By Felicia Deinnocentiis

When Sue Garrison of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was alerted via email that she was the grand prize winner of the National Payroll Week® (NPW) “Getting Paid In America” survey, she was naturally skeptical.

“I was totally surprised when I got the email from the APA,” Garrison said. “I even called the office to confirm it was real. I don’t usually win prizes when I enter contests or drawings, so this was really awesome!”

Garrison is the Supervisor of Payroll at Compassion International and has been a part of its Finance department for almost 35 years.

“I manage payroll, timekeeping, paid time off, pension, payroll taxes, and all the general ledger accounts that go along with that,” Garrison said

Garrison has seen her payroll department evolve greatly over her tenure. She started as a one-person payroll department paying fewer than 100 employees. Now, with the help of a payroll processor and a timekeeping specialist, Garrison pays more than 1,000 employees across the United States, and not only does she specialize in payroll, Garrison is also a former secretary and treasurer of her local APA Southern Colorado Chapter.

“I enjoy doing my part to get our payroll out the door every two weeks,” she said.

Garrison became an APA member in 1994 and has completed the NPW survey annually. The survey gives the APA a general overview of perceptions about payroll-related facets from people nationally. Garrison was selected randomly out of 34,800 participants.

“The survey came to me as an email,” Garrison said. “I do the survey each year, so it was quite the shock to win the grand prize!”

The grand prize for the NPW survey is a free paycheck and a dream vacation, which Garrison already has started excitedly planning. In the past, the vacation prize has been a trip to Las Vegas, but this year the APA changed up the vacation trip. Garrison was very excited to learn she could plan a vacation “of her dreams” and she and her husband will be traveling to Alaska.

“We have always wanted to go there,” she said. “We enjoy wildlife, the great outdoors. We would like to do a cruise on the Inside Passage and then go to Anchorage and Denali National Park. The paycheck I won will be used to pay the extra expenses for our inland time.”

Felicia DeInnocentiis is Editorial Assistant for the APA’s Membership Publications.