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CultureDec 19, 2018

The Roster: Vol. 15

Ally White

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

matt levy

co-founder & managing director

Dallas, TX

Passions Outside of Work: Spending time with my kids (17 and 14), their friends and watching their high school sports teams. I’ve really loved getting to know the teenagers our kids hang out with. Yesterday I was walking out of a basketball game and saw my son’s friend Andrew. He put his arm around me and said “Hey Mr. Levy.” We talked for a few minutes and the conversation brought both of us joy. I’m convinced kids simply want to know they are loved, someone cares about them and that someone is interested in their lives. I think that may be true for many of us.

Life Hack: About a year ago one of my friends helped me realize the news was creating negative noise in my head. Unlike politicians and writers, I have zero influence on what happens in the news. So, I decided to stop reading or watching the news in January of 2018 (except for sports and finance). It took about 3 weeks for me to come out of the clouds and see that the sun was shining again. What had become cloudy is that 99% of people are doing their best and are good people, despite what the news tells us. The noise in the news was clouding my view of people in general and I didn’t like it. I’ve found 5 to 10% more space in my head to learn and create positive thoughts, full of gratitude. Lately I’ve replaced the free time with books about Coach K and John Wooden. These two guys know how to build teams and coach them to do remarkable things together. With the exception of the annoyingly tempting screens located throughout our building at the Colonnade the unproductive noise is gone.

Favorite Tech Tool: I use the FCA reading plans in the Bible App most days and usually share one of the daily readings with my kids. These short one-page devotionals are written by accomplished athletes who are working to overcome something significant in their lives. In our family, one of us is usually working to overcome something and these are great little reminders that we aren’t alone and God isn’t asking us to do it alone.

Favorite Credera Memory: In 1999 sitting in front of the paperback yellow pages in my apartment, which was Credera’s first office. We didn’t have any meaningful clients, so I was thinking I should start calling some businesses to see if they would meet with me. Most of them wouldn’t meet with me. So instead I found myself praying about Credera, giving the firm to God and surrendering the firm’s future to Him. Prayer has worked out to be a pretty effective strategy in my life.

Memorable Client Experience: Rob, David and me sitting in front of one of our first CIO clients together and asking the client the “one thing” that caused him the most pain. He looked right at me and said “you.” I can’t believe Rob and David stuck around, but they did and I’m beyond thankful that we have had the chance to work together over the last 15 years. Loyalty isn’t a virtue I hear discussed often, but I believe we have a number of loyal and faithful leaders at Credera, who really do want the best for the firm, the people here and our clients.

adrian romo

senior architect, microsoft solutions

Dallas, TX

Favorite App: Books, I read about a book a week on my phone

Life Hack: Every 6 months I dump the entire Credera address book into an Outlook contact folder and sync it to my phone, so I can find any Crederian whenever I need them

Favorite Book: I’ve been asked by a few people what source materials I used for my Excellence for the Wrong Reasons CREDtalk last January. Many of the identity and validation core concepts I talked about came from Wild At Heart by John Eldredge.

Favorite Sports Team: Flaming Thumbtacks (Tennessee Titans)

Office Music Playlist: Lots of Hans Zimmer, everything from the 80’s

Memorable Client Experience: Smoking victory cigars with the team after successfully cutting over a production oil field network of 250 sites to a new owner without interrupting operations

Favorite Credera Memory: Deana Self karaoke singing “Happy” by Pharrell Williams to me in a team room when I was having a bad day

Mentorship Experience: Mentorship is one of my favorite things about my job. A mentor is like a sculptor looking at a hunk of rock and seeing the masterpiece within, their job is to chip away the pieces until it’s revealed. You can ask my mentees, I enjoy chipping away and telling them what I see.

How You’ve Seen the Core Values Lived Out: Leaders asking for forgiveness

hanna jones

consultant, microsoft solutions

Dallas, TX

Life Hack: Get a cat! Winston is a light in my life. He wakes me up in the morning, keeps me company when I work from home, and has become my favorite Netflix binge buddy.

Favorite App: I personally enjoy Instagram as a creative outlet and a source of inspiration for recipes, travel, fitness, restaurants, and events around town.

Favorite Tech Tool: I use the project-management tool Trello for everything, whether it be tracking chores, wedding planning, buying Christmas gifts and tracking deliveries, or planning ideas for my personal blog.

Now Playing: Reply 1988. It’s a wholesome, coming-of-age Korean drama that takes place in the late 80s. Its witty humor, charming cast, and authentic life lessons draw you in and make it easy to obsess over.

Personal Values: Mindfulness, empathy, hard work, mental and physical health

Favorite Credera Memory: I can’t choose a favorite, but one recent memory that I really enjoyed was visiting Rice campus for recruiting with Amber Wang and Christina Hahn. Not only was it fun and exciting to share the Credera story with students, but it also reminded me how far I have come since graduating college.

Mentorship Experience: Shelby Strodel led the first project I worked on at Credera during my summer internship, and she made a huge impact on my experience. She gave me frequent feedback and encouragement, and shared her own experiences to give me perspective on how to handle problems. Her conscious effort to involve me in client meetings and give me opportunities to present my work to others allowed me to grow in areas I wasn’t expecting.

Best Advice You’ve Received: Always prepare for meetings as if you are leading them. This mindset has given me a sense of responsibility and ownership over my role in each discussion I am a part of, which has allowed me to be 100% present in meetings. You wouldn’t arrive late, take out your phone, or work on other things during your own meeting, so it also serves as a reminder to be respectful of your colleagues’ time.