Traces started way back in 1992. Debby Swann started it and brought in her daughter, Penny to help. Together we have run this business through the years, hiring extra help as needed, but we have always been the core. This has allowed us to work from home so we could take care of Debby’s parents in their final years and then move on to take care of grandchildren while their parents worked. It also made it so Penny could work and go to college.
The end of May 2017 Debby fell and broke her leg. Penny was there in the hospital with her every day, but because of the way we work she (and Debby after her meds wore off so her brain wasn’t fuzzy) were in there working away with laptops and cell phones. Not a deadline was missed! (Pretty impressive since we were in the midst of finishing up paperwork for many who were counting on us so they could get their taxes done. Why do we wait for the last minute to input paperwork for taxes? I don’t know, I do it, too.). Long story short, Debby was moved to transitional care and was doing her physical therapy so she could return home, next thing we knew, a blood clot had taken her life.
Now, Penny Swann is the owner of Traces. We do like to provide work from home opportunities, but if you’re near us we have been known to come in to an office for a bit. Penny (and Debby, in her time) have covered for maternity leave, military training, and just to help a business get caught up.
Penny received her degree in office management from Bridgerland Applied Technical College. From there she worked as a temp for Kelly’s Temporary Services for a year to make sure her knowledge base was sound and she could handle anything in an office environment. During that time, Kelly’s brought her in to be a supervisor in their office because they were impressed with the work she did. Then we found out that you have to be 21 to work in their office, Penny was only 20. She then went to work for Utah State University and managed an office there. When Traces was too much for Debby to run with Penny helping out only part-time, Penny quit working at USU and started working only for Traces. The rest, as they say, is history.
We take pride in never missing a deadline and being able to do whatever project is needed. More than once Penny has quickly taken an internet class to learn something new so she could do a project for a client. She is not above recognizing something is beyond her. Although she can program websites in WYSIWYG, programming from the base code is beyond her skills, so we have two web programmers on call when the need arises. Some projects (like transcription) require two people. One who transcribes and “a second set of eyes”, a second person who reviews the transcript with the audio from a fresh perspective. Debby and Penny used to team up for these, now Penny teams up with her sister-in-law for these (Sarah has multiple degrees and does a great job at proofreading and transcriptions).
Penny’s goal is to make Traces grow, to provide jobs for more than just a few. She has already hired some new help and has a few more ready to go as soon as the work is there.