Meet the Referential Team: Paula Kozak

After many years in different marketing roles at various high-tech companies, Paula found her “home" in her first reference management position while working at Sun Microsystems. This happened during a corporate reorganization when the Director asked her if she wanted to lead the new references team. To which she replied, “Sure!… What’s a reference?”

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Ten years later, she is often quoted as saying, “If there’s a better job in marketing, someone needs to tell me since I don’t know what that is – and I’ve done most of them!”

Paula finds customer advocacy so valuable and compelling, regardless of company, because references touch each leg of the marketing three-legged stool: lead generation, brand promotion and sales enablement.

What gets Paula up in the morning is the notion of being able to contribute every day to the company’s success. Today, as a Customer Advocacy Consultant with Referential, Inc., she is eager to continue to learn more about advocacy programs; collaborating with teammates across a wide array of advocacy programs, she is able to bring new thinking to her specific clients.

Mom to Christy and Katrina, wife to Anne with 4 grandkids and counting, Paula can be found hiking to the top of a mountain most weekends. Since she lives in New Hampshire, some people might call them ‘hills’ but with the kind of views she sees at the top, the debate over terminology doesn’t matter much to her: Paula’s goal is to climb the highest peak in each of the New England states!

Meet the Referential Team: Ryan Quackenbush

If you were to rewind the clock on Ryan Quackenbush, you’d find him jumping off stages at rock concerts and singing loudly in equally loud bands. Go back a bit further, and you’ll find a young – Keanu Reeves-looking – man aspiring to write the next great American novel while studying beatniks and black mountain poets and earning a degree in literature and creative writing from an Upstate New York (NY) college. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find an established Advocacy Consultant with a track record of success in the high-tech industry and experience that he draws upon to benefit his clients.

Taking the background as a stage performer with him today, Ryan has spoken at various tech and advocacy events on the programs he’s created. You’ll also find him on occasion attending advocacy-focused get-togethers in the New England area. He’s built internal advocacy programs for mid-sized startups, global enterprises, as well as global, open-sourced tech communities. His experience is varied, as is his approach.

Born in upstate NY, Ryan lives in the Albany, NY area with his wife and new daughter, Luna. He is gradually becoming accustomed to all the challenges that fatherhood provides; he admits, though, that yes everything is different but he’s genuinely surprised at how quickly he’s become used to everything being altered.

If you’re looking for a few fun facts about Ryan to breakout at a dinner party, he loves to cook, he feverishly roots for the NY Mets, he plays 5 instruments and has co-written and performed on over a dozen different albums. His vinyl collection boasts over 1300 records to date, his favorite book series is without a doubt Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, he’s a “big time space nerd” and, more than anything, he wants to stand on every continent before he dies.

Ryan loves a challenge and meeting new people; he joined Referential in May of 2019, having most recently come over from Oracle. Having the opportunity to learn from Helen and everyone at Referential, frankly, was too good an opportunity for him to pass up!

The Team is in Town!

At the end of May, our San Jose headquarters were abuzz with various members from our worldwide team, including colleagues from our satellite office in Monterrey, the East Coast and England. The worldwide team gathered for a week of reflection, planning and team building -- a bi-annual tradition at Referential.

In between client meetings, cyber security training and catered lunches, the team partook in a variety of different activities, including a fruitful skills sharing session, celebrating the conclusion of our office wellness challenge, and developing curriculum for our online training courses.

During our skills share session, we discussed strategies for collaborating with sales teams and for making advocacy programs easily accessible to all internal departments. Our discussion also touched on how to foster meaningful customer relationships, deliver value at every touch point with a c-suite client and show appreciation and gratitude for advocates. The team drew on current and past experiences in the customer advocacy field to provide perspectives from a variety of different industries and types of advocacy programs, sharing an incredible breadth of insight and strategy with the group, which also is being leveraged to educate other customer advocacy practitioners through our training program.

We also celebrated the conclusion of our office wellness challenge by collectively reflecting on the initiative and holding a raffle for all who participated. We used Influitive's AdvocateHub to create an Experience comprised of a variety of health and wellness activities for our team to partake in. The entire group stepped up to the challenge, committing to weekly activities like trying out a new food plan, taking 10,000 steps everyday, volunteering for a charitable cause, and tackling home wellness projects such as updating fire safety equipment and donating items from a newly reorganized room.

