Employee of the Month – Amir Shaghafi

September 2018, Primary Care and Population Health

Amir Shaghafi, accounting associate for primary care and population health, is the hero of many anecdotes.  His colleague, Lauren Arthur, sums it up in her nomination: “As I begin to write my EOM nomination for Amir Shaghafi, he walks into the office with a bag full of freshly cut lavender from Discovery Walk as a thoughtful gesture for his colleagues to take home at the end of the day,” she writes.  Others call him “integral,” and Arthur adds that he is “a loyal, trustworthy and all-around wonderful man.”

As accounting associate, Amir explains, “in general, I provide financial assistance with all financial related questions,” including faculty and staff support with expense and financial reports, and, as he adds modestly, “I also assist with matters related to the Division’s facilities in an unofficial capacity.”

The Standing Desk Incident

Amir’s colleagues love him for many reasons, but one event that comes up over and over is something we’ll call the Standing Desk Incident.  Everyone in the office ordered standing desks and while they were waiting for facilities to help install them, Amir brought his own toolbox into the office and installed Margaret Wei’s desk himself.  Not satisfied with this, he also installed ten other desks throughout the year.  As Wei puts it, “Whatever task lands on his desk, he will get it done while providing incredible customer service skills even in difficult situations or beyond his work responsibilities.”

John DiMario also cited the standing desk incident, adding, “No job is too big or too small for Amir!  While his primary tasks and responsibilities pertain to his finance associate role, he is always offering to assist or willing to lend a hand with a variety of jobs and requests.  One moment I see him processing financial transactions and reports, and the next he’s helping someone move offices or setting up a new desk!”

The “Office Dad”

Amir, who came to Stanford in 2016, has quickly become a crucial part of his team.  Nadia Safaeinili says everyone in PCPH calls him “Office Dad,” and adds, “While he is so much more than that, I think this nickname captures the reliability, support, and unconditional care Amir provides for each of us. When it comes to finance, Amir is an encyclopedia of knowledge and I frequently go to him with a wide range of complex questions that he always seems to have the answer to.”

His other nickname, then, is “Office Encyclopedia.”  “Amir is a primary contact point for everything about reimbursement,” Karina Soboleva says.  Mae-Richelle Verano adds, “When we work together, he is always so prompt in working on his share and gives helpful feedback and suggestions on how to work around issues.”  Laura Holdsworth agrees, “He is always happy to help and very prompt with his support.”

Cati Brown-Johnson says Amir goes above and beyond with his expertise and helpfulness: “For a huge reimbursement that I needed for travel, he worked with me to get all the paperwork in order. He was polite and tenacious in reminding me to get him the information he needed,” she states.

A great co-worker

Elsie Wang says that Amir “always offers a helping hand when he sees that mine are full (literally).”  Jeannie Trump calls his smile “infectious” and adds, “Amir is very personable, very cordial, polite and always available to assist with questions and procedures.”  Anthony Duong seems to sum up all his colleagues’ opinions when he simply says, “I am grateful to be working alongside him.”

Amir, who was an accountant for A&A Sales and Marketing Corporation for 16 years before coming to Stanford, was “wonderfully surprised and humbled” by the award.  “I am honored to share this recognition and award with my colleagues and thank them for their continued support because without them I would not have been a recipient of this honor,” he says.  He loves his colleagues (he calls them “smart, collaborative, and fantastic”) and the opportunities Stanford has provided to him.  “At Stanford,” he says, “I can demonstrate my skills but have the support and tools to improve.”

In his free time, Amir loves to spend time outdoors with his wife, “capturing nature up close” through photography.  He also loves walking, music, and watching soccer and basketball.  “And of course,” he concludes, “spending time with my family is on top of my list.”