CAMPUS Closeup: Lindsey Butorac
Lindsey Butorac (Human Resources) refers to herself with self-deprecating humor as “the time sheet nag.” She sends emails to NMU employees every two weeks, reminding them to record their time at the end of each pay period. These messages are more gentle nudging than nagging, but they are effective.
“I love it when payroll is finished,” said Butorac. “Normally I’m a little burned out afterward, so my idea of breathing a sigh of relief is playing on the Banner test system to see if there are ways to improve efficiency or additional features we haven’t tried yet. My job is to make sure Banner and UltraTime are functioning properly and review any upgrades or changes that have to be made. The payroll clerks do the nitty gritty work of processing payroll, but review anomalies and step in as needed.”
Butorac graduated with an accounting/CIS degree from Northern. She moved to Green Bay to do taxes for a CPA firm—also earning her CPA license—before returning to accept a grant accountant position in the NMU controller’s office. After two and a half years, Butorac was looking for a new challenge. She found it in Human Resources. She credits her hire to having a desirable trifecta of experience in payroll, information systems and accounting.
Butorac also is responsible for tax filings and W2 forms. She makes sure the university is in compliance with federal and state regulations, which are always evolving and often complex. Along that line, she has fielded recent phone calls about PEIF recreation memberships being considered a taxable benefit and the related deductions from paychecks. Butorac even had to notify the joyful winners of prizes at the holiday party that those winnings would be taxed. She serves Northern in other capacities as a UN100 instructor and a volunteer mentor for the Student Leader Fellowship Program.
Outside of work, Butorac and husband, Tyson, keep busy with their two-year-old son, Mitchell. They live in West Ishpeming, where both were born and raised. It is clear that family is a precious commodity for the couple.
“We were married on Tyson’s grandparents’ wedding anniversary and went out to dinner with them each year to celebrate,” said Butorac. “His grandpa died, but we still take grandma out with us.”
The couple bought a foreclosed, condemned home and donated it to the local fire department. Firefighters trained on it for a summer, then burned it down, clearing the site for a new house the Butoracs built with help from family. It is located within a mile of both sets of parents/in-laws.
“That project was quite a labor of love. Some of the wood was from trees that fell at my dad’s camp and were hauled to my grandpa’s sawmill. I’ve heard building a house can really test a marriage, but somehow ours survived,” she laughed. “We were picking out a front door at a store and the clerk helping us said, ‘I’ve never seen a couple argue so happily.’”
While pregnant with Mitchell, Butorac met the cast and crew of American Pickers in Iron River. They were filming an episode featuring Tyson’s aunt, who was dispensing some items salvaged from the Standard Oil gas station her father once owned.
“The show’s more scripted than you would expect,” Butorac said. “The first production crew shows up and goes through the stuff before the pickers arrive. But the dealing and negotiating you see on air is legitimate. They ended up taking away quite a bit in U-Hauls. I’m really glad we were there. It was a neat experience to see how a show like that is put together behind the scenes.”