This month, we’re highlighting Jeff Fairchild, Director of Compensation Consulting at Newcleus. With over a decade of extensive experience, Jeff guides and assists clients develop compensation plans including, annual incentive plans, long-term incentive plans, deferred compensation plans, and market-aligned pay and salary grade structures.
As Director of Compensation Consulting, Jeff brings a vast understanding and a diverse professional background in providing and maintaining excellent client relationships. His love for working with others and a background in sales make him an asset for both Newcleus and our clients. Here’s what came of our interview with him.
“I lived in Pensacola for the first twenty years of my life until I went to college. I graduated from the University of Alabama in 1993 with a Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Management. I then moved to Atlanta and attended Mercer University where I received my MBA. After college, I married and moved back to my hometown of Pensacola in 2003. I have two boys—my oldest is a freshman in college and my youngest is a sophomore in high school.
I love Pensacola, but I also enjoy traveling and experiencing new places. When traveling somewhere new, I try to see some of the sights. Once, I spent an afternoon zig-zagging my way through Manhattan. I had four hours between a conference ending and dinner, so I made my way from Grand Central Station to SoHo, the Village, the Trade Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
My first professional job was in sales with a medical service company. Within a year, I was promoted to Operations Manager for the Atlanta market. A few years later, I transitioned into pharmaceutical sales with Pharmacia Corporation until Pharmacia was bought by Pfizer. At the time, being laid off was tough — but looking back, it allowed me to move back to my hometown and close to family.
I would probably still be living in Atlanta if Pharmacia hadn’t closed our department. When I moved back to Pensacola in 2003 with a new job I’d secured with a legal services company, it’s what eventually led to my job in 2010 with Meyer Chatfield—now acquired by Newcleus in 2021.
My professional journey has had a lot of twists and turns over the years, but I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason. If you keep your head down and work hard, it will all come into place, and I truly love where I am in my professional life now.
What gets me out of bed every day is seeing what the day is going to bring. I enjoy my job, what I do, and who I work with. When I’m in a boardroom with directors, it’s fun because I get to work with them to solve problems. I love being with people and helping bring them to a clearer understanding about something—whether it be with a boardroom of bankers or out teaching my boys something about fishing or hunting—I just enjoy teaching.
At work and with my clients, I value straightforwardness and honesty. It’s important to be OK with telling clients, ‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you.’ Most clients appreciate that, and that’s why we’re hired.
I look forward to the future with this profession. I try not to sit around and dwell on difficult situations but instead focus on which situation I can control and make better. One of my favorite sayings is, you can’t choose the circumstances you find yourself in, you can only control how you react to them.
If I were to give a young entrepreneur just starting in my field some tips for success, I would say one of the biggest things to learn is how to listen to what your clients are facing. Cue in on their struggles and issues.
Then, come up with ways to help them face and solve those issues, like thinking creatively and listening. Sometimes people don’t know why they’re struggling, so we need to actively seek solutions.
A final tip is to be great at learning. Sometimes you must learn how to learn. It’s not always black and white.
Finally, my marketing team asked me the question, ‘If you were to look back from the age of 80 and tell yourself anything, what would it be?’ I’d say take life as it comes and enjoy it. Don’t get discouraged. There is nothing in life you can’t come back from.”