Apr 26, 2019

The Roster: Vol. 19

Ally White

Ally White

The Roster: Vol. 19

At Credera, we believe we’re truly better together. The Roster is a monthly series that allows you to get to know leaders at all levels across the firm.

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Dustin Talk

Senior Architect, Open Technology Solutions

Dallas, TX

Favorite Tech Tool: The CLI or Command Line Interface. I view learning how to use a terminal as 101 material these days. It is interesting since as I grew up with computers, GUI tools were all the rage and the terminal was deemed somewhat legacy. Now it is imperative once more as languages like JavaScript have taken you back to the keyboard with node and npm. Many people don’t even realize how much they use a CLI until I ask them if they have ever typed “\giphy” into Slack.

Favorite Book: Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software by Michael Nygard. When software is turned on, it can do many unpredictable things from corruption to slowdowns or even turn itself off. These are often the challenges that our clients face and I enjoy solving. Early in my career, I was able to read this and get a better understanding of how to architect and build software that could withstand the torture tests of users. It was really fun last year when Michael Nygard joined our book club meeting after launching the second edition of Release It!

Passions Outside of Work: Tons. Sometimes I think my hobby is finding new hobbies…

  • Horology – I like building franken-watches, my favorite movement is the ETA 2824-2

  • Outdoors – I’ll take any reason to be outside on a nice day, whether road-biking or practicing some sportsmanship

  • Artifact Hunting – I’ve got a small collection of Native American arrowheads I’ve found all over the central U.S.

  • Casting – Using some delft clay I’ve managed to cast some gold and silver jewelry

  • Home Automation – “…Alexa, clean the house” (one day soon)

Now Playing: The Simpsons. It’s America’s longest running scripted television series. I try not to regularly watch the news but if you wanted a regular look at our culture, society, and the human condition, The Simpsons would give you some insight albeit somewhat satirical.

Favorite Credera Memory: When Rob Borrego and I went down the Leap of Faith slide at the Atlantis in the Bahamas. It’s a 60 foot near-vertical drop from the top of their Mayan Temple that launches you through a shark-filled lagoon. There are pictures somewhere on our internal portal of me with an “OMG” look on my face as I’m mid-transit free-dropping down the slide.

How You’ve Seen the Core Values Lived Out at Credera: One of the outputs from our core values, though not specifically mentioned, is trust. As our leaders embody our values, it becomes easy to work knowing that decisions made on your behalf are done so with your interest in consideration. I’ve never seen this more so than when Credera became part of the Omnicom network of companies.

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Matthew Roberts

Senior Consultant, Open Technology Solutions

 Dallas, TX

Favorite App: LastPass – Is it weird to mark my life as pre- and post- password manager? Yes? Probably.

Now Playing: I mean… it’s Game of Thrones. It’s Game of Thrones on Sundays. It’s instant reaction livestreams afterwards. It’s podcasts (and embarrassingly thorough Reddit deep-dives) during the week. I’m soaking this up while I can.

Favorite Books: 

Some favorites from the past year:

One I’m looking forward to:

Favorite Sports Team: I ride or die for my Baylor Bears, but no team brings me quite as much unbridled joy and soul-crushing despair as Liverpool Football Club.

Favorite Credera Memory: The 2017 Company Trip was a highlight reel of fantastic Credera memories. My favorite though, by far, was taking part in Jeph Kryzak’s brainchild – Credera GT. Dozens of Crederians got their hands on the fanciest sports cars money could rent and took them for a joy ride down the California coast. Drew Allen and I drove our Porsche up into canyons to try out our best Tokyo Drift. We may have turned an unhealthy shade of Credera red (wear sunscreen if you put the top down, kids…) but the experience was absolutely one to remember.

Best Advice You’ve Received: Always be learning. I’ve found this to be a both deeply motivating and incredibly humbling mentality. Finding opportunities to learn, even in the most mundane of tasks, challenges me to grow and improve in all that I do. But it’s also impossible to strive for learning without acknowledging that there’s something _to_ learn in the first place. Holding these two thoughts in balance keeps me grounded and growing every day.

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Grace Lee

Senior Consultant, Management Consulting

 Dallas, TX

Favorite App: Since I’ve been traveling frequently in the past couple of months, it’s been TripIt. I love it. Basically, it’s a mobile app that automatically scans email inboxes that you connect to it and pulls in anything travel- or “trip”-related. It then organizes all travel information (flights, hotels, parking, etc.) per trip so it’s centralized and easily accessible.

Now Playing: This Is Us – the only show I religiously watch and the only show that’s made me cry for 45 minutes straight.

Passions Outside of Work: Traveling, finding new restaurants/coffee shops, going to farmer’s markets, creating calligraphy, and giving back to the community, to name a few. I also have become a little bit of a ClassPass junkie recently; I love trying new types of classes and studios and I hardly go to the same studio twice. Just within my two-week free trial, I experienced a “pound” workout using drum sticks, an indoor surfing workout, hot yoga, multiple different HIIT workouts, and a constant state of soreness.

Favorite Sports Team: Detroit Red Wings. My family is from Michigan and was a big hockey family growing up (my brother played since he was 5, my dad coached, my mom and I faithfully attended games). Though we’ve moved around quite a bit, our allegiance will always be to the Red Wings.

Personal Values: Be grateful. Be humble. Seek the Lord and his kingdom first.

Client Experience Highlight: I worked on a project for a non-profit client where we were able to implement multiple new technology applications that transformed their business operations. A few aspects of this project that made it special:

  1. The organization: It was awesome to work for an organization whose main goal is to make people’s lives better and serve the local community.

  2. The learning experience: I was able to learn and try a variety of new things; in addition to traditional management consulting skills, I experimented with UX design and even learned how to write a few lines of code!

  3. The team: I absolutely loved my team. We had a lot of good memories, quotes, and laughs in our team room: Scott Popplewell showing up in an actual inflatable car salesman suit, Teamsgiving potluck, Ryan Chen’s masterful Avengers-esque team room whiteboard mural, Jeff Briggs’ readings of his personal memoir, avocado toast snack breaks, and many, many more.

Mentorship Experience: My formal mentor, Stephen Grygar, has been a strong advocate for me and his support has been invaluable. He genuinely wants to help me discover my passions, and he proactively finds ways to empower me to pursue them. I’m very grateful to have people at Credera who are invested in my success and who inspire me to invest in the success of those around me.

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