Rogers would do and what Jim McClave would do; and, you know, I don’t get to work with Mr. Rogers, but I get to work with Jim McClave.”