"All-hands" weeks are invaluable to our worldwide team as they provide precious moments for our global workforce to gather in the same time zone to share account updates and best-practices, and connect with one another over lunch and coffee instead of video call or email. There are always new tactics and techniques to be shared with one another, as well as stories of triumph and learning.

We're looking forward to hosting worldwide team members at our San Jose headquarters again in November!

When in Rome....

Our managing partner, Helen Feber, recently spent a week in Rome. She joined a world wide meeting held by one of our clients, bringing customer advocacy expertise and focus to the event. Helen also taught one of our training classes, customized to meet specific needs of this client. After the training she then proctored a certification exam, the ICCAP Level 1 exam.  Referential is authorized to deliver training in support of the certifications offered by the Institute of Certified Customer Advocacy Professionals and to proctor the associated exams. It was a very busy week.IMG_2771Attentive students and a wonderful teacher led to a very high pass rate on the exam.  Congratulations to all the newly certified customer advocacy professionals!Of course one can’t spend a week in Rome without some fun!  Here's Helen as she was ready to cycle off on an adventure!Let us know if your organization is interested in customer advocacy training. We even have an ICCAP authorized training center at our site in San Jose California, should you not have a meeting in Rome scheduled!

Time Zones - Thoughts From Referential's Lynn Watts

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Our days are governed by time, and the concept of time zones around the world can be quite daunting. If each time zone were 1 hour apart, there would be 24 in the world. But several time zones have only 30 and 45 minutes offsets, making the total number worldwide much higher, so there are 37 different time zones! With the Referential team being dispersed across several continents we have to be very mindful of the time when reaching out to our own team as well as customers. But with this spread, we can be productive and assist our clients across most of the 24hrs in any given day.I’m always a little edgy when sending out a meeting invite to a customer, have I calculated the time difference correctly? I think we have all experienced that oh so embarrassing event of phoning someone at some antisocial hour only to find they are stirring from a deep sleep to answer your call…once is enough and we will do all within our power to never have to go through that again!Have you ever had to arrange a meeting where there are several attendees, all in different countries? You know how confusing it is too, trying to align a time that works for everyone, and being respectful of trying to keep things within business hours, working out what are the business hours in that particular country, as much as one can. It can be a challenge!Also, throw into the mix the switch between Summer and Winter time. Some countries make changes before others, which means connecting with the rest of the world a little daunting! Your usual weekly meetings are not at the ‘usual’ times, and you either end up dialing frantically into a call, when prompted on Skype by a kindly colleague who notices you missing, or sitting on an empty line as you realize you are the only one who is 60 minutes too early!I use this great little tool, World Time Buddy – it has certainly proven to be my ‘buddy’ on a many an occasion!In a few weeks time, the whole Referential team will be getting together for our regular 6 monthly meeting at US head office in San Jose. It’s a chance for us all to be in one place, see each other face to face (rather than on webcam), brainstorm, bond and, for once, not have to think about time zones before reaching out. Its amazing, although we are spread far and wide around the globe, we never feel like there are thousands of miles and varying numbers of minutes between us.

Meet the Referential Team: Lauren Ruffin

LaurenMeet Lauren Ruffin, Referential’s newest team member, shown here with her grandpa! Lauren joined in September 2018 and has been diligently writing case studies, blogs, award nominations, profile slides and other assets for a variety of Referential’s clients. Prior to joining, she worked in the non-profit sector serving a broad range of functions in non-profit development including grant writing, fundraising, event planning, and marketing and communications. She is looking forward to continuing her support of the non-profit sector by working with clients to help them position their advocacy programs to be compelling and fruitful for the non-profit organizations their companies serve. Lauren enjoys being able to experience and contribute to the full spectrum of activities that managing a customer advocacy program requires. She is thoroughly impressed by the range of skills and experience shared among her colleagues and feels lucky to learn from and work alongside such a capable staff. She has come to greatly appreciate the level of planning, organization, and collaboration the staff invests into managing each client’s customer advocacy program. She continues to be in awe of how many programs the team is able to coordinate at once. 

