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Hi everyone. It is with immense pleasure that I get to introduce to you Ms. Valerie Liberty, Balsamiq's #2 employee and "Chief Operating Officer, Wow! Division."
I've known Valerie since back when I started at Macromedia in 2002, and have always admired how she can get ANYTHING done, with the incredible capacity of making it fun and painless for everyone. Her enthusiasm and passion are contagious, and her focus on doing outstanding work is unparalleled. Oh, and her resume is pretty darn impressive, if you ask me! 🙂
Valerie's job title is "Chief Operating Officer, Wow! Division," inspired by Zappo's #1 core value "Deliver WOW Through Service." As such, she will be in charge of most of the day to day administration for our US company, answering sales and pre-sales questions, sending invoices and tracking payments...taking care of book-keeping (we call it "counting the beans"), updating our internal wiki as well as the balsamiq.com website, helping Mariah hand out free licenses, interviewing customers for the blog...and as we grow she'll be in charge of HR-type tasks such as publishing and evangelizing our company values and writing an employee manual...in short, she can do it all! 🙂
Valerie is based in the San Francisco Bay Area (at GMT-8), while the rest of us are in Italy (GMT+1), which means that we should now be able to really cover the globe when it comes to support...while one of us is sleeping, the other can answer the phone, your emails and your tweets! 🙂
I love that we're still so small but we have already set up a global support organization, it sounds so cool! 😉 Kidding aside, with customers in 56 countries, it's a must. This also means that I will no longer have to stay up until 1:00am every night to keep up with US customers, or at least not every night. I'm SO looking forward to going out to watch a movie with Mariah...it's been well over a year.
I have already made some changes to the site to reflect our new structure, and will be updating the company page shortly:
I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work with Valerie every day, and I am looking forward to many years of it! 🙂
I am confident that our level of customer support will get even better thanks to her, and that we'll be able to keep it as high as we want it (i.e., legendary) even as we grow.
I would also like to publicly thank my adviser and friend Sarah Allen, for helping me realize that the time was right for me to seek help and for putting me in touch with Valerie just at the right time! Here are two quotes from the chat we had about it which really drove the point home for me:
"what would you be able to achieve if you had an extra hour every day?"
"by doing things that you don't like to do you are hurting the company. The company needs you to do what you're best at. Let someone else who loves to do those things take care of them."
Thanks Sarah, you're the best! 🙂
Chances are you'll be interacting with Valerie a lot in the future, so please join me in welcoming her to the Balsamiq family, either via a comment here, a Twitter message (she is @balsamiqVal) or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Onward, together! 🙂
[Update: this post was picked up by Hacker News (thanks so much!), so you can follow and contribute to the discussion there if you'd like]
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Pingback: Delivering Wow Customer Service: An Interview with Valerie Liberty from Balsamiq
because of daylight savings time we are now GMT -7 hours in SF
Congratulazion! It’s always good to see some “faccie conosciute” working together 🙂
Dear Peldi & Val,
I am so pleased that two of my favorite people will be working together every day! I think this partnership will allow each of you to do wonderful things. I’m glad I could help plant the seed that led to this moment. I also look forward to more of Mariah’s icons as Val helps to support Balsamiq’s awesome philanthropic efforts. And someday, I hope to meet Marco — the only member of the team who I only know virtually.
All my best to all of you,
Another celebration for the Balsamiq family!
You definitely deserve it.
Congratulations to you Valerie for being part of this outstanding company and congratulations to all other “Balsamians” for having you on board.
Thanks Val for making Peldi mention the magic word that makes me feel ecstatic one more time.. Macromedia.
All the best to Balsamiq family.
Cheers from Athens
Wow, that’s pretty fast. All the best Val. And another person to follow ;-).
Congrats to Valerie, Peldi, Marco, and Mariah! I look forward to working with such a great team =)