SAS Institute
SAS Institute
Best Companies rank: 3
Name: Stacey Schaeffer
Title: Global Pricing Director
Years with the company: 27

Stacey Schaeffer is the kind of person you want behind your cause. She's pumped about everything, especially her workplace, which is SAS, where she's been working for 27 years.

She's had a long, successful career. But the latest SAS offering she's evangelizing is its Leadership and Energy for Performance (LE4P) program. It's a 90-day training program that teaches key managers how to bring as much energy as possible to all areas of their life, including the workplace. In Schaeffer's case, she learned to make lifestyle choices that enabled her to lose 20 pounds and have more energy. "We have employees approaching many of us who have gone through this program saying, 'What do you have? Because I want it."

Since completing the program, Schaeffer has become certified to teach LE4P, which SAS implemented for the first time 18 months ago.

SAS has always singled Schaeffer out for her leadership skills, even though she didn't start in management. In fact, she first signed on at SAS as its first female landscaper in 1985. "My intention was to drive a tractor, dig holes, and go home at the end of the day."

That changed when she applied for a job in the business distribution center, where she says she formed strong relationships with people all over the company. Right when she started getting restless in her position, about 10 years later, senior management approached her to join SAS' global pricing team.

She says that it's been clear to her that executives watch out for talent they want to keep, and they've always made her feel valuable.

"That's what's so cool about SAS. People are embracing my crazy energy. It's a tremendous gift, and I'm going to work my butt off every day I come into work to show people that I appreciate everything that they provided for me."

By Shelley DuBois, writer-reporter @FortuneMagazine - Last updated January 20 2012: 6:55 AM ET
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