Vici’s Very Own – Women of AchievementAllison Gibson
September is National Woman of Achievement Month and when I hear this I immediately want to proclaim, “I am woman hear me ROAR!”. I am proud to be a woman and I am very fortunate to have encountered some amazing women throughout my lifetime. These women have included powerful mentors, dedicated colleagues, thought leaders, working mothers and educators to name a few. There are so many women that have made an impact throughout history and continue to make today. Whether it is campaigning for social issues, pushing the boundaries of traditional roles, crusading against conventional belief systems, or inspiring others, women have made their mark.
At Vici there no lack of inspirational women of achievement, in fact, 65% of the Vici Team are women and our leadership team is made up of some pretty exceptional ladies as well.
The achievements Vici has made over the past 6 years is remarkable. Some of those accolades include growing the company year over year, being named Philadelphia Business Journal Best Places to Work two years in a row (2019, 2020) and Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500™. At Vici we strive to be on the forefront of digital technology and making our partners look like Rock Stars. Two of our founding partners Leslye Schumacher, Megan Malone and our Director of Digital Operations Kiri Tamte-Horan conquer this charge and inspire our team to embrace this every day. Let’s take a sneak peek in getting to know a little more about these dynamite women.
Leslye is the mastermind behind all the Vici training. Vici training has been coined as being top-notch and leagues ahead of many digital companies. She has a certain finesse about her approach and is one of the hardest working women I know. Here is a recap on Leslye’s journey and inspiration.
How long have you been with Vici? Since the beginning when it was just Todd, Megan and me! My contribution initially was coming up with the name Vici – latin for “Conquer” as in Conquer Digital (because all the other names we liked were already trademarked!).
A little background on your professional career? I have been in media in some way or another since I was 19. Starting as an intern at a radio and TV station, then sales, management, ad agency and starting a couple of media consulting and talent consulting businesses.
What achievement are you the proudest of at Vici? It’s hard to zero in on just one. What came into my mind when I read this was all the people that started with us as interns or right out of school that have become so accomplished in their careers. Mentoring and coaching is such a big part of our culture and I love to see our folks extending a hand out to pull up their coworkers. I’m also proud that even though we’ve had explosive growth we’ve kept the “bureaucracy” to a minimum. I also am so proud specifically of Megan Malone and Kiri Tamte-Horan and what they have achieved in the last 6 years blows me away. They are the spirit, the backbone, and the future of our company.
What personal achievement are you the proudest of? Without a doubt, my children (Spencer, Ava and Brooke) who are now all in college. They are remarkable humans and far more accomplished than I ever was at their age.
Who inspires you? and why? The Notorious RBG. Ruth Bader-Ginsburg. She is the only person in my life I can say I absolutely idolized and have for 27 years. When she was nominated, I was working my way up the corporate ladder in my twenties. I had no idea who she was. I became fascinated and read everything I could about her. I soon realized that I had her to thank for blazing a trail that was allowing me to go after the career, family, and independence I wanted. I would encourage every young person, male and female, to learn about her and read her writing regardless of your political persuasion.
Advice for women in business entering a leadership role? or for young women today? Read Every Day. It is cliché but information is power. Read everything you can get your hands on whenever you have a free moment. Read about people you admire, read about leaders you want to be like, read about things that interest you even if it is in area of business that you are not currently in.
Inspirational Words to live by? Don’t do, say, or post anything you wouldn’t want your Mother to know.
Megan Malone is the queen of all trades and is a whiz at multitasking and staying cool under pressure. I am pretty sure she could juggle, tight-rope, type, drink coffee and have a phone call all at the same time and then some. She is the digital brain behind Vici and her wit and charm can make anyone’s day. Megan is a very accomplished professional and here is more about her journey and inspirations.
How long have you been with Vici? I co-founded the company on April Fool’s day back in 2014. We like to keep it silly around here, including our official start date.
A little background on your professional career? I worked for the Philadelphia Eagles before moving into media back in 2008. I then worked for premier broadcasting groups in many different positions including Beasley Broadcast and Cox Media Group amongst others. In 2013 I jumped into digital marketing when retargeting was a new concept and before Facebook had ads. It was apparent right away coming from broadcast what a powerful medium digital marketing is, and I saw in real-time marketing dollars moving towards digital innovations. I knew this was the path for me.
