Have you been introduced to Bubba yet?
Not to be confused with the character Bubba from Forrest Gump, Dean has joined Speakap as our US Account Director to share his extensive knowledge of managing deskless employees. When Dean isn't helping organizations with their employee engagement strategies, you can find him performing, writing or producing music on whatever instrument he can get his hands on!
Hey Bubba, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed!
You’re very welcome!
Now Bubba isn’t your real name, is it? Can you tell me where the nickname “Bubba” came from?
When I joined Speakap, I was asked to write an introductory message on our company timeline. I said that my name was Dean, but I don’t mind what you call me - you could even call me Bubba if you like!
There’s no particular reason why I chose Bubba, it just rolled off the top of my head as a free-form impulse. I don’t know if there's any logic behind it, but the folks over in Amsterdam found it hilarious and the nickname stuck with me.
We love it! Can you tell me where you are from?
I’ve lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, for 18 years, which is the longest I’ve ever lived in one location. In regards to where I am from, well that really depends on how you look at it! I was born in San Diego, South California, but I’ve lived in pretty much every major location in America. North Eastern, Midwest… you name it.
Do you have any interesting facts about somewhere you have lived?
Well, I lived in Romero, Michigan when I was a kid, and I went to school with Kid Rock in the fifth grade.
What a claim! So can you tell me what made you excited about joining Speakap?
After many years in software and tech sales, I was looking for my next adventure with a company that was more aligned to my personal values.
Apart from my own career, my wife and I own a franchise sandwich shop with a significant number of deskless employees. When I was introduced to Speakap, it took all about 30 seconds for me to see the value this solution brings to business owners and managers, like my wife.
So it sounds like you really understand the consumer need for this product on a deeper level?
Exactly. The number one pain point as a business owner is communicating with non-desk employees, and Speakap not only enables this communication - it simplifies communication in a highly efficient way. I both understood the solution and was excited by it due to my own personal attachment, which is a great position to be in when you’re starting with a new company.
In your opinion, where does Speakap bring the most value?
In the last several years and in many different aspects, communication is continually a “pain point” as we become more of a society that demands social interaction. We, as a society, are overwhelmed and exhausted by constant social touchpoints that bombard our everyday lives.
On the flipside, the digitalization of communication has helped to grow businesses not just externally; for example, in terms of revenue, market share or geographically. But also internally; in terms of sense of community, sense of belonging, and corporate culture. The benefits of external growth are always obvious, but the benefits of internal growth, such as lowering the cycle of employee churn, are sometimes undervalued.
What I love about Speakap is that the solution enables organizations to achieve growth in both senses, but we also see the same benefits within our own organization by using our own product. I have experienced this within my first three weeks of being here; within the first 24 hours of joining the Speakap platform I already felt a part of the team. It was the most enjoyable onboarding I ever experienced, just because of that community aspect.
We’re always happy to hear when new employees feel welcomed! Were there any surprises when you joined Speakap?
Any surprises, all surprises are good surprises. Speakap is really impressive with its marketing output; many companies I have worked with strived to have that level of thought and work, but we never got to the level of detail.
Well we’re happy to hear you feel that way, too! Do you have any hobbies?
I have a great love for music and art. I spend a lot of time performing or writing music, and producing as well. I spent the last decade helping my daughter with the production of her own music under the name of Madison Chase, and she has now moved to LA to pursue her music career further. So now that I have more free time I want to get back out there and play for fun.
Dean doing what he loves; traveling with his wife, and performing music!
What instruments do you play?
I play a variety; guitar, keyboard, mandolin… you name it.
Do you enjoy traveling? Do you have any trips planned?
Ironically, I thought I was burnt out on travel but I have found myself driving across the country lately - I do love that drive. I’m looking forward to coming to Amsterdam in January, especially to visit the Van Gogh museum to see his sunflower painting.
Last question, can you describe Speakap in three words?
Sense of belonging.
Speakap really creates a sense of belonging for employees; once you achieve that, everything else falls into place.
Written by Louise Blair
All the way from "down under" Louise has joined Speakap to help businesses to build better relationships with their workforce. When she's not busy producing the Frontline podcast, you might catch her running... while listening to a podcast.