Lisa Dooley

“A teacher and an office manager walk into a bar…” sounds like the setup for a joke, but it’s actually not far from how Lisa Dooley’s career started in Roanoke, VA, more than 45 years ago. 

Lisa’s high school graduation requirements included participating in a business co-op program. The teacher in charge of matching students with jobs ran into office manager for a cable company that would later become part of Cox while at a bar she frequented. It turns out, the office manager was looking for a part-time filing clerk and the teacher recommended Lisa to interview for the job. 

Lisa was excited to learn about the cable business, but never expected it to turn into a lifelong career. 

“This was 45 years ago, so cable was new,” she said. “Not many people knew what cable was; it was a luxury to have. I thought this was not going to be a long-lasting job, because my father used to say, ‘Who wants to pay to watch TV?’” 

A lot has changed since then, both in the telecom industry and in Lisa’s career.  

Today, Lisa is an HR business partner based in Roanoke, where she focuses on the employee experience for those who live and work in Virginia. She also holds one of the highest tenures at the company. 

Lisa shares her career journey at Cox and how she found her way into a role and department that didn’t exist when she first joined the company. 


Growth opportunities right at home 

Lisa’s first job may not have been glamorous, but it got her foot in the door at what would’ve been considered the hot new startup in town.   

After her co-op role as a student, Lisa joined the company full time in customer service and rose through the ranks before pivoting into marketing. 

“I was took the role of a coordinator to start pay-per-view services,” she recalled. “We were one of the first ones that started it in Roanoke.” 

As the office in Roanoke started expanding and hiring more employees, Lisa had an opportunity to work in employee training. 

“During this time, there was a personnel office who dealt with that kind of stuff,” she said. “Later on in my training, I moved over to HR and probably there for 20 years — almost half of my career.” 


Being an advocate for employees 

One of the reasons Lisa decided to continue growing her career within HR is because she could see the impact she was making on employees’ lives, whether it was resolving a payroll issue or supporting employees in their daily work. 

“Employees are my customers and I’m on the front line right there with them,” she said. “And just like we want to give our customers the best service, the best prices and the best packages, Cox has, from the beginning, supported employees.” 

Lisa values her long service at Cox and points out that she’s one of many employees who have stayed with the company for a long time – which shows the quality of the culture at Cox. 

“You feel like part of something and that people that you work with want to help you — and it’s genuine; it’s not fake,” she said. “In my market, Roanoke, we have a little more than 100 employees, and I’d say, maybe a fourth of those have been at Cox for 30 years. So, we’ve kind of grown up together.” 

Lisa says it’s also easy to see the bigger picture of the important work employees do for Cox Communications

“Cox is a relevant place to work because we touch so many people’s lives on a daily basis with all our technology,” she said. “For some of our customers, we’re a main source of entertainment in a lot of ways — for people who are homebound, for people who can’t get out, for people who want to do home shopping, we provide that mechanism for them to do that.” 


When the time is right 

Lisa’s favorite benefit at Cox is, hands down, the retirement plan with company match. As someone who is close to retirement, she’s grateful that the company has thought about employees’ financial futures beyond their life at Cox. 

At this point in her life, Lisa knows her next chapter is on the horizon — but not quite yet. 

“I almost retired last year. I told my leader and my team, ‘I think I’m ready,’ and I backed out because I wasn’t,” she said.  

Lisa is grateful that she’s so valued at work and has her leaders’ full support with her own career decisions. 

“My leaders are so invested in me, so I’ve been very fortunate,” she said. “And they say, ‘Don’t stress yourself out; you’ll know when the time is right. We don’t want to lose you, but we understand.’” 

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