What brought you to AvePoint?
I haven’t had the most traditional career path. During college, I joined the military and went on to serve for more than a decade. After finishing my enlistment, I followed my then girlfriend (now wife) to Russia and taught English to young professionals. After a few years, we moved to Chicago. I worked at a couple different start-ups before making the move to AvePoint.
Whats your role at AvePoint?
I’m a Customer Success Manager for the SLED West, Public Sector team. I make sure that our customers are adopting our solutions so that they get the most ROI from their AvePoint investment. A large part of my job is building relationships to make sure the customer journey is successful. It’s important to have the emotional intelligence and communication skills to motivate customers and ensure they stay on track.
How did you get involved in the Customer Success field/industry?
At my previous job, I had the opportunity to transition from an onboarding role into Customer Success and have been loving it ever since. We get to interact with so many different groups externally as well as internally. I derive a lot of satisfaction from helping other people, as I’m sure many others do. As a species, I think it’s coded into our DNA to work together and be collaborative; we wouldn’t have come this far in terms of civilization and technology if we weren’t. I think this is why Customer Success resonates with me so much.
How did you first learn about AvePoint and what drew you to your current position?
When I was looking for new roles, I came across AvePoint on LinkedIn. The more I looked into the company the more I liked it! I saw that the company has some really interesting solutions and has had great longevity in the market. I recognized the pain points AvePoint was trying to solve from my days as an IT admin in the military. With such solid fundamentals, I really, really wanted to join AvePoint!
What have you gained from working at AvePoint?
Over the past year, I’ve learned to be a more agile team member. Working in such a dynamic environment requires the ability to coordinate, multi-task, and prioritize efficiently. There was definitely a steep learning curve in the beginning, but now I feel much more confident in bringing value to the team while helping others along the way. To that end, I’ve tried to give back as much as I received from my teammates and leadership. So, I would say what I’ve gained most from working at AvePoint is a sense of camaraderie and teamwork by working with some of the finest colleagues I could ask for 😊
What advice would you give to future new hires?
It can be daunting starting a new job, but stick with it! At AvePoint, we have a wide range of complex products that take time to learn and understand. It’s important to seek out help when you need it. Our leadership team, specifically within Customer Success, is full of people with technical backgrounds. Make sure you use your teammates and managers as resources!
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Whenever I lived abroad and in other parts of the US, I always craved Chicago-style hotdogs, stuffed pizza, and Italian beef sandwiches. Whenever I fly back into Chicago, the first thing I pick up is a hot dog from Portillo’s with everything on it. So good!
What do you like to do outside of work?
Spending quality time with my kids; seeing them happy is brings me the greatest joy in my life. My daughter turned six and my son turned one recently. The photo above is last summer at Warren Dunes in Michigan. We were sweating and panting, legs on fire, by the time we got to the top. It was no joke!
What’s the most important advice you have for those seeking careers within technology?
Make sure you are reading and keeping up with the trends and get as well versed as possible on what’s happening with various technologies. When it comes to AvePoint specifically, it’s important to understand not just what we do as a company, but how we fit into the greater technology space.
What is your favorite thing to do in your city?
This summer, we’ve been on a pool/water park kick. There’s a surprising number of nice local park district pools with slides, lazy rivers, and waterfalls. There are a few major water park destinations around Chicago that are a lot of fun as well!