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Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Mary Muellner

Member Spotlight: Mary Muellner

 Member Spotlight: Mary Muellner

Mary is the Director of Statewide Payroll Services for the State of Minnesota/MN Management & Budget. She has been a member of the Northstar Chapter for nearly 10 years and is our Chapter’s
Payroll Person of The Year!

  1. How long have you been in payroll?

A little over 25 years.

  1. How did you get your start in payroll?

First job out of college. Working for a local non-profit and the position allowed me to do everything (billing, A/P, JVs, Payroll)

  1. What do you enjoy most about being in payroll?

The people I work with. A great team – like working with this group of people.

Like to know that what we do has a positive impact, even if they have no clue what we do for them.

  1. What is the most challenging part of your job?

Working in government, that can be more challenging than the private sector. Some politics exist in the private sector, but it is even larger in government. Budgeting resources can be a little rough.

  1. What is the most interesting question you have been asked about payroll?

When I first came to the state, my first job was doing garnishments and child support. A lot of different questions regarding these types of payroll functions.

An attorney, also an employee, would often call to ask when one garnishment is complete so he can let the next creditor know how to setup a garnishment request.

What do I do to not have any taxes withheld? Can I claim 99 exemptions?

  1. How many different types of payroll systems have you worked with?

Worked for the state for quite a while so she has worked with mainframe, ERP, and software-based system. Currently use PeopleSoft.

  1. How many employees do you currently process payroll for?

Average about 52,000 state employees each year

  1. How long have you been a member of the Northstar Chapter? National Chapter? Have you been a member of Northstar’s Board?

Not a board member. Have been a national member since 1998. Became a member shortly after the national chapter, around year 2000.

  1. What is the best part of being a member of the Northstar Chapter?

The opportunities for networking. Can reach out to someone that is working elsewhere but has similar challenges and how they handle it. Great educational opportunities.

  1. What is the one piece of advice you can give to new payroll professionals?

You should always keep learning and understand that no matter what, there is always something you do not know. Keep yourself open to learning new things.

  1. At which store are you most likely to max out your credit card?

Barnes & Noble – A big reader (fiction and non-fiction)

Cabela’s for archery supplies

  1. If you woke up tomorrow as any animal, which animal would you like it to be?

A cat – I am an owner of two spoiled cats.

  1. What was your favorite subject in school?

History – I have a minor in history.

  1. What is the one television channel you cannot live without?

Starz – An Outlander fan. I have Starz just because of that.

  1. Where is the farthest place you have ever visited?

Germany and Switzerland

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