SaaSOptics team members have incredible stories to tell. From world travels to unique hobbies, there's a lot you probably don't know about the team. But one thing is for sure: We're a hard-working, talented and entertaining group to meet, and I'm excited to start telling our stories.
To kick off our newest series called “SaaSOptics Stories,” Mary Chiaffredo sat down with me recently to share about her work experience, what brought her to SaaSOptics and some fun stories many of her co-workers don’t even know.
Riah: Thanks for joining! Can you start by introducing yourself?
Mary: Sure! Happy to chat. I am the Director of Marketing at SaaSOptics.
R: How long have you been at SaaSOptics? What was your first impression?
M: I’ve been here almost two years. My anniversary is Sept. 16. We were only 17 people back when I started — with only 11 people in the office. My first impression here was that everyone was friendly and hard working.
I don’t mean it to sound cliche, but I could tell everyone worked really hard and also enjoyed it. And that makes a world of difference. The people here are amazing, and I wanted to be here, too.
R: That's not cliche at all. I feel the same way, too.
R: How did you hear about SaaSOptics?
M: I’ve known Tim [SaaSOptics CEO] for a long time. We met when my old company got bought by Internet Security Systems (ISS). I knew of Dave [SaaSOptics COO and Founder] because we used his product MarketingCentral at ISS. They have an excellent reputation and success in business, so it was an easy decision to work with them again.
R: Can you explain for those who aren't familiar with your role what you do at SaaSOptics?
M: A big part of my role is looking at how we’re growing and how we want to grow on a strategic level. The end result of everything we talk about and everything we do is that we get our name out. It all comes down to building awareness of SaaSOptics with prospects who don't even know they need us. That drives sales, and we grow.
R: What makes you excited to work at SaaSOptics?
M: Many things. The potential that the company still has in terms of growth and exposure. There’s still so much to do, and that makes me very excited. It’s not your standard day-to-day maintenance. It’s still challenging. We have to think of new ways and try new things, and I like being able to try different things. You don’t always have that opportunity in a lot of companies.
What it boils down to, though, really is the people. I really enjoy coming to work every day.
R: What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever had?
M: During college, for about a year, I worked for a products division of a gym for bodybuilders. Part of my job was helping with the annual competition in Orlando where people from all over the country — some internationally — would come. It was unusual because it took me out of my comfort zone of being in an office environment.
I was also around bodybuilders all the time. It was not my cup of tea.
R: Oh wow. That's amazing!
R: Is sales, then, something you enjoy? Were you the type of kid growing up that would run a lemonade stand?
M: Not quite. I would help someone else build it and run it, but I’ve never been the one to want to sell. I almost went into sales once and realized it wasn’t for me.
R: What’s the one book you think everyone should read?
M: One book that always pops into my head is a business book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” It’s a very quick read about change and the outcome based on whether you go with the change or not. It will happen whether you want it to or not. The question is if you will go with the change right away or if you will wait until you “have” to make it.
It can apply to anyone at any stage of life in any career, so I highly recommend it.
R: We work with B2B SaaS and subscription companies at SaaSOptics, so we talk about subscriptions a lot. Are there any subscriptions missing from your life that you wish someone would invent?
M: If I could pick a subscription service that would come to me, it would be haircuts. It’s something you know you need but you always run out of time to do. A subscription would mean you’d never have to make an appointment.
R: I really want that subscription. Sign me up.
R: Since we're based here in Atlanta, are there any essential attractions visitors to Atlanta should see? What’s your favorite?
M: My favorite place is the aquarium. I could go there again and again and never get tired. I used to have an annual pass because, when it first opened, everyone who visited wanted to see it, and it’s completely worth it.
R: What’s your favorite neighborhood in Atlanta?
M: Virginia Highlands — I lived there a few years.
R: It wouldn't be a Q&A without asking some stereotypical questions. Coffee or tea? Beer or wine? Cats or dogs?
M: Tea. Wine. Both, but I have a dog now.
R: And, finally, what’s the best piece of advice anyone (mentor, family, friend) ever gave you?
M: Do what you have to do now so eventually you can do what you want to do. That’s some really good advice a mentor gave me once when I was going through a career change.
Thank you, Mary, for chatting! Tune in next month to meet another member of our SaaSOptics team.
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