He's about as American as they come, moving to the States as a youngster and taking it by storm (with some help from I Love Lucy along the way)! When he's not hosting candy-driven contests or posting "sugar selfies", our fearless North America President is leading our team to internal comms glory. To learn more about the backstory for these sweet moments, we interviewed Ivan himself.
First of all, thank you for chatting with me!
No problem!Let’s start at the beginning; where were you born and raised?
I was born in San Marino, within Italy. Little-known fact is that San Marino is the oldest republic in the world, with 24 sq. miles [62 km2], and a population of 35,000. Even though I moved to the States, a lot of my family is still in San Marino, so luckily vacation and work trips have kept me going back.
Ivan getting back to his San Marino roots
Wow. Safe to say the US is a little bit bigger. When did you move stateside, and how was the adjustment?
When I was 2 years old, we moved to NYC right outside Manhattan and I've been here ever since. Adjustment-wise, Italian was my first language, so I grew up watching TV shows like I Love Lucy, The Flying Nun, and Little House on the Prairie to learn English.
Well, those TV shows worked! After getting a taste of international travel, do you have a favorite place?
I'd have to say my favorite place is Australia, gotta love the Aussies. I have some really good friends there and have interacted with that market for work. Plus English is spoken there, so that helps when you're visiting!
Ivan's travels through Australia
Indeed. So in your spare time, what are your favorite hobbies?
I really enjoy skiing, and in addition to my love of travel, I do some baking here and there, especially pies and cookies...
That explains your sweet tooth!
Yes, it probably does!
Ivan's candy bonanza up close
Also I heard you've spent time with Apple. With Apple and Speakap both valuing continuous feedback/communication, did you naturally gravitate towards Speakap?
Yes, one of the factors I really liked here was the openness of dialogue and communication. And that all leads back to the people. I had the opportunity to speak to a lot of people in Speakap, and noticed they're open in the same ways and communicate similarly, which is a huge indication of the culture. I was drawn to that. Speakap attracts a lot of bright open people from different backgrounds, and Speakap's inclusiveness and creativity reinforces that.
So what’s a day in the life of Ivan?
The day usually starts out with the US Speakap team, where we reflect on the past day's efforts. We share opportunities and challenges, all super fresh in our minds since it's on a daily basis.
The beauty of being a newer presence in the US is that, based on these daily feedback sessions, we can pivot quickly. We are agile. And of course, after these daily sessions, we continue to communicate in the office and on Speakap! There is a continuous effort around all communications, so throughout the day we are sharing.
Then, the day is usually mixed with interviews, and calls with potential interviewees. There's a lot of speaking with partners across tech, publishing, and marketing channels, as well as industry parters to leverage networks in pursuing new opportunities.
Then there's a lot of reaching out to prospects. The challenge is that there's a lot of noise in terms of solutions and other players in the space. And a lot of HR tech companies in general. So getting creative in asserting Speakap's advantages and value proposition is key for cutting through the noise.
Sounds like quite a day! So what's one fun fact about you we don't know?
Years ago, I was a radio talk show host, for our show called Computer Talk. It was an AM radio weekly show, with tech guests on any topic. We also had live listeners call in, which was always a bit exciting. Luckily we didn't get any callers that derailed the show, but it kept us on the edge of our seats!
Does our US team's exciting growth catch your eye?
Check out our job vacancies to find out more about what roles we currently have available here at Speakap.
Written by Campbell Owens
Challenging conventional corporate practices, Campbell explores what it means to truly invest in people at work. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio of the art, yoga, or apartment variety.