Every fall, we spend some time as a team recognizing Brainers who have reached milestones in their career. At our Year-End Weekend, when Brainers and their families visit one of our camps, everyone gathers for a campfire on Saturday night. Our leaders share some words to honour any Brainers who are attending & who have reached their 5-Year Milestones, with their families present, and each Brainer is presented with a special engraved paddle.
This past September, around the campfire, we shared some words to honour Pip, Naoe, and Chris – and Rich and Alison have written down that sentiment to share widely, and to further celebrate and appreciate all these Brainers have contributed over the past 5 years.
We are lucky to have colleagues like Pip, Naoe, and Chris, who care as deeply about their fellow Brainers as they do for their work and our clients. Join our team as we wish Pip, Naoe, and Chris a Happy 5-Year “CBversary”!
We first knew Pip as a client. As director of Camp Glenburn, she was a CampBrain user and interacted with us regularly. She joined our Tech Support team in July 2018, and we had the privilege of getting to know her even better. We learned that Pip is smart, caring, joyful, and empathetic. A humble learner and a natural leader. She sought to build meaningful relationships, whether supporting clients or colleagues. She cared about the people she worked with and the industry she was serving. She wanted to make an impact.
Pip spent her first year in Tech Support, and her second year in Client Success. In spring 2020, Alex (our long-time Client Success manager) decided it was time to move on. Although only with the company for 2 years at that point, Pip was the unanimous choice to take on the role.
As Client Success Manager, Pip has evolved the team into a group which seeks to proactively support CampBrain clients. Under her leadership, Client Success has championed initiatives like: those “year in review” emails you receive every December; “office hours” during the summer; our newly overhauled monthly newsletter; and content at this year’s BRAINSTORM. Pip’s natural leadership and passion for serving the industry inspires her team to delight and engage with clients in new and innovative ways.
I’ve had the pleasure of directly managing Pip for 4 out of her 5 years at CampBrain. During the summer, I regularly conduct “skip” meetings with the people who report to Pip to better understand what she does well from their perspective. Some themes come through consistently, year after year: “great role model”, “makes me feel cared for”, “understands you on a human level”, “challenges the status quo in the best way”, “creates a safe and open space”.
Like much of the world, most of our company went remote in spring 2020. For the most part, it’s stayed that way. But Pip has remained one of our only everyday office folks. For many in the company, she has become the reason to go into the office more. To simply be around her, share a few laughs, and benefit from what she does best – building authentic and meaningful relationships.
Pip came to CampBrain wanting to make an impact on the people in our community. For both clients and her teammates, she’s done exactly that.
Naoe’s journey to CampBrain is quite a unique one! When we first met Naoe, she was working at a coffee shop just a few hundred feet from our office in downtown Toronto. While working at Black Canary, she met CampBrain’s founder, Shane. During Shane’s daily visits to the coffee shop, he had the chance to get to know Naoe and see her work ethic in action, along with her impressive approach to working with clients. When the time was right, Shane suggested to Naoe that she apply for the Software Support position at CampBrain, and the rest is history! Naoe is now a Senior Specialist on our Operations Team, after spending her first 4 years with a primary focus on our Support Team and making a move to our Implementations Team this past year.
One thing stood out right away when Naoe started at CampBrain: Naoe cares. She cares deeply about our clients, wanting them to truly love their software! She goes above and beyond to support clients and seeks to answer their questions in full. Naoe cares about her teammates, always looking for ways to support and cheer on her team members. Naoe is a champion of CampBrain, and has become an integral part of our CampBrain community. She is an active member on various committees and events that add to the culture here – including planning events for our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, and leading the volunteers for our Canoe Heads for Kids annual fundraising event.
After 5 years, we now also know Naoe is secretly a gifted chef! Along with her husband, Naoe spends her weekends hosting friends and making the most creative and delicious-looking food. She is always trying out a new recipe or finessing an old favourite. Prior to the pandemic (when we were all in the office every day), we started up a “CampBrain Lunch Club” where folks would bring in food to share with a small group that would sign up. I had the honor to try a salad that Naoe made, and I can honestly say, it was the greatest salad I’ve ever eaten!
I have had the honour of watching Naoe grow as a leader within her role at CampBrain. Over the years, Naoe has taken on more and more projects that support our clients, and also, that support our teams and culture. One of the things I love about working with Naoe is that she is always looking for ways to bring the team together – be it online or in-person. I’m so appreciative to get to work with someone who is focused on making sure we’re spending time building up that essential team connection.
It’s been such a pleasure to have the opportunity to get to know and work alongside Naoe over the last 5 years. We’ve had the chance to see her grow and develop her talents at CampBrain and to witness the meaningful impact she has on our clients, and team, through her caring and supportive nature.
After spending his early career in education, Chris decided that camp was his true calling. He worked in seasonal roles with different organizations before finding his way to CampBrain. He joined our Tech Support team in September 2018, and discovered an opportunity to serve the industry he’s passionate about year-round. From the beginning, Chris’s knowledge of the industry and empathy for the people on the other end of the phone were clear. He was an incredibly quick learner, and laser focused on resolving problems for clients.
Chris spent his first 2 years in Tech Support, and the next 2 in Client Success. In the latter role, he had the opportunity to lead projects and initiatives like our annual NPS campaign. He broadened his impact and honed his leadership skills. This experience set him up perfectly when an opportunity to join our management team presented itself. Chris became a manager in August 2022, and since then has been overseeing one of our support pods which combines Tech Support and Reporting specialists. The skills and experience which Chris steadily built over his first 4 years perfectly enabled him to jump into a formal leadership role and immediately make an impact.
As a leader, Chris puts people at ease. He is approachable, personable, and funny. He builds trust with people who report directly to him, and anyone who comes to him for help. He instills confidence in people, and he builds meaningful relationships. He has the natural ability to make people feel cared for and valued. He’s a teacher, a role model, deeply knowledgeable, and lives to serve his team and clients. In short, he possesses all the qualities of leadership we value at CampBrain. He recently wrapped up his first year of people management, and I can’t wait to see where these skills and talents take him in the future.
Chris joined CampBrain to turn his passion for camp into a full-time gig. He wanted to work with great people, support a product he believes in, and help an industry he cares about. We are lucky to work with Chris and share in his passion, joy, and amazing campfire skills (“yeah, toast!”).