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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2023 40 Under 40: Kayla Thomas

The Payroll Co.

Posted online

As the COVID-19 pandemic set in, Kayla Thomas found herself in arguably one of the hardest impacted career fields outside of medicine – human resources. Sick leave, policy changes and worker shortages were suddenly her day-to-day. But the 27-year-old human resources adviser embraced the challenge.

“The pandemic sparked a fire in me I would have never seen coming,” she says.

Thomas volunteered for The Payroll Co.’s COVID-19 Task Force, which meant extra work hours, consistently reading the new bills and the latest news. When two team members resigned due to pandemic stress, Thomas once again stepped up, doubling her client load overnight.

“I decided to use this challenge as an opportunity to lead my team to success,” she says. “We grew our client list by almost 50% in the next year while we were understaffed.”

In May 2022, she added a new endeavor and began working as an adjunct professor at Pittsburg State University.

Your proudest moment? Becoming a mama to my baby boy, Tucker, and all my future children.

Best productivity hack? Keep your email inbox organized at all times and remember you can create a folder for everything.

Favorite hobby or creative outlet? DIY home improvement projects and gardening.

Favorite food item or drink to order in the Springfield area? The Kollmeyer Filet at Retro Metro.

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