Meet Shannon: Creatuity’s Very Own Class Clown
Introducing Shannon Kelly, Creatuity’s Director of Sales and Marketing. He’s a go-getter who likes to stay on his toes – and keep you on your toes at the same time.Sarah: What is your role at Creatuity and what does it entail?
Shannon: Up until recently my role at Creatuity was really a jack-of-all-trades. I wore a lot of hats related to business development, sales, PR, social media, content creation, and partnership marketing. We’ve recently hired a lot of stellar people to take a lot of that work load off of my plate, specifically business development and content creation. I am the Director of Sales and Marketing, and I do control all those asepcts of our business, so all good things revenue-driving come across my desk.
S: What is your favorite part about working at Creatuity?
SH: It is a unique work environment where no two days are ever the same. I have my day scheduled on a calendar, but I have no idea how that day is going to change. It’s all very much influx from day to day, you never know who’s going to call in or what unique problem they’re going to have that they need you to solve. So just the way it keeps me on my toes… and also the work-life balance that the management here has found for taking care of our employees — it’s a great experience.
S: I couldn’t agree more. What are three words that describe you?
SH: I was gonna go pompous—*laughs* no, driven, unsatisfied… and can I use incremental improvement?… That’s sort of four words…
S: *laughs* I’ll hyphenate it. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
SH: I would buy a bed and breakfast in Annapolis, Maryland and I would retire there.
S: That’s quite the plan! What is your dream travel destination?
SH: Pretty much all of Europe, specifically the Mediterranean. I want to do Italy and Greece.
S: Speaking of traveling, I know you just went to New York City to MC at this year’s Meet Magento NYC. How did you score that gig?
SH: Okay so apparently I have a reputation for liking my own voice and being a class clown *laughs.* So Marsha at Mage Mojo was lining up the MCs and the speakers, and she thought of me for this role, because she kinda wanted to keep the tech track light, and infuse a little bit of fun and personality for it. And she thought that I would be someone who could do that and I was very flattered that she would remember that I was such a cut-up and enjoyed myself so much.
S: What kind of responsibilities did you have as an MC?
SH: So that was a whirlwind day, and I don’t think I ever appreciated how much an MC had to do until I had to do myself. There’s background research on all of your spealkers, so you can kinda tell about who they are, where they’re from, what they do, why they’re relevant – that’s the professional stuff that Mage Mojo went out to collect for you. And then you try to sit down with them and get ‘What do you do for fun, what are your hobbies, what’s a little known fact about you that no one would know that would kind of be intriguing,’ and try to pull those teeth from people that are very technical, very intellectual, often introverts – although some poeple surprise me and are very far on the other end of the spectrum of extroverts and very personality-driven – but getting them mic’ed up, getting that info, controlling the time — because we had excatly 20 minutes per speaker so they needed to know when they had 10 minutes left, 5 minutes left, and when they were done — and at the end of that 20 minutes I would get up with a mic and take questions from the audience. So jogging around the audience, trying to get all the questions, and get it all knocked out in those 5 minutes before I had 5 more minutes to get the next speaker on stage. So there were no bathroom breaks, very few breaks for snack and networking type things, and my lunch was very abbreviated as well just so I can stay on top of everything that was going on. It was awesome.
S: What else did you experience at Meet Magento?
SH: So um, Meet Magento New York is one of those events that’s a really great opportunity for networking with tech partners. So getting to meet people that represent new and upcoming platforms and technologies, learning the future of PWAs, and where the platforms and the technology is going, getting to hear from the VP of Ecosystem Development for Adobe about what their plans are for open source, because the whole Magento ecosystem is like ‘Oh my god, they are going to shut down open source and change our whole ecosystem!’ and he flat out said on the stage that that wasn’t going to happen. So you know, being able to get that information first hand and take it away and talk to the people that are literally building that future for our community, was just – it was riveting.
S: Yeah, definitely sounds like it. Who were some of the people you enjoyed seeing most at Meet Magento?
SH: It’s kind of unfair to our ecosystem because I play favorites *laughs*. I’ve got people that I really like, Marsha and Mage Mojo, Erin at Vertex, all of the people at PayPal – and Rob Long was there, which is just going to be an experience no matter what — there’s no way to avoid that when he’s there. But, even other agencies that we compete with like, Phillip from Something Digital was there, he’s always a huge personality. And the people at Wagento, Brent Peterson, always does a great job.
S: Can you explain the atmosphere of the Magento community at events like this?
SH: So I have never worked in an industry that was such an enormous global community, but it felt like a really small tight knit family. You see each other multiple times a year at these different events and you communicate with each other in various ways through networking and social media– so just how close knit everybody is. You always run across merchants or other tech partners that will say ‘Hey this agency spoke really highly of you, they want to emulate what you’re doing, they’re really excited about what you contributed to the ecosystem,’ and so it doesn’t feel as cutthroat as a lot of different sales things I’ve done in my career. It really feels like everyone is like ‘I want to ge this right, we want to do a good job, we care how we are perceived,’ and that’s fun. It’s a warm way to go to work.
S: Are there any specific Magento events coming up that you’re looking forward to?
SH: The partner kickoff in January is always fun, it’s always great to kind of get that little cheerleading session in L.A. And then obviously Imagine, I mean my god it’s in Las Vegas, it has everybody and everything that has to do with Magento, you’re going to run into all of your favorite people again. And we always have this out-of-the-box, completely innovative way of presenting ourselves – so it was the mural wall and the selfie wall last year… We’re always looking for opportunities to upstage ourselves and take it to the next level, so it’ll be interesting to see what we come up with from now until then. And then IRCE this summer in Chicago, we exhibited for the first time this year, and next year we will again be looking to up or game… I’ll have more sales-minded bodies there with me so that’s gonna be great. And there’s lots of little events in between.
S: I’m really looking forward to L.A. in January as well! Is there anything else you would like to add?
SH: I hope I get an opportunity to sit on a panel or be an MC for a portion of Imagine, I’d like to sort of get that reputation in the ecosystem that I’m one of those people that is a go-to for that. And I think the Omnichannel Retail Summit in Q1 of this year and the Meet Magento New York opportunity have really underscored that I have zero fear, I kind of revel in these opportunities, and I’m always looking to up my game. So it’s kind of a first notice out to all the people who are scheduling Imagine to keep me on speed dial.
Interested in being a part of our dynamic, talented crew at Creatuity? Give us a call! We look forward to upgrading your digital ecommerce strategy in the near future or exploring relevant employment opportunities. -SF