Marisa Ellsworth is MCU’s accounting manager. Born in Tucson, Arizona, her family moved to Ellsworth, Maine, a town named after a relation that was a prominent Boston politician. Marisa graduated from Ellsworth High School and later attended Thomas College in Waterville, Maine where she earned her bachelor’s degree in managerial accounting.
Marisa said she took accounting in high school and fell in love with it. “The main thing is that I excelled at it,” she shared and smiled. At that time, she said debits and credits were listed on a paper ledger. “There was no Excel. I didn’t even have a computer,” she added with another smile.
Accounting, Marisa explained, “is not as dry cut” as people might assume. She said she enjoys the researching aspect of accounting … “diving in to figure things out,” she said. “There are stories behind those things. It takes research. That’s what I prefer to do,” noting that there are still always the daily tasks to complete.
After graduating from college at the age of 21, Marisa explained that she moved to Dallas for her dad who could not live in Maine during the winters any longer. “My dad was ill at the time,” she shared. “He couldn’t live winters in Maine. He had a lung disease. It was very hard for him to breathe. So, he would come and stay with me in the winter months.”
Marisa shared that the work she did in Dallas, she later learned, was a pyramid scheme company. “I didn’t know,” she explained. “I was young and naïve.” So, after figuring that out and not really liking Dallas, Marisa next moved with a college roommate to Las Vegas, Nevada. She shared that her father stayed with her one winter in Las Vegas before he passed away.
Marisa went to England and France when she was in high school which inspired the international traveling. She just went to Italy for her 40th birthday with her mom.
She definitely has an adventurous spirit. For her 25th birthday, she went skydiving. Was she scared? “Yes.” Would she go again? “No.”
“My dad was in the military when he was younger,” she explained. He inspired her and told her to “go live your life.”
Eventually Marisa started her family in Las Vegas. Marisa has two children Dylan (13) and Stella (8). She had been working for Amazon for five years before changing careers to work at the GAP corporate office in Albuquerque, New Mexico where her and her children lived for a total of five years.
Marisa said that she loved her job, but after spending a lot of time visiting one of her best friends, who was then living in Wisconsin, Marisa decided to move to be closer to her friend. “She’s my family,” Marisa shared. “I moved me and the kids and the cat and the dog. That was two years ago. It’s going great. It’s so different when you can raise your kids in a town that you can feel comfortable letting them ride their bike down the road. It’s a better place for me to raise the kids,” she added. “They have blossomed here.” And, her friend, Marisa shared is her “second family. She is that sister I got to choose.”
Marisa explained that she was hired at MCU even before they made the move to Wisconsin. “They trusted in me moving,” she explained of her leaders at MCU. “They saw something in me.” And it was only four days after starting her job that “the world shut down.”
Marisa explained that she didn’t get to meet anyone at the office because the pandemic started a few days after she started working at MCU.
But even after being given the option to return to the corporate office, Marisa said she chose to continue to work remotely liking the flexibility it offers for her and her family. “It makes life easier for a parent to work from home,” she said.
“We have a well-oiled team,” she said of those she works with in accounting. “We have such a great team. It’s not just about what you do, but who you work with. They are my second family.”
Marisa said that although it took a little bit of work in the beginning, she feels the accounting team has great collaboration with other departments in the organization, asking them, “How can we help you get to where you need to be?” She said they “figure it out together.”
In all Marisa said she is in “such a great spot” in her life personally and professionally. “My kids are flourishing and happy. At MCU, we got to a spot where we are a whole team working together with great personalities,” she shared. “I’ve had a full life.”