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Profiles in Pay: Summer stories

Colorful salads in the sun, road trips, and local island hopping: here’s what Amazon Pay staffers around the world are looking forward to this summer.

What are Amazon Pay employees up to this summer? Yuko Yukimoto, a marketing manager in Japan, is looking forward to road trips outside of Tokyo, shaved ice, and delicious meals. Jamie Tharp, head of partnerships for the Americas, is planning to see more of the San Juan Islands in northern Washington and enjoy plenty of patio time in the sun with some beautiful summer salads. And Cheryl Rademacher, a senior program manager, will be spending time outdoors making memories with her family and dog. The Amazonians shared a few of their favorite summer activities, bucket list vacation destinations, and some of the perks that make working at Amazon so rewarding.

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Yuko Yukimoto

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Title: Marketing Manager

City: Tokyo

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What are you looking forward to doing this summer? Going on a trip. However, recently I haven’t been able to leave because of COVID-19, so I’m going as far as I can get from Tokyo on a day trip. Also, I love to have a nice meal and mint-chocolate-flavored shaved ice.

What does your ideal vacation look like? Driving along the seaside or country roads where the air is dry, because the humidity is high in summer in Japan.

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What’s your top bucket list destination? In Japan, it’s Hokkaido. Overseas, it’s Croatia.

How have you benefited from the flexibility of working at Amazon? I’m very happy to have flexibility working at Amazon. I can respond immediately if my family is sick, especially now that I can lead a cat-friendly life!

Jamie Tharp

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Title: Head of Partnerships, Americas, Amazon Pay

City: Seattle, Washington

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What do you look forward to in the summer? I was raised in Mississippi where summer humidity levels reach into the 90s, so summer is all about tank tops and wearing shorts so that we can enjoy the sunshine outside without passing out! I moved to North Carolina after Mississippi, and my friends and family in both places would often give me their surplus tomatoes, cucumbers, and okra from their summer gardens. I always look forward to putting on my summer clothes and sitting outside on a patio with a colorful summer salad, good company, and a lot of sunshine.

What are your favorite vacation spots? Since we moved to Washington, my partner and I have fallen in love with the San Juan Islands. We’ve been three times since moving here and plan to go for a fourth time this summer. We’ve visited San Juan Island and Orcas Island (the two largest ones), but we haven’t made it to Lopez or Shaw yet (smaller islands). I’m not sure if we’ll make it to those or not because we are so smitten with the two we’ve already been to that we keep revisiting them! San Juan and Orcas are such a great mix of isolated calm and beauty, local artists, local food, and nature. I highly recommend staying on San Juan and doing the local artist tour or taking a hike through Moran State Park on Orcas.

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What’s your favorite Amazon perk? I think my favorite Amazon perk is the amazing content and programming that the affinity groups create, in particular the Mental Health & Well-being community. The MHW mission is to “promote employee well-being and to create a safe community where we can come together to reduce the stigma of mental health, raise awareness, create a culture of acceptance, and support one another.” MHW produces some truly top-notch content, like their “Living With” series where Amazonians tell stories about their experience living with things like invisible disabilities, being a caregiver, and sexual assault. It’s so important that all employees feel safe and supported, and this group takes that mission very seriously.

Cheryl Rademacher

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Title: Senior Program Manager

City: North Bend, Washington

What are you looking forward to doing this summer? Spending time with my family, hiking, and barbecuing. Some of my favorite summer activities are gardening and taking our dog to the river.

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What are your favorite vacation spots? Chelan, Washington, and here in Western Washington. You can’t beat a summer in the Puget Sound. My ideal vacation is being with the husband and kids, laughing and creating memories.

What’s your top bucket list destination? The Tuscany region in Italy.

Do you have any unforgettable summer vacation stories? In a family with four kids, as a child, there weren’t many extravagances. One year my parents told us we were going to join my dad driving to LA from Arizona for a business trip. Turned out they were taking us to Disneyland. It was my first time.

What’s your favorite Amazon perk? My favorite Amazon perk is an unintended one. I get to meet and work with amazing people worldwide.

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Do you value the flexibility of working at Amazon? I do value my flexibility at Amazon. It allows me to be close to home when I need to, yet allows me to be in the office when needed to collaborate.

How do you manage a good work-life balance? This is tricky. There is no straight, easy answer. It is a dance. Sometimes you feel like it is not working and you aren’t able to find a rhythm. Other times it’s easy like a Sunday morning.

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