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CUSTOMER STORY

Tackle’s Insights page lets us view and manipulate the data in different ways - that’s really helpful

Featuring Katrina Wardell, Chief of Staff, Sylva

Katrina Wardell has 13+ years of experience in diverse executive roles. She is currently Chief of Staff at Sylva, which nurtures niche online communities.

1. Let’s start with a little intro, what’s your current role at Sylva? What has been the biggest challenge you face in your role?

I am the Chief of Staff at Sylva. I love this role, it comes with many fast-paced challenges and you have to move quickly to adapt to the changes. It’s challenging but also exciting in different ways.

2. Tell us a little more about your overall career and any advice for those aspiring to pursue this career path.

I am originally from San Diego, moved to the Bay Area, did my Master’s in Ireland – and met my husband there! :) We moved back to the Bay Area in 2017. I was working in big multinational companies in Dublin, but got introduced to tech through a friend’s startup that didn’t take off – so many of them don’t but it was a great experience! Then Dropbox came calling – I was there for 5 years at various progressively senior executive assistant roles ending up in an executive business partner and then executive business manager role – the equivalent role of Chief of Staff at Dropbox on the G&A side. Subsequently, I was at Gusto and Alto Pharmacy in similar roles, and now I am at Sylva. I have always been in the role of executive business partner, as I don’t like to be in the spotlight, and love setting up everything for my executives. But along the way, the projects that I was supporting and the creative process behind them got my mojo going, and so when I moved to Sylva as Chief of Staff I realized I could solely work on what I was enjoying. I don’t manage calendars or inboxes anymore, but I hate to downplay all the important stuff that executive assistants do. One has to be very organized, and adapt to changes in a fast-paced environment to be successful. I am not sure if my career path is common, but as an EA, if you really enjoy the processes and the projects as the business partner within that role, then the chief of staff role is for you! I get to own projects instead of just participating in them, I get to make decisions on behalf of my executives and I run the all-hands head-to-toe. So, if you enjoy taking more ownership, this role is for you and that’s how I have taken my career steps.

3. Time is of essence to have such a successful career, how did you master time-management? Any thoughts, especially around managing your or your team’s calendars?

As a junior admin, one of the first things you learn is how to manage your executive’s calendar. It’s all about prioritizing their goals as well as understanding what they need to function effectively. I run my own calendar as an EA would set up my calendar, that is, I put in all things like personal time, lunch, goals – everything to keep me functional. Being my own executive assistant is how I manage my time!

4. On a related note, we are trying to make business calendaring more intelligent. Can you say one or two lines about how Tackle has helped you solve your calendaring problems? We would also love to know your favorite feature of Tackle in a few words.

My favorite part of tackle is Insights. We also love tagging and automated tagging, but the Insights page is where we live and breathe. I review Tom’s (my CEO’s) calendar to see if all the tags are correct and then we together review his calendar on a monthly basis with Tackle, to see that it’s aligned with our goals. For example, we lost a leader and Tom stepped up in the interim, so we expected his meetings with those direct reports would increase – and Tackle helped us to validate that. Similarly, when we feel that he needs to step up his 1:1s, that is also reflected in his report from Tackle. The Insights page lets us view and manipulate the data in different ways – that’s really helpful.

Interviewed by

Company

Sylva is on a mission to create a sense of belonging online by operating and nurturing niche online communities.

Headquarters

New York

Industry

Technology, Communities, Information and Internet

Key features used

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