Tell us about where you work and what you do there.
I am the Global Chief of Staff at Astound Commerce. My background is in partnerships and I’ve worked in technology for the last 5 years, from Amazon to fintech startups. As Global Chief of Staff, I act as an extension of the Global CEO and support the Senior Leadership Team in exceeding our strategic objectives and ultimately achieving our North Star goal.
How would you describe yourself?
I love what I do so work is a massive focus for me. Outside of this, I play around with different sports to mix things up — currently it’s Krav Maga and touch rugby. I love traveling, food, and cocktails so that’s how I spend my weekends. I’m currently living in Essex and love being close to the water as well as being a just stone’s throw away from London.
What is your leadership style?
My style is to be positive, empathetic, and open. I want to enable and support people, helping them navigate through challenges by providing guidance or unblocking where necessary, without being overbearing. I like to make space for continual and reciprocal feedback loops to constantly improve working relationships and productivity.
What do you think has been your biggest professional success so far?
I developed a totally new service offering called Ignite and brought it to market. Ignite extends Astound’s traditional managed service offering, changing how we engage with our clients. It aims to level up and improve the service Astound offers through value-added offerings such as site performance and eCommerce metrics dashboards, technical services to improve consumers’ onsite experience, and experience services to further optimize and increase conversion. It was out of my comfort zone of partnerships and I had to quickly learn technical areas of the business that I was previously less familiar with. I created and managed an operational roadmap with C-suite visibility, meaning I had a level of accountability that I hadn’t had to work to previously.
Also, because of the breadth of the service offering, I had to hone my leadership skills to ensure the cross-functional team across legal, technical, programme, and sales, stuck to our roadmap.
I’m proud to have successfully executed the launch of a completely new product, from concept to delivery, in under 6 months. Ignite can now continue to grow and drive value for Astound’s customers.
This was proof for me that you don’t need to have done something before to do it well and to have self-efficacy in every opportunity moving forward.
What goals do you have for 2022?
I want to launch a global sustainability program within Astound, this is my #1 priority. I will also take advantage of automation to focus on streamlining processes at the Senior Leadership Team level. I want to build on and improve our strategic planning to set Astound up for future growth. I also want to reflect and take stock more often throughout the year and travel to at least two new countries!
What do you think is the next big trend in eCommerce?
Sustainability. Today’s generation of consumers are more sustainability conscious than ever and this trend is set to continue across all markets next year. In a recent study, 8/10 people indicate sustainability is important and 6/10 are willing to change shopping habits to reduce the impact on the environment. Consumers are also becoming more astute at identifying whether a company is genuinely eco-friendly vs what is surface-level marketing. Brands will need to work harder at demonstrating their sustainability in order to differentiate and win the hearts and minds of these consumers.
Name an eCommerce brand you admire and why.
Liz Earle. I love the products and their branding, the site experience is also seamless. They align with my personal values in terms of transparency on ingredients, sustainability, and having a positive impact on the environment and communities they operate in.
What do you geek out over?
I geek out over health and nutrition. I like learning more about what you consume and what activities you can do to positively impact your mind and body.