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NewsFeb 24, 2020

The Roster: Vol. 27

Sarah Barber

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. This month, we’re celebrating Black History Month with a special edition of the Roster:

nickoria johnson

principal, management consulting

dallas, tx

Favorite App: VanGo. Being a working mother to a son in middle school, I have had to get creative with how to get him to activites and home when school ends at 3:35pm, as I often am not finished with my workday until after 5pm. TheVanGo app is what I like to call “Uber for kids”. It is very similar to Uber in terms of being able to schedule rides, flag your favorite driver, see where they are real-time, and notifications when the ride is complete. VanGo only employs nannies and mothers who are highly background checked and love kids. I researched and found this app/service last year and it has been a game changer for me and allows me to know my son will be waiting for me at home when I do make it through my workday and traffic.

Favorite Credera Memory: At our leadership retreat dinner last year, I was brought into a Credera tradition called Farkle… a dice game that you don’t want to lose due to the ultimate embarrassing consequences that the loser must bear. As I qualified to have a seat at the table with no knowledge of what to expect, all of a sudden I had a Farkle coach right by my side (who happened to be our CEO). I looked around at other newbies to this game who also had partners serve as their own personal coaches. And what proceeded was a very intense, loud, and high-pressure game that was enveloped with intense cheering from team members watching, crazy trash talking around the table, and emotional highs and lows that made you feel like you were in some sort of High Roller poker tournament. What makes this my favorite memory is that I was able to dive in and be a part of this game even though I was new… I was welcomed in, coached by the best, and laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. I also learned a lot about my teammates and had a chance to be loud and talk trash with the best of them!! What a way to feel welcomed to the team! I’m ready for next year so I can be more focused and “on task”  since I know what to do now!!

What Does “Black History Month” Mean to You? Black History Month creates a sense of pride/appreciation and inspiration for me! It gives me (and hopefully the world):

  1. A time to reflect, acknowledge, and appreciate of all the accomplishments and achievements made by Black men and women who came before me, whose successes often came in spite of the difficult circumstances and struggles they had to overcome.

  2. A wealth of inspiration about what I can do/be and what future generations can do/be because of those who paved the way for us.

What Is the Most Important Thing Someone Outside of Your Race Can Do To Support You In Your Personal Journey to Demonstrate Inclusion and Celebrate Diversity?

  • Ask me questions and genuinely get to know me! We are more the same than different, but be open to the fact that I may have had different sets of experiences that shape and inform who I am today. When I share those thoughts with you, seek to understand more. I’d love to share my thoughts and experiences with you AND learn about yours. We are all better together!!

  • Remember that diversity brings the right set of people to the workplace, but inclusion makes sure everyone has a seat at the table and is included in the conversation. Invite other perspectives in and you will be surprised at how valuable the outcome will be!

kyler starks

senior consultant, data and analytics

denver, co

Favorite App: Right now, it has to be GOWOD. It’s a stretching app and it is really incredible. I had no idea how inflexible I was before it and have been able to feel better by getting into a good stretching routine around my exercise.

Favorite Credera Memory: I was in my final interview at Credera and in the middle of the interview I got a random leg cramp and had to stand up randomly. I was interviewing with Kevin Erickson and he just laughed it off and we actually went on a “walking” interview to finish up. It was funny but also really cool!

What does Black History Month mean to you? It really means celebrating my history and being thankful for those who came before me. Growing up I don’t think I really understood the significance of this month but as I moved into professional life I began to read about the struggles of others throughout history and how they overcame adversity and not to use a cliché but “Broke Barriers” for all people, not just African Americans. It also means celebrating our diversity while also championing what unites us which is why Diversity and Inclusion means a lot to me.

What is the most important thing someone outside of your race can do to support you in your personal journey to demonstrate inclusion and celebrate diversity? Listening to understand, from my perspective. I think the best way to support those around us is to genuinely listen to one another and to not dismiss the experiences of others if it differs from what you experienced.

 

shani rainey

consultant, management consulting

dallas, tx

Favorite App: Twitter because it’s informative and entertaining. It’s the best of both worlds!

Favorite Credera Memory: Attending any and all C Spire account happy hours, dinners, or team get-togethers. Our C Spire family is amazing!

What does Black History Month mean to you? It means the acknowledgment and celebration of the many African American (and non-African American) people that fought and dedicated their lives to the ongoing fight for the equality and freedom of minorities.

What is the most important thing someone outside of your race can do to support you in your personal journey to demonstrate inclusion and celebrate diversity?  The most important thing someone outside of my race can do is to become an ally. I don’t expect you to relate to the everyday struggles/battles I have to navigate through but be someone who is willing to listen and potentially be a voice when ours’ isn’t heard.

jordan mason

consultant, open technology solutions

dallas, tx

Favorite App: I’ve really taken a liking to Truebill for the way it presents a neat summary all of your accounts (bank, credit and investments), tracks spending, and sends notifications for upcoming bills and bill increases. It also offers to negotiate bills down for you, automate cancellations and request bank fee refunds on your behalf.

Favorite Credera Memory: I’ve loved working with Bold Idea – where a group of Crederians mentor 5th-7th graders in computer science – but if I had to pick one particular moment I’d say it was our first session this semester when we saw the kids we worked with last semester for the first time. They can be a handful, but this time they were overjoyed to see the same faces there again and jumped right into the lesson. It was the most focused we’d ever seen them. We expected the semester to go smoother, but we were so caught off guard by their enthusiasm that all we could do was laugh afterwards.

What does Black History Month mean to you? At one point, I didn’t understand the point of Black History Month. At the school I attended from 3rd-6th grade (St. Phillip’s School in Dallas), we learned black history year-round, so February was no different from September. But in 8th grade, black history was just a part of U.S. history – a small fraction of the time I spent learning it in 3rd grade. So now I see Black History Month as a chance for the general public to learn and celebrate that history in a way that might not happen regularly.

What is the most important thing someone outside of your race can do to support you in your personal journey to demonstrate inclusion and celebrate diversity?  I’d say don’t assume and be curious. Like I said, there is a ton of history and culture that isn’t common knowledge, and you’d never know until you ask. So, don’t assume your experience is the same as the person next to you, and listen and ask questions when appropriate, because you never know what you may learn about a person and where they come from.

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