What achievement are you the proudest of at Vici? Accepting the award in 2019 for being amongst the fasted growing tech companies on the Deloitte Fast 500 list was jaw dropping. It made me take a breath from the day-to-day operation, stop, look up, and realize where we’ve come in five short years. It’s been an amazing journey. https://www.vicimediainc.com/vici-media-ranked-number-370-fastest-growing-company-in-north-america-on-deloittes-2019-technology-fast-500/)
What personal achievement are you the proudest of? Helping to build a team and a culture that inspires me. We all work very hard and push each other. Vici is a group of some of the smartest people I know. When the day flies by and it’s filled with problem solving, laughter, and genuine gratitude for one another you feel very lucky. I sit back and think, “you’re fortunate to get to do this every day.” I also think it’s incredible that I can show my 4-year-old daughter Zoey what it takes to lead such an outstanding operation and I hope to inspire her to lead one day.
Who inspires you? and why? Tina Fey is someone I absolutely admire. Not only is she hilarious (I love funny people!), but she leads a notoriously male-dominated Saturday Night Live team as the head writer, developing herself as not only an incredible actress and producer, but as a leader. She a combination of smart, funny, bold, and yet does not take herself too seriously. If you know me, you know I strive to keep it smart but light.
Advice for women in business entering a leadership role? or for young women today? You don’t have to know from day one what you want to be when you grow up, so try out a lot of different things. Apply for internships, take courses both inside and outside of school to grow yourself, even if not professionally (I recently took the Yale “Science of Well Being” about what creates a truly happy person and learned a lot). Try and find something that you enjoy doing, that pushes you, and that you get lost in. Find something that makes you curious every single day. That is really what makes you happy both professionally and personally, being challenged. And once you are in there never hold back with your ideas. Speak up. Strive to be the best.
Inspirational Words to live by? Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. You get good at your job because you’ve been put in tough situations that you learn and grow from. Frankly, if my job were easy, I’d get bored.
Our recent newlywed, Kiri Tamte-Horan is our digital force. She tackles everything head-on and challenges herself daily. She is the fashion queen and the queen of digital. Kiri is a brilliant mind and is always evolving herself and Vici and strives to improve systems and operations to offer better service to our clients. Her professional growth exceeds anyone’s expectations. Here is more about her journey and inspiration.
How long have you been with Vici? Six years, I was the first hire at the company since it was just Megan and me in the office!
A little background on your professional career? I have a background in film and media and came into Vici as a newbie ready to work! I started from the bottom and worked my way up to now Director of Digital Operations.
What achievement are you the proudest of at Vici? Bringing all our buying in house. When you’re a small company starting out, you need to utilize other partners for media buying and planning initially. A little under a year in, I felt confident that we could do what our partners were doing, but better and faster. I learned the DSPs and came up with the systems and trainings that we utilize today. It was a move that forever changed the company and has allowed us to not only grow quickly but be able to provide the lightning speed customer service we’re known for. You can’t do that when you’re waiting on someone else to do the work.
What personal achievement are you the proudest of? My growth at Vici is the achievement I am most proud of. I genuinely started on the ground level as the first hire, worked my butt off, brought new ideas to the table, and grew into a #boss leading the entire office in Philadelphia. Being able to do this before I hit 30 has always been a particular source of pride.
Who inspires you? and why? Without a doubt, the woman who has been a key role model to me
is our co-founder, Megan Malone. She has not only helped to shape me professionally, but also personally. I look up to her leadership skills, outgoing personality, non-stop work ethic, and general silliness in my day to day life. I would not be where I am today without her encouragement and guidance as I have grown into my position, and I feel incredibly lucky to have her as a mentor and partner in crime at Vici.
Advice for women in business entering a leadership role? or for young women today? If you want something, figure out how to do it yourself and make it happen. Don’t rely on someone to hold your hand, work hard to forge your own path. The knowledge is out there already – do your research, keep organized, put in the hours, and bring an innovative mind to the table.
Inspirational Words to live by? The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
It is an honor to have these ladies pave the way at Vici and we could not be prouder
of their achievements and inspiration. Happy National Woman of Achievement Month
Leslye, Megan and Kiri.