The Transformation Series: Dari Cohan
After graduating from the University of Michigan, I went straight into the advertising world. I started working at an agency where I was on the National Video Activation team. After two and half years’ time, I made my way to an adtech company and started working in digital advertising, gaining experience in both pre and post sales cycles. Getting to experience both sides of the process – the agency side and the solutions side – was awesome and I was hooked. In July of 2018, I made my way to VideoAmp. It’s an understatement to say that time has flown!
I started out as a Client Service Manager. At that time, there were only four of us! It’s crazy to think how much the company has grown and changed in just the two years since I started. Having just come from a role where I’d been working on both pre and post sales for clients, VideoAmp gave me the opportunity to decide which I wanted to focus on. It felt great to be supported and trusted — to have the freedom to choose my path forward. After a few months, I decided to focus on presales, aka strategy.
When I made the choice to focus on strategy, I was also eventually able to start building a team of my own. This was so exciting, but admittedly a little scary. It was my first time managing people and it could’ve been a way more stressful experience if it wasn’t for all of the support I had. My boss at the time, Kim Jones (SVP of Client Success), was an amazing guide, helping me learn how to manage a team effectively and with a great attitude, too! It was a great learning experience in patience, communication and embracing change.
It’s so cool to see how the strategy team has grown! It’s also so exciting to see how the amount of proposals sent each week increases. It really makes me feel like I was an integral part of the company’s growth and in turn, makes it clear how much I’ve grown as a person since starting at VideoAmp. When I was a team of one, I learned the importance of working efficiently and effectively – having to prioritize quality and quantity. Anyone who’s worked at a start-up knows you need to be scrappy and move fast! I was able to create standardized materials and onboarding guides – creating something where there had been nothing before feels great.
The best part is we’re still creating and evolving. Nothing is ever stagnant, no day is exactly the same – being agile and adaptive is everything. Just the other day, I came across old whiteboard slides and RFP slides. I love seeing how things have changed and evolved. As time has gone on, I’ve been able to take on new responsibilities and focus on new projects. Most recently, I’ve been getting to work on enterprise proposals, our new competitive scenario offering and creating training resources.
Everyone at VideoAmp is truly inspiring, hardworking and focused around common goals – regardless of what team they work on. It’s so great to work with people who are true experts in their fields and always willing to help. When VideoAmp says they are People First, they mean it! Everyone is your biggest cheerleader. My managers have believed in me since day one — I know I can always go to them for advice and mentorship. But it doesn’t stop there, because everyone genuinely cares and wants to push you to conquer new challenges. No matter their position at the company, I can count on anyone to hear me out.
I love how our company celebrates hard work. Every Monday on our revenue call, a handful of people are nominated and given a shout out for whatever legendary thing they pulled off the week before. And every Friday, on our Company All Hands, teams are recognized for the top weekly wins. We also close out the week with a team email celebrating all the little wins and happy moments that happened. Not only is it great to feel appreciated, but it gives us an opportunity to show appreciation. That’s really important!
Being People First also means that VideoAmp doesn’t only focus on professional growth, but personal growth as well. You don’t come across that too often. The importance of taking time for ourselves, prioritizing our health, and to be the best version of ourselves, is instilled across our company from the day someone starts. I know my friends are jealous – sometimes they’re confused if I work at a tech company or a fitness company! Not many people can say they have worked out next to their CEO, coaching you to push through a serious CrossFit class.
I think it says a lot about a company when it comes to how they handle a crisis. From the minute COVID-19 started becoming a serious issue, VideoAmp sprang into action and made working from home mandatory. VidoeAmp did not skip a beat, letting us know that they were providing virtual environment setup support to ensure we all had the tools we needed to stay healthy, happy and productive. Not only did we have monitors and mouses shipped to our homes, but dumbbells and kettlebells too. VideoAmp has offered stress-reducing recommendations, daily virtual workouts, as well as overall guidance in order to support us during these times. Most importantly, they’ve been transparent and truly invested in our wellbeing – mental, physical, financial, etc. – not only since the beginning of the coronavirus, but from day one.