Kindness, effort, and integrity. As hard-working immigrants from Sicily, my parents instilled these values in my sister and me. They emphasized the importance of education and taught us to always see the good in people. My dad especially gave me motivation to excel and often shared sage advice. But I had no idea how much the following words from him would impact my life.
If something does not feel right, you have the power to make a change.
When I was in high school, my dad was killed by a speeding car while helping another motorist on the side of the road. Despite a history of reckless driving, the driver was acquitted with no penalty. I knew that what happened was not right, so I made a change. I chose to go to college as a criminal justice major at Northeastern University in Boston. I studied law, criminology, and psychology.
I started down the path to become an FBI agent, but I soon realized that lifestyle was not sustainable for me — I wanted time for family and a community. I also wanted the ability to be transparent and share my work with those I loved. So, I switched directions and graduated with a business and marketing degree.
I was fortunate to start out as product marketing manager. I worked at a company in Cambridge, MA, that developed math and science software for students. It might sound funny, but I started seeing a parallel between being an FBI profiler and being a product marketing manager.
I was essentially a profiler, understanding my audience and what made them tick — all to find my most-wanted customers.
After working in product marketing for a few years, I was recruited by Constant Contact to help launch their second product. As the very first product marketing manager there, it was an exciting time with lots of growth. Over the next four years, I built the foundation for product marketing, developed product positioning that drove the foundation of all marketing and sales initiatives, and eventually launched two additional products.
At that point, I was ready for a new challenge. I found it at LogMeIn — leading product marketing for join.me, a new online meeting tool. I worked hard to set the go-to-market strategy and the effort paid off. Our team acquired millions of users in the first year, becoming the fastest-growing, screen-sharing tool. I then went on to work for a channel partner of that company, once again leading product marketing.
What I love about product marketing is analyzing all the facts and bringing them together to launch and market something great.
But working in the corporate world, I also witnessed some injustices. Why were the most talented employees overlooked when an opportunity for career growth arose? Why did office politics take over the more a company succeeded? My dad’s words echoed in my ears — I needed to make a change.
I stumbled upon Aha! while researching my next move. As I learned about the product, I was fascinated. Having worked in marketing for more than 15 years, I was intrigued by how the application put goals first. This was something I had always pushed teams to focus more on. Have a goal and then act. I applied immediately.
The interview process was amazing — thoughtful, responsive, no wasted time. The more I learned about the company’s philosophy, the more I fell in love with the Aha! culture and values. I could not believe that they were actively talking about things like kindness and putting people first at a for-profit business. I wanted in.
Aha! practices what they preach. I get to work at a rapidly growing company while also staying true to my core values.
Since joining the marketing team, I have enjoyed working across teams to capture the essence of the brand and share our company story. It has been exciting to see the awards and recognition come rolling in this year, like being named one of the best places to work by Inc. or ranking on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list.
The awards are nice. Even better? Knowing that I am marketing a company and product that are driving change for the better. Our software is changing the way teams work and how products get built. And our corporate philosophy of lovability is a message that I am proud of.
It is important to me to feel that my work is contributing to the greater good. I get that at Aha! — especially reading love notes from our customers. We do our best to follow the messages that we share. Every day, I see my teammates demonstrate kindness, effort, and an enormous amount of integrity.
It is the kind of environment I always wanted. I am so glad I made the change.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.