Today the Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech named their 2012 Innovation All Stars. We are thrilled to announce that our CEO Michael Jaconi was named one of the awards’ “Rising Stars”.
Winners in this category were chosen for “doing remarkable things within their industries.” Jaconi, along with the other winners, will be honored at an awards reception on Wednesday 11/14 at the House of Blues in Boston.
Congratulations Mike on this well deserved honor!
Want to meet the FreeCause team and learn more about the exciting opportunities we have on our team?
Stop by the FreeCause Mixer Tuesday, 10/9 between 6-8PM at our office (Downtown Crossing). We’ll have food and drinks for you to enjoy and you’ll have the opportunity to tour our office space, meet the team, and tell us more about yourself.
We look forward to seeing you on 10/9!
Yesterday we announced the winners of our “Shugi Award” which is given out each month to the employees who went above and beyond that month to help their teammates and FreeCause succeed.
For August we are proud to award two Shugi Award winners, Kyle Gifford and Greg Langlais.
Kyle is our Implementation Team Manager and was recognized for his willingness and ability to take over a mountain of additional responsibilities, ensuring as an exceptional Scrum Master that each sprint runs as effectively and efficiently as possible. Kyle is always very agile, able to pick up any task and see if through to exemplary completion.
Greg is one of our Software Engineers and on top of his regular busy workload, also took the time on teach himself node.js. In only a couple of weeks, Greg was able to pick up the software system to the extent that he was also able to begin teaching others on the team. His initiative, drive, and leadership made him an ideal winner of our Shugi Award.
The FreeCause team is heading back to college this fall. As part of our extensive recruitment efforts to put together the most talented team in the industry, we’re taking advantage of the wealth of opportunities the Greater Boston area has to offer.
We’ll be attending the following Career Fairs this fall and we’re excited to talk to area students about both what makes FreeCause special and also all of the opportunities and perks we have to offer.
9/19 Worcester Polytechnic Institute
9/20 Boston College
9/28 Tufts University
10/3 Northeastern University
10/19 Harvard University
We’re in the process of adding more Career Fairs, so keep an eye out for more updates soon.
Our technology solutions are of the highest technical quality, providing an engaging and natural user experience that rewards users for their online search and shopping activity. To maintain this level of quality it requires a rigorous testing system and a talented team to ensure our technology meets our lofty expectations. To manage these unprecedented quality control standards we rely on a team of professionals willing and qualified to do the meticulous work needed to guarantee our solutions are as close to perfect as can be. One of those people is Kari Ponto.
Since joining FreeCause in March of 2011 as our QA Lead, Kari has managed the testing of our client’s rewards solutions, ensuring all core features and enhancements are working properly and any technical bugs or issues are identified before ever reaching a client’s member base. She attends regular scrum summary meetings to stay abreast of what client projects are in the current sprint, while maintaining and updating test plans for current clients in the works as well as developing new test plans for new clients’ projects coming up. Basically, Kari is the only person on the FreeCause team who ‘touches’ all of our technology at some point.
Since Kari is involved in each technology solution that goes out the door, she has been an integral part of our most recent technology enhancements. One recent example is our Chrome plugin. As Chrome continued to increase in popularity it was apparent that we needed to develop a Chrome plugin which would offer a similar amount of utility to users when compared to our RewardsBar, all in an engaging and user friendly experience. Kari has been a key resource, testing each version of the plugin and working to resolve any issues. She has also helped obtain network approval for several of our Chrome plugins for our clients, enabling them to offer those plugins to their members. With each new browser update Kari is also responsible for testing the new binary and making sure all of our technology still works for our clients.
A graduate of University of Wisconsin – Platteville, Kari majored in Criminal Justice and Business Administration. Outside of FreeCause Kari is a sports fanatic, especially when rooting for her Green Bay Packers. She loves to stay active and play just about every sport imaginable. She enjoys running, hiking, and is devoted to her dodgeball and volleyball teams.
Our “Codinization Project” received some more media attention, this time courtesy of the Boston Business Journal.
Check out the August 17th issue of the BBJ, on newsstands now, to see the piece on our project and how it’s already impacting our business.
