Connector Spotlight: Tammy Chiasson

April 2, 2020

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

I just took on a new challenge and role here at Connected as President. In this role I will now be supporting all teams to drive impact for our Connectors, clients, products, and category. 

Since joining Connected three years ago, I have spent my time defining Connected’s go-to-market strategy, building a best-in-class sales and marketing team, and evolving Connected’s product development services and leading practice to drive product impact for our clients.

As President I will continue to partner with our leadership team on building a work culture we can be proud of for all of our Connectors.  

A lot has changed from a work culture standpoint over the past two years. We have gone remote-first, launched a program allowing Connectors to work anywhere in Canada. To enable this we updated our playbook and invested in tools such that our practice can be as impactful if not more in a remote environment and we are strategic about when it makes sense to come together in person to drive impact. What has not changed is our mission to build better products, we continue to strive to work with the best clients on their most impactful products and to recruit and retain the best group of product builders. I strongly believe that only by hiring and retaining the very best people can you guarantee building the very best products.

Q. Where did you work prior to Connected?

Before Connected I was at Tangerine—the financial services company. I joined Tangerine after working on the agency side on the brand transition from ING Direct to Tangerine and the reimagination of the banking experience at Tangerine. I was the first employee of the Client Experience, Design, and Innovation team and had the pleasure of growing the team, working with strategists, designers, and engineers to build out the new banking experience. It was where I developed my love for product strategy and saw first hand the benefits and challenges of product lead innovation.  

It was my experience at Tangerine that led me to Connected. At Tangerine I fit the ideal customer profile for Connected, so I know how important what we do is for Product Builders. You can read more about that here.

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

I have surpassed the 20-year mark of my career (yikes!), which is a good time for reflection. I have a lot to be proud of, as well as plenty of opportunities to learn from some mistakes along the way. 

But what I’m most proud of is less about the what and more about the who—the relationships I have built along the way. I have been particularly fortunate to have worked with a group of brilliant and generous women. 

There is this cliched idea in business that women spend more time competing with each other than sponsoring each other and that is absolutely not my reality. I have been lifted by so many women in my career and have had the chance to give back and help lift up other women. I’m so grateful for the incredible network of colleagues and life-long friends that I have picked up over the last 20 years.Thank you, Cathy, Mavis, Laura, Zoe, Carrie, Elizabeth, Grace, Emily, Sam, Ayanna, Lisa,Jaina, Naomi, Laura, Alison, Cheryl, Hilary,…… and so many more, I would not be the person I am today without each of you.

Q. Do you have a mantra you live by?

Here are three of my favourites that guide me in my personal life as a mother, wife, and friend, and in business as a leader and product builder.

  1. Stay curious
  2. Treat people the way you want to be treated
  3. You never get in trouble for telling the truth

Oh and a fourth bonus for all those young parents who ask me how to balance it all. Exercise before sleep, sleep before everything else.

Q. What do you love to do outside of work?

I have a busy, active lifestyle outside of work that includes personal hobbies and spending time with my family and friends.

My kids Jackson (14) and Hana (11) are both developing athletes and I love to watch them play sports, as well as our talks in the car on the way to and from their activities. I volunteer at their school whenever I can. I really enjoy being around young people. They keep me curious and grounded. 

I love going on runs with my girlfriends, playing tennis for fun and competitively, reading fiction, and spending time with my husband Paul especially when he’s cooking.

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

Album: Does Spotify’s best of the 2010s count? 

Movie: Dirty Dancing. Awesome soundtrack, dancing scenes never get old, and it’s a feminist masterpiece. 

Book: It’s hard to pick just one so I will go with recency bias and choose Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say. It’s a collection of essays. My favourite essay was YES—a list of things the author is reminding herself to always say yes to because they bring her joy. It inspired us to make personal yes lists at home.

Q: Describe yourself in three words.

I keep a book of Poems my son Jackson wrote for me when he was in grade 1 on my bedside table (he’s an 8th grader now and the poems are thinning out). In the book, Jackson used these words to describe me.  Fast, Kind, Learner, Strong, and Playful. This certainly sums up the person I try to be. Keeping the book on my bedside table reminds me to live up to them.

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

Still my Peloton! I wrote about why last year and my love has only grown—especially during the pandemic lockdowns. I’m grateful that I am able to maintain my fitness regime, but more importantly I’ve loved being part of a virtual community. The instructors feel like friends and I love high-fiving other riders. I have graduated from using just their bike to owning a tread and taking part in their digital strength and yoga classes.

Tammy with her son, daughter, husband, and dog alongside Tammy finishing a half-marathon with her medal.

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