Associate Spotlight-Lillian Phelps and Taryn Tresca
1.05.2021 By Availity
Mentorship plays a critical role in career development at Availity, especially among the women on our product management and product development teams. As seasoned healthcare IT professionals, Taryn Tresca and Lillian Phelps have mentored others and been mentees themselves, and they both stress the importance having mentors at all stages of one’s career. In fact, when Lillian joined Availity in 2019, she turned to Taryn to help her learn the ropes.
“Fostering relationships with your colleagues helps shorten the learning curve when you start at a new organization,” said Lillian. As a senior director of product management, she’s responsible for evolving Availity’s claim management suite, but she knows that before you can set the future strategy of a product, it helps to understand its history. Taryn, who oversees the claims management developers and technologists and who has been with Availity for more than 15 years, was the perfect person to provide technical expertise and insight.
“I love mentoring and watching my colleagues become passionate leaders in the organization,” Taryn said. Taryn and Lillian’s collaboration focuses on achieving the best outcomes for the customer and Availity, with a lot of laughs along the way.
While women shouldn’t only seek out other women as mentors, there is something about having shared experiences that helps foster good relationships. Lillian and Taryn both started their careers at a time where there were fewer women in technology roles, and they’ve both had to overcome challenges along the way.
For Lillian, this has meant finding the balance between being a mother and a leader. Her nine-year-old understands that his mom does not have a typical nine-to-five job. Taryn recognized the challenge of being a woman in a male-dominated field when she entered the University of Florida’s Computer & Information Sciences program. As one of few women in the program, she was called upon often by her professors and felt she constantly had to prove herself.
Both women are happy to see how the technology industry has become more diverse and believe bringing many different voices to the table improves the product development process. They also appreciate the many initiatives Availity has put in place to help women develop their careers.
History in healthcare
Lillian and Taryn also share an early passion for the healthcare industry. You might say Lillian was born into it. Her mother, who was a health insurance professional for more than 30 years, went into labor with Lillian while she was at work. Lillian attributes her career path to the work she did helping her mother batch paper claims.
Taryn dreamed of being a doctor in her younger years but pursued a career as a technologist. She started working in telecommunications, but soon after transitioned to work as a software engineer for a Medicaid Fiscal Intermediary.
Just For Fun
Outside of work, Lillian and Taryn both enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants, and drinking bourbon. Lillian has a heart for volunteerism, and Taryn’s outlet is exercise.
Favorite movie: Lillian - Mulan; Taryn – I don’t have a favorite
Favorite book: Lillian – The Gifts of Imperfection; Taryn - I read a ton. My favorite author is Jodi Picoult. Actively reading/listening to Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity
Favorite food: Lillian – Seafood; Taryn - Mexican
Pets – Lillian - Shade Lee Phelps ( 8-week-old Labradoodle puppy); Taryn - Jarvis (Morkie) & Brutus (6-month-old Boston Terrier)