I first met Kristen McGill over a year ago, when I was applying to become the new remote, part-time, Customer Success agent at ZayZoon. My nerves were vibrating waiting for the first interview call.
I had my first child who was just a 1-year-old and my job at the time was working 12-hour overnight shifts, over 40 minutes away from home. I really needed this job. I remember feeling confused as to how the first interview call went. It was easy and casual, but I wasn’t sure that was a good thing, until I heard back a couple weeks later and kept hearing back after each step I completed. I remember how comfortable I felt in Kristen’s presence when I finally met her in person for the final interview. She changes the energy in a room, her confidence is casual, but assured. She has control but she’s easy going. I never felt judged or self-conscious, I genuinely felt like she was evaluating me purely based on my skills and professional experience, which made me realize, was something I had not felt before throughout my professional journey.
Kristen excels at deploying authentic strategies that contribute to the growth and success of each team member. She creates a one-of-a-kind culture in which creativity can thrive without fear of doing something ‘wrong’. She makes strategic planning a day we all look forward to, by intermingling the tough stuff with the fun, like our theme team competition (where we choose a creative way to track our KPIs throughout the quarter and have a chance to get rewarded for our work). Kristen is an ally, she builds teams that complement each other, enabling us to be authentically ourselves. Kristen is always genuine, and her gentle candor is what makes team members, like me, loyal and proud to work alongside her.
It was through Kristen’s careful curation of systems (which allow team members to contribute to the growth of ZayZoon), that I was able to showcase my skills in project management, document control, business operations and more. She enabled me to look for opportunities within the company that could be improved, automated and encouraged me to just go for it. This kind of trust and freedom to contribute to the greater operational mechanisms within ZayZoon, emboldened me and gave me a sense of ownership and accountability.
This kind of authority over my own destiny within an organization is one that I will forever appreciate and value. I owe a lot of my confidence in my current role to Kristen, through the 1-on-1 mentorship I received in those early days at ZayZoon.
It’s for these reasons and more that I nominated Kristen for FinTech magazine’s Top 100 Women 2021. Kristen’s outstanding achievements, hustle and implementation of egalitarianism in the workplace needs to be recognized and celebrated.
I know everyone in the organization feels Kristen is a one-of-a-kind leader, who works tirelessly to make ZayZoon a better place for everybody. We are so proud to see her featured in FinTech Magazine among global leader juggernauts like Carla Ghosn from Visa or Shyama Rose from Affirm.
From everyone here at ZayZoon, thank you Kristen; for redefining what workplace culture means, teaching us to never settle for the “old way” of doing things, and giving so much of yourself to our team every day.