Get to know Propeller’s world-class team in our ongoing employee spotlight. Today, we talk to Margaret Farmakis, who serves as our VP of customer success. Margaret is based in our Denver, Colorado, office.
What do you do at Propeller?
I started at Propeller in July 2019, and I’m responsible for running the US- and Australia-based customer success, tech support, and account management teams. Those three functions interact with our customers in a post-sale capacity. Once someone becomes a customer of Propeller, these teams begin engaging with them.
Customer success is responsible for ensuring that our customers are successful using Propeller’s solutions for their worksites. This includes conducting in-depth on-boarding and training, mission planning, and helping them use the platform to measure site progress and productivity. And then, our tech support team is primarily reactive, helping to support customers with their hardware issues. Account management is responsible for working with customers on renewals and expansion opportunities.
What’s your career background?
My background is in professional services (consulting), service operations, customer success, and leading and managing large geographically dispersed teams at a variety of different SaaS companies.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in NYC, born and raised in the Big Apple. My whole family is still located there, and I’ll be going back for Christmas.
Before working at Propeller, what’s the strangest or most interesting job you’ve held?
It would have to be the time I was a camp counselor at an all girls sleep-away dance camp. I went there as a camper for five years, and then I was a counselor for girls aged 11–15.
It’s called Brant Lake Camp in the Adirondack mountains, and it was a really interesting opportunity to help girls through some of the challenges they face during their teenage years. I think it also gave me some early leadership and management experience, and plus it was a blast.
Any talents, secret superpowers, or fun facts about yourself to share?
I went to culinary school here in Denver at Cook Street School. It’s a professional culinary program. I completed that and graduated in March of last year, so I do have some secret pastry skills.
My favorite aspect of the program was the pastry piece—having the chance to learn how to make macaroons, croissants, and pasta from scratch.
I have some pretty kickass knife skills, even though I did wind up almost cutting off parts of different fingers while I was in school, but I did get better. I learned that talking while chopping is a big mistake for me because I wind up focusing on the person that I’m talking to, instead of the knife in my hand.
What’s your favorite Propeller memory?
It would have to be a combination of two things, one being my trip to Sydney. I went to Sydney for two weeks in October and it was an amazing experience. I had the chance to spend a lot of time over there with people I’d only interacted with through Zoom calls and met the team that reports to me over there. I got to build some great relationships and be exposed to all the wonderful people that Propeller has hired.
Everyone made sure that I was looked after, and I got to do a lot of fun activities outside of work, as well. So, that was definitely a highlight in my last three months.
I would say the second thing is the Halloween party here in the Denver office. It was epic. I went as Rosie the Riveter for my Halloween costume, so I was feeling inspired. It was a great chance for everyone to let loose a little.
If you could do any job on a worksite for just one day, which would you choose?
I got to visit one of our customers in Sydney, a quarry located outside of Newcastle. That was the first time I’d ever been on a worksite, and it was a fascinating experience.
If I had to pick a job, I think I’d be a supervisor, working to understand what everyone on site needs to be doing, managing safety, processes, and schedules—that’s pretty interesting to me. It’s just a whole different world.
Also, I’d like to be the person that gets to press the button for demolition. I definitely wouldn’t want to be responsible for driving any equipment though.
What’s your favorite Slack emoji and why?
I tend to use finger emojis a lot—the “thumbs up,” the “okay,” and the “rock on” signs.
I haven’t created anything unique and fun yet. I’m still working on improving my Slack skills, so I can use Slack to benefit me, rather than feeling like Slack is owning me. I haven’t ever worked at a company that’s used Slack this much.
What’s one thing you wish people understood better about Propeller as a whole?
That Propeller is fully-committed to our customers’ success, that any licensed customer receives a dedicated customer success engineer who’s heavily invested in helping them realize value from their Propeller investment and ensure they have everything they need to be successful.
Our team works with customers from varying backgrounds and with varying levels of technical experience to make sure the hardware is being used in the proper way to capture high-quality data that can then be turned into maps in the Propeller Platform.
That’s when things get really exciting, when customers are able to work within the platform and really make decisions and take action to manage their business better. It’s really rewarding to see the “ah-ha” moment for customers when we’re showing them the platform and what they can do in it.
In terms of what Propeller can do, our combination of hardware and software is really exciting, especially the way that we’re revolutionizing the industry and our levels of accuracy, it’s an exciting time to be at Propeller—lots of growth planned and new things in store for our customers in 2020.
What are you most excited about for Propeller’s upcoming year?
The growth and hiring that’s on the horizon, especially for my team. We’ll be hiring in customer success, tech support, and account management.
We’re looking for really great candidates in the Denver area, as well as in Sydney. There’s also some potential opportunities to hire local, in-region support in Europe.
The opportunity to hire more smart, capable, dedicated people onto the Propeller team and be able to support our customers and help them be successful as we launch new features, potentially new products—that’s what I’m excited about.
Want to join our team? We’re hiring!