Mamava is growing by leaps and bounds and we’re excited to introduce three new full time employees! Rebecca Roose, our new Director of Marketing and Digital Products, Sam Hart, our Major Accounts Executive-Airports, and Scott Suitor, our Production Manager. With upcoming trade shows, product launches, and the holidays, these three have truly hit the ground running.
We managed to snatch a few moments of their time to ask a few questions....
What brought you to Mamava?
RR: I live in Vermont so Mamava has been on my radar for a while. A friend of mine, Nikkie Kent, started working here nine months ago and reached out to me when an opportunity opened up, thinking it would be a perfect fit for me. And it’s been a dream! I’m doing all my favorite things: marketing and developing digital products like our website and mobile apps. Plus, it’s fun to talk about something that everyone loves. It makes my job really easy :)
SH: My experience with the Mamava team began in 2015 as they planned their installation of four units at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. At the time, I was the general manager of the display advertising concessionaire under which the Mamava suites were being introduced not only as a passenger convenience but as a one-of-a-kind promotional and advertising product reaching all consumers going through the “World’s Most Traveled Airport.”
I was very impressed with the design and simple functionality of the product and, of course, the great personnel involved--Janet, Sascha and the entire team. From start to finish, the process of ordering, shipping, installation and project promotion was flawless. I enjoyed working in a “hands-on” manner in coordinating the receipt of the shipping crates, advance work in planning the route of travel through a myriad of elevators, loading docks and concourses. I even rented and drove the delivery truck and worked overnight two nights with our assembly vendors to assemble and place the units.
I guess I did a pretty reasonable job, because shortly thereafter management took an interest in bringing me on to develop more locations in more airports around the U.S. and potentially overseas, as well. Never before in my twenty years of working in airports have I felt a better connection between a product and our passengers.
SS: I met the CEO, Sascha, socially through my wife, Jen, about 6 years ago. Since then I have followed the Mamava concept closely as a very innovative idea. However, it wasn't until just after my wife and I had our son, Vaughn, that the real need for such a solution became very apparent to me. Jen works at a local public high school but even after the ACA went into effect, there was no "appropriate" lactation accommodations available in her workplace. The result was quite a few days when she would come home frustrated and teary after trying to pump while at work. A malodorous public handicapped bathroom is not a very "appropriate accommodation" to say the least!
Once Mamava grew a bit and started spreading its wings, Sascha, knowing my technical aptitude and customer service experience, contacted me and encouraged me to apply for a newly established Production Manager job. I eagerly pursued the chance to join such great local vanguard innovator and was elated when I was offered the position.
Most awkward pumping moment? (Rebecca only!)
My kids are now 13 and 10, but I so clearly remember the irritation of having to pump in the bathroom at my old job and people knocking on the door wanting to get in.
As a mama who breastfed two kids, what advice do you wish you had before you became a mama? (Rebecca only!)
One thing I didn’t know about becoming a mom was all the guilt--about everything. You just have to pick your battles and do the best thing for yourself, first, and then other things will fall into place. It’s like an airplane announcement about putting on your oxygen mask first before assisting others. Because if you’re drowning, it’s failing twice as fast.
If you could add one function or accessory to a Mamava pod, what would it be?
RR: A barista and a full bar. As a parent, I’ve never drunk so much caffeine and booze. (Black coffee all the way!)
SH: Sanitizing wipes.
SS: A thermostatically controlled ventilation fan.
How do you feel about Sticky notes (our CEO loves them!) ?
RR: They’re good in a pinch, but I really need to keep everything in one place. I’ve got sticky notes, my notebook, my computer, and the notes app on my iPhone.
SH: The little ones are great when reading/proofing RFP responses as call-outs to show where edits need to be made (God is in the details) and the “sign here” are good for showing CEOs where to place their signature.
SS: I am addicted to them! Despite my best efforts to fully integrate myself into the digital age, I just can't seem to give them up as an integral part of my organization process. Thankfully the boss is understanding!
Favorite go to work snack (we’re big on snacks!)?
RR: Meat sticks from Maple Wind Farms (my favorite local VT farm) and dried mango.
SH: Baby carrots or celery sticks for healthy snacks; the 2 lb. bag of Hershey’s Miniatures (sans the Mr. Goodbars) and raiding the Krackle ones. Or Jolly Ranchers. My dad had a grocery warehouse and I worked there during the summers as a kid… the best was the Candy Room, aisles and aisles of candy ready to be shipped out to stores.
SS: Chocolate. Period.
Favorite hobbies when you're not passionately working for Mamava?
RR: I like to snowboard and watch the Real Housewives.
SH: Travel, golf, tennis, running, camping, cooking and going to the most beautiful beach, in my hometown of Destin, Florida.
SS: In the warm months I like to spend time with my family playing outside and working on Vaughn's tree fort or spending time at Jen's family's lake camp in the ADKs. During cold months you can find us on the ski slopes and sledding. I also enjoy tinkering in the garage or working on my VW Vanagon Syncro.
If you could place ONE Mamava anywhere you want - where would you put it?
RR: In a corrections facility so women could continue to feed and connect with their children even if they're not with them.
SH: The White House. I worked there early in my career and I’d love to go back, so many great memories.
SS: So I guess I can't use my one wish to ask for more wishes, right? Given that, I am going to stretch it a bit and say ONE in each National Park, ONE in each Smithsonian Museum, and ONE in each public high school ;-)
What part of Mamava are you most pumped about?
RR: The amazing team and the mission!
SH: Bringing a simple solution to the very busy, varied and exciting airport environments across the U.S., establishing a great network of easily-recognizable, consistent, go-to locations that may also generate some advertising revenue for our partners.
SS: I am pumped about the increasing groundswell in the belief that breastfeeding (and pumping) is not just a good idea, but actually a right that every mother and child should be able to benefit from, regardless of whether at home or in public. On top of that, I am pumped to be part of a team bringing better solutions for moms to the marketplace so that they may have choices in when, where, and how they would like to exercise that natural, healthful right.