Lauren also enjoys learning about customers’ stories during the asset creation process. She is fascinated by the infinite number of ways we as people perceive and experience the world around us and continues to be intrigued by the myriad of benefits a single product from a client can offer to different customers. One of her favorite parts about working in asset production is the creative challenge of capturing the details that make each customer’s narrative unique and retelling their stories in a way that is true and authentic to their lived experiences.

She is grateful for the warm welcome she received from the Referential team and how patient and kind everyone has been introducing her to the world of customer advocacy. She is very thankful to have the help and guidance of so many experienced customer advocacy managers and appreciates the team’s propensity for a good laugh. Afternoon strolls with teammates and the perk of afternoon tea – thanks to Referential’s British managing partners – are some of her favorite parts of day-to-day life in the office.

When not clacking away on a keyboard at work, you might catch Lauren cruising around the Bay in her red Prius to try out new food or taking time out for gardening. She likes to take breaks from indulging in various TV series to walk her dog, Koge, and will almost never turn down the opportunity to turn up some music and dance with reckless abandon when no one is watching. 

Lauren loves to connect with people and looks forward to translating that passion into continuing Referential’s tradition of fostering welcoming, inclusive environments for customer advocates so they feel comfortable and confident sharing their stories.

Wellness: A Company Priority

We kicked off a team wellness challenge today.  As partners with Influitive we have our own AdvocateHub which we call Rendezvous. We’re going to use the Experiences capability as our foundation. The Experience capability is almost like having a mini Hub within a Hub.  We’ll have choices of challenges around a monthly theme. Not only are we all going to improve our wellness, we’ll learn a bit more about the AdvocateHub from both the administrative and user perspective. challengesMonth one of our challenge is focused on food and drink.  We can choose from 5 different challenges throughout the month, repeating or choosing to do a new one each week.  Eat less sugar, eat more fruit and veggies, drink more water, eat home cooked meals all week, or try out a new diet. As we complete our chosen challenge each week we’ll earn points towards individual and group goals. 

Next month the theme will be increased physical activity.  Follow our blog and you’ll see updates on how we’re doing. It’s good to focus on wellness and this approach allows us to have personal choices while still working towards a common goal as a team.

Meet the Referential Team: Saravanan Sakthivel

saravanan sakthivelSaravanan Sakthivel – or Sara for short – is based in India. Referential is the first company he’s been with in which he works entirely remotely. Although he’s in the eastern hemisphere, he never feels too far away from the rest of the team because everyone is good about connecting with him via Skype and there’s overlap in working hours with other teammates’ time zones. Sara has over five years of working with customer advocacy programs and has been a full-time consultant with Referential for more than a year. His favorite part of the job for clients is recruiting new customers into their programs. He enjoys being able to identify and leverage clients’ happiest customers, and then help them share their success with the rest of the business community.

When he’s not working, Sara spends times with his family, which includes his wife and 3-years old son. They like to watch television together to relax. They recently had a vacation in England visiting family and while there, Sara got to spend a day sightseeing with his Referential colleague, Lynn.

Sara describes Referential’s culture as being strong and friendly. He loves working alongside the rest of the team; it was the work culture that attracted him to join the company in the first place. Sara plans to keep on learning and moving to the next level in consultancy with Referential. He always gives a hundred percent of effort in fulfilling the goals and targets that he’s tasked with.

Meet the Referential Team: Lillian Kann

Portsmouth-2018 (2)Meet Lillian Kann, in the photo with her husband.  Lillian had just two words to say when giving a brief description of her position at Referential – “fabulous job”. She’s extremely passionate about what she does, and anybody could tell that from the way she speaks about it. Lillian explained how she loves being able to work with customers and being able to share their success stories, which she says are tremendously powerful. She feels this incredible satisfaction in being able to enable her customers to feel proud of their success and help showcase their achievements. Lillian’s previous years of work prior Referential included building a number of advocacy programs from scratch. What attracted her to Referential is the strong, collaborative, and unique team. She feels she’s continuously learning and growing as an individual: Having the opportunity to try things she’s never done before, and is delighted at how much she’s enjoying it all.

Having never previously worked as a consultant, Referential has enabled her to constantly be introduced to new clients, tasks, and environments. It has exposed her to an entirely new perspective on business and she loves the thrill of always having new aspects in her work life.

