08 Nov 2018
Phrasee pheatures: Michelle Davies
Profiles in awesomeness: Meet Phrasee’s “Head of People” Michelle Davies
Phrasee is a special company.
Why? Some people might say it’s because of our industry-leading AI marketing language generation and optimization technology, or the ever-growing list of brands availing themselves of our services and singing our praises. However, those people would be wrong.
What really sets Phrasee apart are the amazing people that show up, day in and day out, to help us grow our brand, deliver amazing service to our customers, and make our cutting-edge artificial intelligence tech work.
One of those amazing people is Michelle Davies.
Michelle Davies is Phrasee’s Head of People.
What does Phrasee’s “Head of People” actually do? We’ll let Michelle explain…
“I Take care of the Phrasee team. From recruitment of new team members and overseeing their onboarding to organizing and overseeing Phrasee’s awesome team events. From managing the team’s benefits & payroll, to staff training, and even ensuring that every team member understands and adheres to Phrasee’s distinctive culture & values, I ensure that our rapidly-expanding team is all on the same page. ”
Yes, Michelle Davies plays an incredibly important role here at Phrasee. That’s because Phrasee’s company culture and values are extremely important, not only to our phounders, but to every single member of the Phrasee squad. It’s one of the key things that sets Phrasee apart from the marketing technology crowd. Michelle allows us all to rest easy, safe in the knowledge that the Phrasee brand and all those who represent it will always stand up for the values we hold so dear.
But is there more to this cultural mentor than meets the eye?
That’s just what we set out to find out…
Place of birth: Vancouver, BC (yes, another Vancouverite at Phrasee)
How long have you been with Phrasee: 5 months
Favourite day off activity: Travelling, exploring Europe is why we moved here in the first place.
The best thing about working at Phrasee: The team; it’s an amazing group of people, who are all really excited about where we are going so there is an energy to the team I’ve rarely come across before.
Biggest pet peeve: Loud eating
Describe yourself in a GIF:
An interview with Michelle Davies
How did you wind up on the Phrasee team?
A recruiter had my CV because we had talked a couple times, she called me one day to say she had spoken with Parry Malm about the role and thought it might be a great fit, so she wanted to take my CV with her to the meeting with Parry & Vic the next day, I said “okay”. Two days later I was in the office meeting them, a week later I was in the office presenting to the management team and had an offer before the end of that day. I’ve never known a process to move so fast, but I think we both knew right away we wanted this to work, though I’m sure Parry will tell you I took way too long to decide and waited to meet Neil when I happened to be home in Vancouver for Easter a week later before accepting the offer.
What have you learned since joining the Phrasee team?
New teams always remind me that people are just people no matter where you are. I’ve never worked in MarTech before, and I knew nothing about the industry or AI or NLG before I started here. I have many more words in my vocabulary and much more technical knowledge I never knew I wanted. However, the challenges of growing a team are universal and the at the end of the day that vocabulary is just a bonus. What matters is taking care of people every day.
What makes Phrasee special as a company?
I’m the People person so obviously, I’m going to say the people! But seriously, our team is nothing without the awesome people that make it up. This group of people cares so much about what we are doing and that shows in how well they take care of our customers, and how passionate they are about their jobs. It also shows in how they take care of each other (which makes my job easier day to day). Any business is nothing without its people, but when I say we have something special in the team here, that’s not just bias but based on my experiences in a number startups over the years. Plus, when was the last time anyone saw such a diverse team in a tech company? That shouldn’t be a big deal these days, but it still is, and I’m proud to work here.
Why should brands use Phrasee?
Cause it makes them more money. And we are fun to work with!
Where is Phrasee headed in the years to come?
Well in the time I’ve been here, we have doubled the staff and opened a US office, and the recruitment shows no signs of slowing down. I’ve loved seeing how potential customers respond to Phrasee, they get it and are as excited about it as we are, and we are going to keep building on that excitement over and over again.
What is your favourite thing about working at Phrasee?
The technology is absolutely fascinating and it’s pretty mega to work within the AI space. It’s constantly evolving and is a hot topic across the industry so I’m loving being a part of that!
What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life today?
Is it super cheesy to say Phrasee? But seriously, being in a business growing so quickly and showing so much potential to continue to grow is exciting. It’s a lot of work, I’m racking up a lot of miles on flights to and from San Francisco, but it’s exciting and that’s why I’m here in the first place.