Why are you working in marketing?
Digital marketing is a gigantic world and there are so many different aspects that one could specialize in, but because our marketing team here is small, I get to be a jack-of-all-trades. And I like that most of those trades are customer-facing because I'm a people person. I enjoy figuring out what people respond to and using that empirical data to either create shareable content, compelling ads, or come up with helpful responses for support inquires. The digital marketing world is also constantly shifting with new tools, process, algorithm changes, etc., so it keeps me on my toes and keeps my brain sharp.
If you weren't working in marketing, what else would you be doing?
It doesn't really make any practical sense, but I would love to own a record store that doubled as a music venue. So, I would be booking bands to play at night and selling records during the day. It would be like High Fidelity, but not as pretentious. Owning a record shop is not exactly going to pay the bills, but I love talking about music with people, so being able to have people ask me for recommendations and then come back and tell me what they think would be so rewarding. I already do that to some extent through my YouTube channel, but it would be cool to spend my life just being entrenched in the music world.
What's your favorite part of the marketing process?
I really enjoy interacting with people and seeing how those interactions shape their perceptions of what Forthright is. I love creating content, updating people with news about what we're doing, or even just answering their questions. I like satisfying them in that way because I feel like I'm building a one-on-one connection with someone and that then fosters their connection to us, Forthright. Putting an ad up there and wondering how it's affecting the funnel is interesting as well, but I really enjoy the one-on-one interactions. Even if it's just customer support—it's great when you're able to get through to someone and can help them have a positive experience. Every interaction makes a difference.
Do you have a hero?
I really think that Eddie Vedder is one of my personal heroes. And not just because he's an amazing musician who's led Pearl Jam in creating 10 incredible albums over three decades now, but also because of what he stands for and his convictions. Most recently I was at The Home Shows in Seattle, where they raised $11 million to go directly towards combating the homelessness issue in Seattle. Most people can't do a lot to help at that scale, but the fact that they are using their influence to help with this huge problem that's plaguing their home town is admirable. They don't have to do that, but they decided that's what they wanted to allocate that time and money towards. Beyond that, throughout their whole career they've been speaking out against corrupt politicians and fighting against companies that support ticket scalping and overcharging. A lot of people who have a platform of that size don't stand up for these things if they aren't affected by them, so the fact that Eddie has used his platform for good really inspires me.
Why is being people-first important to you?
Being people-first means identifying self-serving behaviors and mentalities and pushing them out the window so that you can make decisions that will benefit others' happiness. It's a mentality—a way to operate honestly, transparently, and thoughtfully to make sure everyone involved has a good experience. And that can—and should—be applied to any industry.
What's one aspect of your life philosophy?
Laughter doesn't heal everything, but I think it's extremely important to one's overall happiness. Whether you're laughing with friends, at some form of media, or just a silly meme, it's important to take that time to disconnect from all the stresses and pressures of life and just laugh. Every day. Any day that I don't have a good laugh about something is a day that probably could have been better. So, I take that philosophy and make sure that I'm finding reasons to laugh—that I have things I enjoy enough to give me that let-loose feeling at least once a day. People don't give laughter enough credit; it's good for your personal sanity, it's cathartic, and it's fun.
Tell me about some of your colleagues.
Colleen and I have a very similar sense of humor. Whenever I end up at her desk, we always start out talking about something nonsensical or superficial that leads to a good laughing fit, but then it always parlays into good life advice. I feel like she's so wise and easy to talk to, that I've opened up to her about personal things and she's been really good about helping me navigate them. I really appreciate having that in the office.
What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?
The seemingly endless flow of Reese's peanut butter cups in the kitchen. But really, it's the people. Everybody has a distinct personality, is really friendly and gets along with one another. Which, to me, is baffling because I've seen some toxic work environments where it's a struggle to get people to agree to work on anything with each other. It's cool to be at a company where everyone acts like a family, works hard and plays hard, and makes sure each other is happy and reaching their goals.
What's one way that you're the same as your childhood self?
I have always been into collecting things rabidly. It's been different things throughout my life—turtle figurines in first grade, action figures throughout my childhood, Pokémon cards from fourth to seventh grade, retro video games in high school, and then my current obsession leading to me owning over 2000 vinyl records. I love both parts of collecting: the hunt for something and then actually owning it. It's cool when you're on the hunt for something and then it magically materializes—it's that moment of, "It's here. And I can get it." It's an interesting fix. And then by owning the things, I can have a physical manifestation of my interests. I like my room being a museum of things that I love. I wake up every day and look at something in my room that reminds me of a specific moment in my life or a thing in life that I'm fond of. I think it's really important to be surrounded by things that remind you of why you enjoy living.
What's your idea of the perfect Saturday?
Waking up late. Going to brunch. Going home in a food coma to listen to records until I'm hungry enough for a decadent dinner. And then going to a show or a concert or hanging out with close friends at someone's house. Basically, all things that are relaxing and activate all the dopamine in my brain. And that's actually a typical Saturday for me.
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