Lillian looks forward to furthering her career at Referential and continuing to help clients share their customers’ stories. She’s a strong believer in there always being room to improve and would love to keep learning. Most importantly, she hopes to keep on enjoying what she does and to do an outstanding job at it.

Lillian stressed that she wants clients to know she will work hard for them and will work to build an effective partnership. She will do her upmost to invest her energy in helping them achieve their goals and missions.

Her love for cooking, gardening, sailing, and traveling keeps her occupied in her free time. Lillian’s enthusiasm is infectious and we hope you get to meet her and enjoy spending time with her like we do!

Meet Referential's Barbara Leavy

BarbMeet Referential's Barbara Leavy.  Here she is with family celebrating mom's 95th birthday.  Happy birthday to mom!   Barbara has a wide variety of skills and talents that she’s amassed throughout her career and determined that her strengths are best utilized as a Senior Advocacy Consultant at Referential. Her experience in a range of business functions, as well as collaborating across various departments, makes her a valuable advisor; offering unique perspectives to aid others.  

She enjoys being a matchmaker for her clients: Connecting their customers with each other and ensuring they receive invitations to the activities they’ve flagged as of interest. Her ability to multitask enables her to juggle all her responsibilities, which particularly comes in handy since no two days at Referential are ever alike!

Working at Referential is one of her favorite professional highlights: She loves the teamwork and comradery, being able to share knowledge and getting to know and help each other grow. Barbara commented on how the group’s dynamic really shines during team activities such as scavenger hunts in San Jose, escape rooms, and casual nights out. Being in such a supportive setting, she feels she continues to grow as a consultant and as a person.

Golfing, cooking, and puzzles are some of her many hobbies. She hopes she can add traveling to that list soon as she looks forward to seeing more of the world. Barbara wants her current job to be her last career; she’s extremely passionate about her role at Referential and doesn’t imagine doing anything else in the future. 

Productivity tips from Referential's Barbara Leavy

I know we are all guilty of wishing there were more hours in the day.  Unfortunately, we need to face the reality, there is… and always will be… 24 hours in a day.  The one exception is that one day of the year when the clocks turn back, but hopefully we are getting an extra hour to sleep and not an extra hour to work! In this fast paced world we live in, the ability to multi-task and prioritize is essential to our success, our productivity and especially our sanity.  If we all keep a few tips in mind it can help to effectively juggle what is on our plates.

Make a plan:

  • The first step to effective multitasking is having a plan or setting goals. You can’t “just wing it” and hope that your projects will be completed to the best of your abilities.
  • By thinking ahead, it will help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Make sure to set reminders: 

  • If you have a data base where you can create tasks to manage your work, make sure to do so. Check your to- do list early in the day and prioritize, keeping in mind there will more than likely be a fire drill that comes up during the day.  Tackle what is most important first.
  • Use your outlook calendar to your advantage, it can be an easy way to track deadlines.
  • Flag emails that you need to address but cannot respond to immediately or you need to investigate prior to responding. Take some time at the end of your day to review your flagged emails and respond or create a task or reminder where appropriate.

Break down and combine tasks when possible:

  • We often look at our workload like an insurmountable mountain which can be intimidating. Break down those tasks into smaller manageable chunks.  This will enable you to work on multiple tasks at once, and if they are smaller they will feel more manageable.
  • If possible, try to concentrate on similar tasks at the same time. In order to effectively multitask, it helps if the projects you are working on are somewhat similar. This way your mind is not jumping from one thing to another, allowing you to “get in the zone”.

Step Away:

  • You may find that by stepping away for a brief time will give you a chance to clear your head and may also give you some inspiration.
  • With so much on our plates it is easy to feel guilty if we take some down time. So, take a short walk, grab a cup of coffee (away from your computer) or get some fresh air. I am pretty sure your brain will thank you!

Remember, not all tasks are equal.  It is up to you to evaluate your tasks prior to beginning to determine true priorities.  Keep in mind that some tasks may require your full attention, at that point you need to put your multitasking hat on the shelf for a while!

