16+ faces smiling grouped together!

A thank you to my coworkers ahead of Technical.ly’s 10th anniversary

A decade ago this month a couple friends and I started down a pathway that became Technical.ly so in the next couple weeks I am going to do some sharing.

A couple weeks ago, we hosted our inaugural Alumni Ball — gathering both current and former staff at the Pen and Pencil Club — and on February 26th in Philadelphia, we’re hosting a public celebration, conjoined with our largest jobs fair. We’ll also run plenty of editorial mentions honoring this anniversary.

First things first publicly, I wrote a Twitter thread unashamedly showing off about how lucky I feel about the team I am a part of right now. I’m sharing that here, with slight editing.

Three years ago I said to Kristin Dudley at an event: someday we’re going to work together. She is smart, savvy, fun and poised and is everything I need in a work partner now. In the fall she became our first ever Chief Product Officer, leading our charge into talent acquisition.

Vincent with a mic and lots of cheering behind him
Vincent Better leading team karaoke at our 2016 All Team Day

When I named myself CEO, Vincent Better pushed me to actually introduce myself with the title. After four years, he’s who I leaned on to establish a unit dedicated to Philly Tech Week (10th annual coming in May 2020) and Generocity. He’s now Vice President of Philadelphia Initiatives. For a look into his depth beyond business development, read this essay from him.

Julie in a yellow go-kart smiling next to teammate Alisha Miranda
Julie Zeglen can take charge, as she did at our 2016 Team Retreat.

I’ve only once offered someone a role on the spot: Julie Zeglen, whom I immediately spotted as curious and hardworking and sensitive and empathetic. I was so sure that I offered her the Generocity editor job immediately after we finished her interview. We just promoted her to be Technical.ly Managing Editor, overseeing four reporters and our relationship to readers.

Aileen supporting a teammate during our All Team Day in December 2016.

Anyone who knows me knows this might be the best compliment I have: Aileen Connolly McNulty makes me laugh harder than anyone on this team. Turns out she is also one of the fiercest champions of clients I’ve ever met. She’s everything you want in a sales rep: creative and thoughtful. She leads our Philadelphia and Delaware business development.

Close up of Stephen, with wind in his hair and a serious look hidden by sunglasses
Stephen letting his hair down at Team Retreat 2017 in Long Beach Island, NJ. Photo by Brian James Kirk.

Whenever we have all-team events, at some point, I get lost in a conversation with Stephen Babcock about local economies. He is thoughtful and peak journalist cool: like, he’d never think it but then he’ll know every good bar in Baltimore and have a nuanced view of every story.

Roberto Torres in a red Phillies hat putting a towel over his shoulders on the beach.
It’s chilly downtheshore.

You know who is listening? Roberto Torres is listening. He has a Pangaea-sized heart, a master carpenter’s meticulousness with language and fulfills every glorified quality of the American immigrant ideal. Every Venezuelan should aspire for his depth and care

Jane is on a park bench with a warm smile
Jane Lee is sweet, and very serious. Here she is near Dorney Park on a team trip in summer 2018.

A year ago we hired Jane Lee as an operations coordinator and then proceeded to promote her twice since because she has the mentality, heart and hustle that every organization on the planet needs. She’s shaping us as to be better and more effective every single day.

The four of them posing together on the street
Jeanette Lloyd, Kevin Lynch, Alex Galiani and Roberto Torres before our June 2018 Team Retreat.

If I was building an army to go into battle with, Alex Galiani would be my top pick. Once a college football player, he gets teamwork naturally. No ego. All hustle. He knows what Technical.ly can do for communities, and he loves helping people with connections. Call it civic sales, which he does in our D.C. and Baltimore markets.

Reporters looking heads down at laptops in our office
That’s Michelai in the top left, sitting in our HQ newsroom with former D.C. reporter Tajha Chappellet Lanier, Holly Quinn, Stephen Babcock and Brian James Kirk.

You know what Michelai Graham really wanted to know in her interviews for the Technical.ly D.C. reporting job? How much could she learn and from whom. She is funny and silly and sweet will listen to all feedback that can help her get better. She wants to tell your story and track a better D.C.

Fatima Conteh has been with us less than a year, and I’ve already caught her doing or saying something with a savvy and nuance that would make you think she’s been organizing community events for decades. She’s a top 5 draft pick.

Holly in a Philadelphia Eagles t-shirt before we compete in retreat games!
Holly Quinn at our summer 2018 Team Retreat.

Whenever Holly Quinn and I are gossiping about Delaware tech, she pauses to consider something, lifting her head in thoughtfulness. She’ll consider the idea and render an assessment. That’s how I see her exploring the First State for @technicallyDE

Kevin sitting in the grass around a makeshift fire
Kevin Lynch can start a fire, like he did at our summer 2018 Team Retreat.

Among the Technical.ly memories that can always make me lol, there’s when Kevin Lynch, who had just started as Product Analyst after being a beloved intern, hit the game-winning hit in a team wiffle ball game at our retreat, and the team started a “Full-Time Kev” chant. That’s when you know you’re loved. Kevin is reserved but is unwavering when he knows what he knows. He’s a crucial contributor.

Look, it’s only his second week here but I’ll tell you this, Clayton Wert is here because in the interview process it was undeniable that the Technical.ly mission aligned with his perfectly: know people, care about them, connect them to make their lives better.

Perfectly timed, Sam Markowitz is starting next week as Client Success Manager, after spending years helping companies tell their employer brand story. He’ll be ensuring our clients get a narrative that fits with the newsroom strategy we’ve honed for a decade.

Austin writing in his notepad, looking introspective
Austin Jefferson at the summer 2017 Team Retreat. Photo by Brian James Kirk

Among the quietest and most dependable contributors to the Technical.ly and Generocity brand experience has been Austin Jefferson, our web developer and lowkey voice of culture. He thinks about our readers as much as anyone.

Jeanette in an orange go-kart with a big smile
Jeanette Lloyd in the driver’s seat at our Team Retreat in 2017.

I’ve told her this too many times already now but it just explains it all for me too well: Jeanette Lloyd is the single most emotionally intelligent person I’ve ever met. It’s simply her nature. If we’re trying to develop some creative idea and I only get one partner, I choose Jets.

To run an effective organization you need people who identify by their independence, those who are fiercely proud of their sense of skills and who want the territory to show it off. For half-a-decade I’ve watched Catherine Sontag grow into that, with her leadership of Philly Tech Week.

Before the summer team retreat in 2018.

And then there is Brian James Kirk, my cofounder for a decade. Any cofounder knows that title means he’s done everything. March 29 will be he final day as a full-time employee, and he’ll go out establishing our new digital marketing approach. More than anyone I couldn’t be here without him.

Thanks to you all.