Meet Nicole Lekas- Gogo’s October High Flyer!
Congratulations Nicole for being selected as the November High Flyer. Tell us a bit about what your role is here at Gogo.
My new role (Legal Operations) promotes operational efficiency, which encompasses a variety of mini-roles, like acting as a liaison between IT, Finance, and Communications. While still working with the contract management team to review and draft agreements for the company, I also help the legal team work more efficiently by finding the right technology to best suit our needs. I try to automate what we can and let the lawyers do the lawyer-ing.
You’ve been at Gogo for 5 years now, is it everything you expected?
I never really expected to fall into a role like I’m in now. I began in more of an administrative role for the legal department, but have really grown from there. I’ve been given a lot more responsibility over the years, especially in the position I’m in now. I’ve always been good with the technology in our group and I’m glad I’ve been given the opportunity to explore and find my niche here at Gogo.
FROM DUANNE BOYLE, SR. DIRECTOR, COMMERICAL CONTRACTS:
“Nicole has the drive, determination, passion and energy needed to run Legal Operations here at Gogo. In her dedication to improve the department,she takes on new projects and drives them to completion, all while being pleasant and professional. She is, indeed and action, a primary go-to person in the legal team.”
What do you love most about your job?
Gogo is great about always asking “What do you want to do? Is there another department you are interested in?” I’ve seen people move into roles on my team from other departments. Management is willing to work with you to help do what’s best for you, even if it may mean losing you from their team.
What inspires you?
I’ve always been a perfectionist. I have a high level of personal ambition which translates into always trying my best and wanting to do more than what is expected of me. I grew up as 1 of 4 girls, and with 3 of us being really close in age there was a lot of competition between us, especially in school and sports. It kept me motivated to always do better.
What has been your proudest moment at Gogo?
I’ve been the project lead for the selection and implementation of our new ELM system (enterprise legal management- matter management, e-billing, and contracts). There is a large return on investment with this project with the data we will be able to obtain and use. We are in post-deployment of 2 of the 3 modules, and the other will be rolled out shortly. I’ll be really proud of our team once we have successfully finished implementation and can use the data within the system to present meaningful reports to leadership.
FROM SAUMIL MEHTA, VP ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, LEGAL:
“Nicole is an invaluable member of the Legal team. Her tremendous aptitude is only outweighed by her positive attitude.”
What is an interesting or unknown fact about yourself most people don’t know?
People wouldn’t guess that I played volleyball in high school, because I’m short but I played back row. I also have 3 sisters and I’m 30 seconds younger than my twin, which people tend to confuse me with even though we are fraternal twins. People say we are very similar in the way we look and act.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a writer, which is why I took English and creative writing courses at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. I eventually decided the more practical route would be to go into editing at a publishing house. In a way, I still do editing here at Gogo.
How do you find a balance between work and home?
In the digital age, it can be hard as we are always connected with our phones, but I learned to disconnect after I leave the office. When I log off for the day, I don’t look back at my emails (unless there is something that is high priority coming up). I turn off my notifications on my phone so that they don’t disrupt time away. When I need to go check email- I do, but this way my phone isn’t pinging me with constant email notifications.
What do you do for fun when not at work?
I moved to the city when Gogo moved from Itasca to Chicago, so there is always a lot to do. Tons of new restaurants to explore. I like going to the beach, music and food festivals. The city is always buzzing with activity.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career? What kind of advice did he/she give you?
I’m going to have to say my teammates here have probably been the biggest influence. I started at Gogo shortly after I graduated from college, and I’ve been able to pick their brains on career paths, further education and the like. They’re good sounding boards.
Gogo is home to a fast-paced, challenging, and rewarding group of people, making inflight internet and entertainment easily accessible for all aircraft types and its flyers. But you can’t make a company revolutionary without having awesome people behind the scenes. Find out more about who’s redefining the way you fly!
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