Meet the Referential Team: Andreas Silva

AndreasAndreas Silva takes a lot of pride in what he and the rest of the Referential team do. As an employee of three years, he’s extremely dedicated to his work. Andreas insists no other company can do what Referential does. He explained the level of detail that goes into each task, and how the team goes through a lot to provide powerful content and input for each client.   As an individual he offers a wide range of skills; he’s fluent in Spanish, possesses a strategic mindset, is highly efficient, and delivers incredible work stamina. As cliché as it sounds, Andreas describes himself as being the kind of person that doesn’t shy away from challenges and it’s been proven to be true on many occasions. He’s known to be one of the first to step up and help with any given task. He has an incredibly active mind that’s constantly looking for where both he and the company can grow and expand in any way.

Despite his strong focus on work, he doesn’t neglect to recognize the family-oriented culture that he shares with his co-workers. Andreas recalled a number of amusing memories such as room escapes, happy hours, and other various out-of-office moments. He especially treasures the time last year spent traveling to Belgium and Singapore for video shoots. He loves getting to work with people from different countries and cultures.

There’s a certain relaxed and laid-back culture unique to Referential, which Andreas loves, that serves as the foundation for the office’s overall atmosphere, even with the tremendous amounts of work that’s being accomplished. The environment makes for an enjoyable and easy place to work.  

Andreas makes sure that clients’ needs are met and does everything that’s needed of him. In return, he’s exposed to a wide variety of companies and industries that give him a better understanding of the business world. He made a point that the constant learning is one of his favorite things about working at Referential – other than the breakfast burritos from the restaurant next door! He always tries to give as much, if not more, as he receives.

He wants future and current clients to know that he may come off as quiet and laid back but when it comes to work he’s passionate, persistent and takes it very seriously.

When he’s not in the office, Andreas can be found coaching soccer, at the beach, hiking, wine tasting, or just simply relaxing. Alongside his hard work, the Referential team appreciates his good sense of humor and stellar poker face!

Meet the Referential team: Jennifer Doyon

JenDLiving in Maine along with her husband, two sons, and dog – Jennifer Doyon manages to be an active Advocacy Consultant for Referential. She enjoys being able to work with multiple clients, and she especially appreciates that in her role as a consultant she can focus on her work without the distraction of corporate politics. Jennifer mentioned how people love being able to talk about what they do, and that Referential helps find them the platforms to do so: She facilitates customer interaction to help them promote the products they use. She loves meeting customer advocates at events and interviews: Being able to hear about their experiences and to learn about their industry keeps her job interesting and informative.

Jennifer’s experience of working for a large technology vendor and understanding how a big enterprise company is structured – as well as the challenges employees face – enables her to connect with her clients on a different level. She also has experience working in a corporate communications team, which gave her extensive experience with analyst and press relations, customer interviews, and event planning and execution. 

Aside from work, Jennifer enjoys walks with her dog, yoga, and spending time with friends. She has two boys that have always played numerous sports, so she considers watching them compete as one of her hobbies! During football season, she is especially busy, as her sons both play, one in high school and the other in college. In the summers, Jennifer's family spends time fishing and boating along the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. . She tries to travel whenever she can: She backpacked all over Europe after college and would like to revisit some of her favorite countries; Germany, Ireland, and Greece.

She loves that her co-workers are team-oriented, positive, and focused on learning and improving, which creates a very positive work experience. She enjoys traveling to San Jose at least twice a year for the all-hands-in-person weeks where everyone at Referential experiences working side-by-side and the team bonding is significant. She’s excited to be part of Referential’s positive trajectory!

Meet the Referential Team - Lynn Watts

Lynn&BertieWorking from the UK, Lynn Watts has been an Advocate Consultant with Referential for 20-years! She also assists Referential’s creative team when needed, as she has a background as a graphic designer.  One of Lynn’s strongest suits is being able to talk to anyone, whether it be an executive or a sales rep or a technician. She thinks of herself as a matchmaker of the business world; working hard to find the best fitting advocates to speak to each prospect. One of her favorite aspects about work is it’s always interesting; every day is different.

Being a team player enables Lynn to help both her clients and coworkers. She adores her Referential family and is grateful for the supportive and close dynamic they all share. In fact, what she finds so extraordinary about the team is the broad range of experience between them. They can leverage each of their skills and expertise, making for an extraordinarily strong group of consultants.

