I joined Clarus Commerce in 2009, and the last seven years seem to have flown by. The way we’ve grown and the talent of the Clarus Commerce workforce continue to astound me. It’s been reported in the local news recently that tech companies can’t thrive in this state, that talented IT professionals are moving out west in droves. We’ve proved that generalization false. Since I started here as employee #10, the Clarus workforce has grown by a factor of seven and continues to expand.
That’s one of many reasons why I always look forward to our annual holiday party. These gatherings offer everyone a chance to relax, look back on our year together, and recognize the great contributions that each of us made. At the end of the night, I have the pleasure of announcing Clarus’s MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Unsung Hero, which are determined by write-in votes from every employee, as well as the Spotlight Award, which I give out to a high-performing employee who’s had a particularly substantial impact on our business.
Without further ado, here are the 2016 award winners:
Winners: Roland St. Denis and Mike Procaccini
Roles: Roland is Senior Director, Marketing Analytics; Mike is Customer Service Manager
Start Dates: Roland, 2013; Mike, 2009
Thanks to a tie in the vote, two deserving candidates received the 2016 MVP award. It wasn’t surprising that Roland and Mike were recognized by their peers; they’re a pair of veterans leading two important Clarus departments. When asked about the award, Mike credited his strong team members, who handle the customer service for our owned-and-operated products:
“I would put my team up against any customer service team out there. To say I’m proud of my team would be an understatement. They really play such a vital role in the company, since they are the ones who are closest to our members. My team, as well as the team at OnBrand24, do a great job documenting any ideas or common complaints we get from members. We’re always trying to use feedback from our members to improve our site, and we lean heavily on the team here to present that feedback.”
Roland had a similar sentiment; he thought that he was chosen because of the integral data that his team provides to every department. That information plays a crucial role in shaping decisions, both large and small, that help Clarus drive greater growth:
“Data has played an integral role across every department in the company. It supports financial decision-making, testing design and implementation, the path to product improvement, and acquisition and retentions strategies, all of which are foundational pieces of every e-commerce company. Over the last three years, we’ve become smarter and nimbler due to the enhancements we’ve made to our data platform, and we continue to implement new strategies in our never-ending quest to add value for our internal and external business partners.”
Rookie of the Year
Winner: Nelly Rogers
Role: Account Manager, Client Services
Start Date: December 2015
At Clarus, every employee steps into a high-paced, fun, hard-working, fast-changing environment. We’ve been lucky over the years to have impressive rookies who hit the ground running and make very quick transitions. This year, every single one of our 10 ROY candidates received votes, making this decision a particularly hard one. Nelly, who started with us last December, has been a huge part of our Client Services Department; her win was a direct reflection of the impact she’s made on her peers. Having worked in client services before (though in another industry), Nelly brought a veteran presence to our department, and she credited her success to her extensive experience:
“Having worked with hundreds of clients in my previous roles helped me prepare for my transition to Account Manager at Clarus. Even though I took on new clients, I felt ready to manage the daily communications because I’ve always been in client-facing roles. I’ve learned throughout my career that all clients are different and all like to be heard, so I tried to quickly understand what my clients’ needs were and adapt. I’ve enjoyed working with all of my clients this year.”
Winner: Erica Wilson
Role: Administrative Assistant to the CEO
Start Date: January 2016
I may not be completely objective, since I get to work with her every day, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that Erica has been a crucial part of this business since she started here nearly a year ago. Her great attitude, all of her work organizing Clarus Cares and our company events, and her efforts to help every employee have been a breath of fresh air for all of us here. Although she doesn’t like the attention, she appreciated the recognition and talked about how she is content going back to providing top-notch work, without all the fanfare:
“Flying under the radar while making sure things get done is definitely more my style. I’ve never liked being in the spotlight; put me in the film crew and not the cast, please.
“I was thrilled and shocked, as I was not expecting it all. Clarus is a great company with several unsung heroes. The fact that I was chosen to receive this award by the employees really meant a lot, and I am grateful for it.”
Winner: Graziella Floriano
Role: Senior Director of Marketing
Start Date: 2012
Under Graziella’s leadership, our marketing programs have seen a major growth shift. This year alone, we saw over two billion impressions from all the digital media placements that Graziella’s team has managed, and we’ve seen massive growth in our acquisition channels. After accepting the award, Graziella talked about the journey she’s taken since she arrived here over four years ago:
“I was truly surprised and honored to be recognized for all of the effort that went into the marketing team’s growth this year. It took hard work and dedication from the entire team, and we were able to pull it all together to give us a phenomenal year of growth in all areas of marketing. Several years ago, Tom and Tyler challenged me with growing the digital media channel, and it’s been an exciting ride, with bumps and challenges along the way. We’ve gained some great partnerships over the years and the learning we’ve gained along the way has truly been vital to the way we manage the business today and the smarter marketing decisions we make that have led to our best year yet.”
As we close out 2016, I am incredibly grateful for all the people who make this company a success. We are a community that leans on each other when times are stressful and cheers on each other when times are good. It may seem cliché to say this, but I truly believe that 2017 will be our best year yet. With a talented group of people working together, and more employees joining our ranks, I can’t wait to see what the coming year holds.