They say a job at the airport is perfect for people who love to travel. For Allison Jurey-Smith it was a way to finally settle down. As a Project Manager in charge of Financial Applications at Tampa International Airport, Jurey-Smith oversees the team of professionals who maintain the Aviation Authority’s financial programs including Oracle, PropWorks, and payroll systems.
Jurey-Smith, originally from the suburbs of Cleveland, graduated with a degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Lehigh University in 1999. She went to work right after graduation for Deloitte Consulting in Boston.
Her husband, who she met in college, began working for Jabil in St. Petersburg. After a year of long distance commuting, Jurey-Smith transferred to Tampa. She was closer to her husband, but traveling was still a way of life. She was on the road for another six years.
“I was on the road 50 weeks out of the year, often for three or four weeks at a time,” said Jurey-Smith. “I have about 1.2 million travel miles with Delta Air Lines and probably another 500 thousand sprinkled among the other airlines. Most people think that kind of life is glamorous, but you get tired of living in hotels. I think there was one year that I spent 332 nights in a Marriott because I was traveling on business. Your idea of vacation becomes a desire to stay at home.”
Still, Jurey-Smith said the job had its benefits. It was an opportunity to see so much of the world at a young age, especially Europe.
“I loved Ireland. I think that was my favorite,” says Jurey-Smith. “It was just absolutely beautiful, gorgeous. The people were so friendly.”
Jurey-Smith says her desire to start a family meant that it was time to find a job that would allow her to stay in town, with minimal travel.
In 2006, she began looking for a career opportunity closer to home and the position with the Aviation Authority looked like a perfect fit.
“Every interview that I came in for, I felt so at home already because I spent so much time at the airport,” says Jurey-Smith. “So I’ve done both sides, first as the business traveler, and now working behind the scenes.”
Her big project on the horizon is a $2.5 million upgrade of the Oracle financial systems that will go live in August.
“That’s a big project because it touches everyone in the Aviation Authority, from procurement to payroll,” says Jurey-Smith. “It will streamline the whole process.”
Now seven years later, Jurey-Smith is the mother of three beautiful children between the ages of five and 22 months. When she’s not at work she likes crafting, but says that taking the children to swimming lessons, dance class, and soccer takes up a good portion of her free time.
These days, her idea of vacation time is time spent with family. It may involve travel, but a car does just fine.
“Florida is a vacation destination for everyone, and with the kids it’s great to stay here and take advantage of this beautiful area we live in,” says Jurey-Smith. “We love the theme parks for the kids, and we have an upcoming trip to the beach. We’re happy to stay close to home.”