Connector Spotlight: Emily Chan

August 12, 2022

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

As our Director of Growth, what does Emily Chan do to lead our growth functions to expand our brand awareness and drive our business forward? For those that know her – a better question is likely, what *doesn’t* she do? Alongside her team, Emily collaborates across teams to amplify the great work our smart, kind, reliable Connectors do with our impressive list of clients. Whether it’s pitching to prospects, launching campaigns, promoting content, or planning events – Emily and her team are constantly thinking about our Go-to-Market Strategy. She’s known for sharing her go-to restaurant recommendations and for her fun adventures abroad. Can you guess her favourite product that helps keep her work and personal life organized? 

Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on?

I am lucky to lead the Growth team at Connected which focuses on what is conventionally known as ‘top of the funnel activity.’ In Layman’s terms, I handle first impressions for our brand whether that’s experienced by prospective clients or employees. Ultimately, we amplify the voices of our practitioners and the great work we do for our clients through various channels including content and events. You can get a snapshot of what we are up to by following our LinkedIn Page, Blog, Events Page, and our newsletter (subscribe here). 

Okay, glad we can get all my shameless plugs out of the way! Would I really be leading marketing if I wasn’t promoting our latest initiatives?

What’s the most interesting challenge with your role?

Prior to this role, I was part of the Client Experience (CX) team at Connected fostering relationships with a number of Fortune 500 partners. During my time on the CX team, it became clear very quickly why our clients from various industries trust partnering with us. Given the nature of our work in supporting our partners with some of their most ambitious product development visions including their bets on the future, we work hard to uphold the privacy and confidentiality of the work we do. 

How then can we market what we do without explicitly sharing exactly what we do? It is a challenge that has made my role interesting and a challenge my team and I have always been up for, and I’d like to think we’ve risen up to the occasion.

Where did you work before Connected?

Prior to Connected, I held a number of interesting roles which resulted in unique opportunities such as supporting the production of a pet fashion show commercial for a $100B+ brand. I’ve also been fortunate to gain global experience through my stints in RetailTech including disrupting the antiquated weekly flyer/circular industry and helping retailers embrace machine learning for their promotion strategy. However, my friends and family would probably say my most interesting role would be being the top salesperson of toilet paper across all of Canada at one point in time. (I used to be affectionately known as the Queen of TP!)

What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?

Besides being the Queen of TP… I’m always proud of any and every moment I’ve contributed to someone’s growth and success. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without my own mentors, so I am grateful to pay it forward. I want to recognize SZ, KP, and AVS (you know who you are!) who have been my role models on how to lead with compassion, be purpose-driven, and embody a bias-for-action.

On a personal level, completing a really challenging Machu Picchu trek is also up there (think wild terrains, changing climates, and 4600m elevation resulting in altitude sickness). Though difficult, the scenery and experience of one of the Seven Wonders of the World was well worth it.

Do you have a mantra you live by?

Nothing worth doing ever comes easy.

What do you love to do outside of work?

I love to volunteer with the Girl Guides of Canada (shoutout to my unit, the 47th Toronto Guides, and a friendly reminder that Thin Mints finally return this fall). Even though it feels like I’m supposed to be mentoring them, it’s often the other way around. In the words of a wise group of nine-year-olds, always be a sweet potato, not a salty potato. 

You’ll also find me improving my golf game and a huge credit goes to my (very) patient coach – Larry Cheung

I am currently binging Yellowstone, Only Murders in the Building, and all 18 glorious seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Fun fact: I started a TV Fanatics Community at Connected. 

When I am not binging TV shows, working on my golf swing, or crafting fun Cricut projects such as the custom Connected pet sunglasses, I am spending time with my family as we love to indulge in friendly rounds of Mah Jong. 

Lastly, of course being a Toronto resident, I cannot not be trying new restaurants and some of my recent favourites are Mezes, Giulietta, The Pho, and Railway Station after being introduced to it at one of our Connected Asian and Pacific Islander ERG events by Amina Saigol

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?

Movie – Back to The Future Part II

Book – Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Album – We Were Born in a Flame by Sam Roberts

Describe yourself in three words. 

Generous, thoughtful, and effervescent.

And finally, what’s your favourite product and why? 

My favourite product hands-down is Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets; I challenge you to name a business that has been successful without relying on any spreadsheets. 

Have you ever experienced the magic of a well-coded macro? How about when you learn a new formula that uncovers new time efficiencies? Don’t get me started on all the data visualization capabilities. I am notorious for also using spreadsheets to plan and organize many aspects of my life including trips. My travel companions always ask, is a pivot table really necessary to plan a vacation? Yes, yes it is. I’ve also heard Notion may be my next favourite product for this reason.

Speaking of vacations, another top contender is Apple’s Find My App as it helped save a friend’s life while we were in Italy. A story for another time but let’s just say Vespas were involved.

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