Today I am saying goodbye to my teams at SinglePlatform and Constant Contact, and saying hello to my new team at First Round.
I have learned a lot over the past 15 years. I served as a member of the SeamlessWeb Exec team for ten years, started SinglePlatform, which was eventually acquired by Constant Contact, and became a member of Constant Contact’s executive team. But the most important lesson I’ve taken away from these experiences is about what makes great team members. Great team members are not only talented at their position — they also possess a burning desire to improve, continuously want to achieve more, empathize with others while problem solving, and deeply care about their teammates. I will truly miss being on the same team as my amazing team members at SinglePlatform and Constant Contact, and I am the luckiest person in the world to have had the opportunity to be a part of their team.
I have hundreds of people to thank. But rather than thanking each person individually (which would make this post much longer than anyone would want to read), I am going to thank groups of people and provide examples of people who made me proud to be a member of the SinglePlatform and Constant Contact team:
1. I am thankful for the few people during the earliest stages of the business who wore almost every hat in the business to help get it off the ground. People like Cory Grude, Kim O’Rourke, Henry Lihn and all of our early outside sales reps paved the way for those who came later.
2. I am lucky to have been part of an amazing Executive and Leadership Team who hired and managed unbelievable teams, and built an award winning product and culture from the ground up. People like Kenny Herman, Adam Liebman, Pete Chen, Stephanie Lasker, Randy Jimenez and Matt Doumar were the hungriest executive team I have ever seen. I am honored. Truly honored.
3. I am proud of the dozens and dozens of hires who built their way up to managing huge portions of our business. This includes Lee Zucker, Max Appelbaum, Erica Anderman and the rest of the Sales Leadership And Mng’t Teams; Katherine Fischer and Chen Cheng in Product; Peyton Hawkins and Liz Donaldson in Account Management; and Scott Britton in Biz Dev. The list goes on and on, and I am so excited to see each of these people continue to grow in their careers. The sky is the limit for these stars.
4. Thank you to the rest of the team, who before and after acquisition filled our sails and made it possible to break through the waves we hit along the way. As you know, there were a lot of storms. The local space is not easy, and whether you were here for three months, or over a year, we could not have done it without you.
5. I am thankful for the people and teams outside of our business who took a risk on us—from our first three publishers and partners, Eric Friedman at foursquare, Maria Kermath at YellowPages, and MZ Goodman NYTimes, to the first businesses that signed up for our initial product. Thank you all for taking a risk on our startup. We never would have made it without your foresight, feedback, and willingness to take a risk on our team and vision.
6. A huge thank you to the earliest of reporters who put us on the map, gave us a voice beyond our walls, and even helped us get acquired (true story). People like Courtney Boyd Meyers, Alyson Shontell and J.J. Colao will be friends of ours forever.
7. An enormous thank you to Gail Goodman, Joel Hughes, Bob Nicoson, the rest of the executive team, Tom Lasaffre, and other leaders at CTCT. If you ever wonder if big public companies are run the right way, this is an amazing example of a public company that is run by an amazing leadership team who strives to build a big business the right way. I have so much admiration for Gail and her team, and I was honored to be a part of her executive team. Typically, company cultures and teams struggle after being acquired, but it is a testament to the great environment that CTCT has created that even a year after SinglePlatform was acquired we were named one of the top 22 places to work in New York City by Crain’s.
8. I am thankful for all of our investors and attorneys, and especially Howard Morgan at First Round Capital, Thatcher Bell, the founders of Seamless, and Ward Breeze and his team at Gunderson. You were all part of our team, and I appreciate the advice you offered, bridges you built, and support you provided along the way.
9. I am thankful for my fellow CEO friends and mentors who were always there for me to share their stories, support, and friendship. A special thanks to Irving Fain, Erik Schreter and the rest of my VenWise CEO forum group, Stephen Messer, and Ben Sun.
10. I am proud to leave the business with a great leadership team in place, with the best GM, Pete Chen, at the helm. A business could not ask for a better leader.
Eternally grateful, proud, and thankful,
Wiley B. Cerilli