Amanda Sinclair Portrait

Stacey Wood, PCP

Payroll and Benefits Manager, Blind River, ON

Stacey Wood was following her heart when she made the decision to move from metropolitan southern-United States to the quiet of Northern Ontario with her daughter in 1999. Now, she wouldn’t have it any other way and she says she couldn’t be happier living in Blind River, Ontario.  

“It became home very quickly,” she admits.  

Stacey lives on a sizable piece of property that she’s made her own by cutting trails and regularly exploring. As an amateur wildlife photographer, she merely has to step outside with her camera, and the opportunities are endless.  

Back in the United States, she worked in a number of industries but always seemed to touch payroll in one way or another. Once she moved here to Canada though, it became her focus. She’s now worked with Mamaweswen, the North Shore Tribal Council for the past five years handling payroll — and  recently took on Employee Benefits responsibilities as well.  

Working on the Reserve comes with a lot of added complexity when it comes to payroll – she works with Status employees, non-Status employees, some who are over-age collecting pensions, some under-age – all of which come with additional rules and exemptions. But Stacey doesn’t mind – it keeps her on her toes. She also considers herself a Mother Hen. She loves taking care of people, but also loves logic – and finds payroll to be the best of both worlds. 

Working in payroll for now over two decades, Stacey has seen a lot of change. The biggest changes she’s seen however, have been to the legislation impacting payroll. She recalls the sheer volume of legislative changes that rolled out in the past five years –  especially in response to the pandemic. Some of the companies she supports are considered federal, some are considered provincial – so in her unique situation, she had to keep tabs on a lot. 

She also recognizes it’s a lot for employees to understand and make sense of. She goes above and beyond to put together briefing documents for the supervisors so they’re able to communicate any changes with their staff.  

“I’ll send out little cheat sheets, like ‘Enhanced CPP is Coming, Here’s What it Means for You,’ just to help keep them informed,” she says. 

It’s certainly a big job, and she’s set a high standard for herself, but Stacey considers herself to be a lifelong learner. In fact, she’s starting her Payroll Leadership Professional program later this year.  

To Stacey, organizational skills are a must, but  some key soft skills are equally important for a career in payroll.  

“You need to be able to have a conversation with somebody who doesn’t understand why there is a deduction on their cheque,” she says. “And explain it to them. Not over them, not under them, but in a way that makes them part of the conversation.” 

Another thing that makes Stacey great at her job? 

“I’m a spreadsheet fanatic,” she laughs. 

National Payroll Institute

(416) 487-3380