She recalled a favorite memory – which coincidentally occurred during one of her California visits – one of the team was sitting on a yoga ball and it happened to burst right underneath them! Thankfully, the colleague wasn’t hurt and the whole moment was captured on the cameras in the office, immortalizing the scene forever.

Aside from her job, Lynn loves to play tennis – at club-level impressively enough – walk her dog (that's Bertie in the photo), garden, spend time with her family, and just be outdoors. 

She appreciates the gratitude and recognition she gets from clients, especially kudos those from contacts outside of the advocacy programs that suddenly realize what the program can do for them. And she’s thankful for her team at Referential for constantly expanding her horizons.

See us at the 2018 Elevate Customer Summit

ElevateDo you use the RO Innovation platform for your customer advocacy data? If so you should consider attending the 2018 Elevate Customer Summit being held November 14-15 in San Jose, CA. All the details are here.   The summit is a great chance for networking, learning best practices, product training, and insight into advocacy trends. There are some great speakers on the agenda including our very own Helen Feber.

Helen is doing a joint session with Richard Clooke of Symantec at 1:30 the first day. Their topic is "Mastering Internal Engagement for Greater Buy-In". They will talk about a key to advocacy program success, which is ensuring it is embedded throughout your organization.  You want to see customer evidence as part of processes throughout Marketing, Product, and Sales organizations. In the session you will get tips on working with various groups to embed customer evidence in their processes, campaigns, product launches, and all aspects of go to market and sales plans.

Join Helen and Richard at Elevate 2018!

Meet the Referential Team: Regina Dawkins

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Over the years working in corporate America, Regina Dawkins, pictured in Venice, from her recent trip,  has gained a strong work ethic of professionalism, energy and excitement, and she has accrued very valuable knowledge having worked in multiple business functions ranging from marketing, to HR, to finance. Almost six years ago, she came to Referential because it serves as the advocacy marketing extension she was looking for.

Regina finds the Advocacy Consultant role incredibly fulfilling because of the way it plays a strategic part in sale cycles. She finds satisfaction in running advocacy programs, and particularly enjoys request fulfillment: Matching prospects with experienced buyers, having them connect, and assisting account owners to win deals. She feels she’s constantly learning and the job delivers plenty of variety.

One of her favorite aspects of Referential is the culture: She loves how the atmosphere is always open and collaborative; promoting teamwork and communication. Everyone can truly work together, she describes it as very synergistic.

One of Regina’s philosophies – for both life and work – is that there’s always something to learn, there’s never an endpoint, and Referential delivers the educational environment that she enjoys. Regina is always looking to see what she can contribute by creating new ideas, new approaches, and different perspectives.

It’s not all work though – which is significant to a healthy group dynamic – she treasures having fun moments with the team, and the care that they’ve developed for each other. Celebrating and sharing success, enjoying birthday parties and welcoming new team members, are among her highlights.

Regina is very interested in exercise and nutrition, and is the Health and Wellness Officer for Referential. She particularly focuses on activities such as walking, running, rowing, and weight-lifting, and sets competitions for her co-workers to encourage them to keep moving and stay healthy. She leverages the treadmill desks in the office every afternoon to help her hit her goal of 20,000 steps a day!

Regina’s mantra is to be the best she can be and give 100% in everything she does. She’s always excited to build relationships and connect with people to help them meet their goals. Her favorite times often involve meeting clients face-to-face; she feels the real-life collaboration is a very powerful thing. She’s a beloved member of Referential and her clients adore her too.

Grand Opening of Our New Meeting and Video Space!

Our new training, video, and meeting space had its grand opening September 14.  We hosted a meeting of a Bay Area advocacy group in the morning and a team meeting in the afternoon. We have a video corner, large conference table, smaller table for break outs, projector, TV, white boards, conference phone....  We will host group and client meetings and have plans for many other events in the near future. Below see the view from the front entrance. Cozy chairs provide a second break out area and a great spot for anyone who arrives early. The second photo is from the far wall and shows our video nook. Much of our video work has been at client and customer sites, in fact the team heads to Dubai later this week!  The sound proofing we did makes filming in this space a great option. Finally, you can see Alex and Dave were first to arrive for a later meeting, at our larger table which easily accommodates 12.  Stop by and visit or inquire about hosting your meeting here!

