Shelby Shankland, Matt Leo, and Nic Zappanti have stepped up to take on new roles within the company after years of awesome partnership, reflecting employee growth.
San Francisco, Calif., April 23, 2019. — Three SweetRush team members are taking on new challenges within the company that will bring new efficiencies and innovations to our clients. As SweetRush continues to expand its offerings and its work with ever-more client-partners, the company is also experiencing employee growth, which has opened new doors for these long-time teammates.
These three rising stars, Shelby Shankland, Matt Leo, and Nic Zappanti, were chosen to take on new responsibilities because of their incredible client-oriented instincts and strong work ethics. All three are sure to bring continuous improvements to their teams.
We invite you to get to know them through their stories below!
A Long-Time Friend: Shelby Shankland
Shelby Shankland, who is now Cultural and Organizational Transformation Manager at SweetRush, joined the company back in 2007. She started out copy editing and doing quality assurance, and eventually began working in build management, which is a project management role focusing on internal production. After some time with the team, she moved up to become the Build Manager Team Lead.
She held on to this position, but Shelby is not one to simply stay put, training to be a Project Manager and in short order taking on a significant roster of clients. At the same time, outside of SweetRush, she studied to become a life coach in 2015. This would be a move that would prove pivotal to her eventual new role.
In 2017, Ashley Munday joined SweetRush as the director of a new branch of services for the company: Cultural Transformation and Change Management. Soon, Ashley and Shelby became good friends, and cultural transformation became an interest for Shelby.
As the volume of work for the Culture division grew—Ashley was, after all, a one-woman team—it became apparent that it needed a manager to help oversee finances, process, and best practices. Shelby was a natural fit!
“When I was preparing to become a life coach, I discovered a great passion for working with individuals, for helping them realize their full potential and achieve their professional goals by synchronizing their passion, their effort, and their work,” says Shelby. “This is what I know I can bring to the table for clients. I believe I’m changing the world one heart at a time. I’m thrilled to do so for SweetRush and for our clients.”
In addition to her work at SweetRush, Shelby brings her abundant energy to her life-coaching clients, a local college where she teaches, her local orchestra, and, of course, her family: husband Scott and two children.
Here Come the Nerds: Matt Leo and Nicole Zappanti
Matt Leo and Nicole (Nic) Zappanti are two self-professed nerds—and two living examples of employee growth. These friends are incredibly talented people. They’re also veterans within the SweetRush ranks and are taking on new leadership roles at the same time.
Nic’s journey at SweetRush will mark 11 years in July. Despite her long tenure with the company, she still clearly remembers her first day of work.
Back when SweetRush had a physical office in San Francisco, Nic came in and found on her desk a pack with cookies and an apology note from her new teammates: “Sorry for what’s about to come. There’s a crazy project coming up and you’re gonna be swamped.”
Instead of feeling scared, she still considers it the best way to start at a new job. That’s also a pretty fair summary of Nic’s attitude in general.
Nic’s focus has mainly been the role of Build Manager. With time, she started gaining more and more responsibilities in that department. She showed tremendous employee growth and eventually being named Assistant Team Lead for Shelby.
When Shelby moved to her new position in the Cultural Transformation and Change Management division, it was a natural evolution for Nic to step up. She took over Shelby’s role as the Build Management Team Lead.
“I’m so freaking excited about this new position! My main focus is to make processes easier and less manual for everyone, both for clients and our internal team,” she says. “Automation helps to smooth the way we communicate with our clients, which means better and more efficient ways to work. I also love to check in on teammates, make sure they are comfortable and happy. It’s not just a matter of employee growth: happier people make better work.”
Outside of work, Nic loves the simple things: hanging out with family, working in the backyard. As she puts it, her biggest goal in life is using her powers for good.
Half Audio, Half Development, All Matt
Matt joined the company seven years ago. His background was in audio engineering, having worked as an intern in music recording studios and radio stations. Through a friend, he heard of an audio position at a company he had never heard of before: SweetRush.
Matt joined the team first to record voiceovers. He quickly branched out into development and started assisting the Development team. Pretty soon, he found himself splitting his time between the Audio and Development teams.
As SweetRush grew, so did the demands of Matt’s two teams. The demand for audio rose not only in volume of work. The professional quality of voices and the variety of accents and ages represented rose as well.
The employee growth of the Audio team allowed Matt to take on a more managerial role: looking for better and more creative solutions for clients’ needs, supporting other teams within SweetRush, and vetting contractors.
“I became the Audio Team Lead, though in a sense I feel like I always was,” Matt says. “It’s been really exciting to see this team grow throughout the years, and having been here from the beginning, I can see that not only are clients more aware of just how powerful audio can be in an L&D project, but how much more in demand SweetRush has been getting.”
Matt has also taken on a consultant role for the Development team, especially for storyboards review.
In his personal time, Matt is a big PC gamer. Or rather, was. Lately, however, he hasn’t had much time for video games, as he’s learning to be a father. His first child will turn one year in a couple of months. “Besides the sleep deprivation, it’s pretty awesome,” he says.
Congratulations, Shelby, Matt, and Nic, on your new roles from all your teammates at SweetRush!