Our “Codinization Project” – where all of our employees are learning how to code this year – was featured on WIRED.com today!
The article covers the general scope of the project and where the inspiration for it came from, and highlights one of our recent coding success stories.
Today we recognized outstanding performance from the second quarter of this year with the announcement of our “Golden Toolbar Award” winner and our June “Shugi Award” winners. The Golden Toolbar award is presented quarterly to the employee(s) who achieved unprecedented results during the specific quarter. For 2012 Q2, our Golden Toolbar Award goes to Vanya Dineva.
Vanya, one of our Software Engineers, was recognized for her outstanding performance during the quarter, identifying and resolving key issues in several of our programs. Vanya is known by the rest of the team as a perfectionist who continually pumps out excellent work. Her willingness to jump head first into ad-hoc debugging sessions and help her teammates out in any way she can makes her admired by her colleagues. She has an eagle eye for spotting inefficiencies and consistently suggests improvements to maximize effectiveness. One recent example, Vanya used her expertise to develop a file compression feature for our Amazon Web Services bandwidth, lowering our costs by 75%.
Vanya was also recognized as one of our June Shugi Award winners, for many of the same reasons she is our Golden Toolbar Award winner for Q2. Our other June Shugi Award winner was Corinne Salchunas, our Data Analyst. Corinne was nominated for her ability to continually ‘get things done’. She has set the bar high for our Codinization Project, learning how to code and implement A/B tests for our technology’s notification browser sliders. Corinne was able to complete in a matter of days what could have taken weeks or months depending on its place in our project prioritization schedule. Corinne continually leaps any obstacles in her way, like the quality of our data and lack of appropriate resources, and finds way to develop top-level data analysis and recommendations for ways to improve our technology for our clients and users.
The FreeCause team is known for its ability to rapidly develop, test, and implement the most innovative and engaging points-earning technology in the industry. We have the most talented team of technical and business professionals assigned to working with clients from the initial kickoff meeting all the way through development and launch. Our Client Operations team is dedicated to providing new and existing clients with a superior level of support and expertise, ensuring all of their technical issues and questions are answered. One of those dedicated technical professionals leading the way for successful client implementations is Bina Zafar.
Bina joined FreeCause last December as one of our Software Engineers and recently moved to our specialized Client Operations team as part of our technical team’s reorganization. This reorganization ensures that all clients receive the continued support they required throughout the implementation process and beyond. Bina serves as a technical resource for clients, providing product support, maintenance, and enhancements for a client’s RewardsBar and eMarket. Our clients, and their technical teams, can rest assured in having Bina as their main technical contact at FreeCause to be able to answer any questions and/or resolve any technical issues that may arise.
Currently Bina is working on a number of key client implementations which, when they launch, will add to FreeCause’s already impressive roster of clients. She is also leading a series of important product support projects for several current clients. While constantly working with these clients, providing detailed expertise and guidance and continually, Bina is looking to improve the client and user experience. With vast knowledge in the process of migrating a number of our clients currently utilizing our Toolbar Builder 1 platform to our enhanced Toolbar Builder 2 platform, Bina has provided migrated clients with additional options and features for their RewardsBar as well as increasing maintainability for a longer shelf-life. The newly formed Client Operations team, that Bina is a member of, is also continually seeking ways to improve the implementation process including cutting the time it takes to implement a client solution by half – creating new enriched internal tools, automating several manual processes, and developing exciting new product features.
Bina is a graduate of both the University of Sheffield where she received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computing and Northeastern University where she received a Master’s degree in Software Engineering. When not working on client implementation at FreeCause, Bina enjoys drawing, music (both playing acoustic guitar and attending concerts), and volunteering.
At FreeCause, we have the most experienced and talented professionals in the industry. Our people definitely know their stuff!
One of those people is George Ogata, our director of project management. George is a certified ScrumMaster and is experienced in effectively utilizing the agile framework to better complete projects on time, on budget, and on scope.
George was featured in Computerworld describing how companies fail in project management, how they can benefit from Scrum, and how to run an effective Scrum environment.