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Meet the Referential Team: Alex Feber

FB_IMG_1518427106088 Alex Feber is truly a one-of-a-kind employee at Referential. He is the Communications Manager that encompasses both the video production and graphics design functions.. Somehow, he manages these two jobs and is exceptionally successful in them, regularly receiving kudos for the pieces he produces.

Alex says his favorite things about work are the environment and the possibilities. Ironically, he creates both of those for himself! Throughout the day, many of his witty remarks can be heard throughout the office creating a light, amiable and welcoming environment, and perhaps the tightknit team is partially a result of that. As for the possibilities, Alex makes sure to take advantage of every single one he gets. He leads every video production that leaves Referential, and has turned what started as a hobby into a highly-valued and needed asset for the company.

He describes himself as friendly and humorous but hardworking – which most find difficult to juggle at the same time. I’m sure his co-workers can agree, and are thankful for the skills and comedy he offers. Alex didn’t forget to express his gratitude to the team and for his job. He appreciates his peers who can tag along with his sense of humor and to his job that provides a creative outlet for him.

A favorite memory of his was moving into the new Referential building, knowing that they owned it, it was a big step forward in the right direction for the future of the company. He enjoyed seeing their hard work coming together and was excited to see how Referential will evolve in the future. Alex hopes he can grow along with the company, and continue to hone his video producing skills. He’d like the chance to film some friends’ cars and motorcycles seeing as those are some of his other interests. Most notably, he hopes to see the Video Creation Team grow.

He recalled an embarrassing moment in which he had started filming only to realize a while later that he hadn’t inserted a memory card into one of the two cameras! This essentially meant there was no footage from the side camera but thankfully the shots from the front-facing one were fine. It made for a memory that everyone had a good laugh at.

Alex said working at Referential has shaped him into the person he is today and has helped him appreciate the value of hard work, and we surely appreciate him right back for that! 

Meet the Referential Team: Kristy Ward

Another in our series of blog posts about the Referential Team Kristy glass blowing

Kristy Ward, one of Referential’s earliest employees, holds the responsibility of playing several crucial roles within the organization. As a COO, she carries out many duties ranging from handling the payroll, to analyzing legal documents, to writing checks for the garbage service! She is essentially the backbone of Referential, and although the COO position is only one of the many roles she undertakes in her daily life – others being a mother of three, delivering consulting to Referential clients, and a dedicated film and novel enthusiast – Kristy manages to execute each task presented to her with utmost precision.

Kristy possesses a wide range of skills and recognizes her past experiences as being one of the primary factors in her success. She’s spent a number of years working in the high-tech industry and is very familiar with many of Referential’s clients. She’s grateful that she has a better understanding of them, and how to be more innovative with them, due to her extensive knowledge. Kristy’s favorite aspect of working with customers is receiving their approval and appreciation – knowing that she’s made them feel good – for representing their brand well.

As a matter of fact, her former work has enabled her to introduce a couple of her current co-workers to Referential. This ties into the reason of why Kristy has such a strong perspective of the company being truly family-oriented in both a literal and figurative sense.

Some of her favorite memories as a member of the team are shared with her peers. She recalled stories of video ‘bloopers’ -- the time a colleague walked straight into a closed door, and when a yoga ball (some employees opt to use as an office chair) broke with its passenger making an elegant fall! That’s not to mention the birthday parties complete with cakes, the annual holiday volunteer work, and the success celebrations the entire group takes part in. It’s the little things like these that add to an environment unique to Referential’s culture.

Kristy noted the great emphasis on community and helping one another at Referential. She explained that if there’s a particular aspect a member is interested in, the business dynamic enables the flexibility to explore it. Employees are given opportunities to try different things and to customize a role that brings out their strengths with elements to match their interests.

Despite already having a strong career with many accomplishments, Kristy is always eager to learn more about new clients and their industry and solutions, and to help Referential grow. Outside of work, she plans on finishing renovating her house soon, and  traveling to see more of the world.

Kristy wants both potential and current clients to know that she has an extensive background in many areas and is always excited to help them. We hope this gives you a good idea of who she is and the important work she does here at Referential!