You know that sinking feeling you get when you walk into the office on Monday morning? Well, at SOLTECH, we don’t. And that’s because of the work Sarah does as the Director of Culture & Engagement. She makes being a SOLTECHie rewarding, fun, and challenging.
Sarah is the team mom, the door that’s always open, and the organizer, but she’s also a dog mom to Sherman and Abner (see photo), lover of all things kitschy, and a budget bourbon connoisseur. Prior to jumping into the tech world, Sarah owned a small business of her own, where she taught sewing classes and did custom tailoring. Sarah is also a houseplant enthusiast and spends a lot of her free time thinking up ways to “accidentally” bump into Jon Hamm.
What will you title your autobiography? Weird! A story about Sarah Lodato by Sarah Lodato.
How would you explain your job to a child? Does this kid know anything about People Ops? Assuming not, I’m the person in our company that makes sure that our people are put first in our decision-making. I make it a fun, supportive environment for our people to do their best work. I am a neutral person that our team can come to in case they need support, and I help plan what projects they’re going to be on. I even do some career coaching to help them achieve their goals and work with other leaders on our team to set plans to help them reach those goals.
What’s your favorite thing about working at SOLTECH? I came to SOLTECH by way of entrepreneurship to freelancing content and design work, to the whirlwind of startup world. SOLTECH is this wonderful blend of an environment with 20 years of wisdom underneath it, but with the spirit of a startup eager to change the way we reach for innovation.
In my role, a lot of that innovation lies in how we establish and nurture a culture where we provide a platform for our team to do some really amazing learning and research around the most exciting tools in tech. We’re shaking up our leadership structure, shaking up how our team engages with each other, and getting everyone in the company really close to our process and client perspective. It gives us all a sense of ownership in our work, and the direction of the company, which I think is really exciting. It’s what makes me look forward to every new week here.
Tell me what you would choose for your last meal on Earth. Is this before I kick off to live on Mars? If so, this changes my answer. Jokes aside (maybe) … I want those chicken sandwiches we always had on Fridays in elementary school, these weird squared “chicken” patties with a lil mayo on top, soft artificial bun – so good. I’m thinking Sofia Blanc de Blancs Mini sparkling wine in a can to wash it down. Side of roasted Brussel sprouts. For dessert, banana pudding from Gun Show. And a neat glass of Colonel E H Taylor Small Batch bourbon whiskey.
What fictional character would your co-workers likely describe you as? I’m hoping Michael Scott from The Office. That guy cares.
What are the three most important attributes you look for in a teammate? Humility – if you’re not open to constant improvement, recognizing everyone else’s contributions to a team, putting folks before your own accomplishments, it makes for an uncomfortable team dynamic that stifles group improvement. SOLTECH’s all about humility.
Grit – we’ve all got a lot of responsibilities in any role, and if you’re not gritty about getting things done, it makes it hard for others who are working hard to feel good about working alongside you. Crank a little hard when the going gets tough, or being bold in an approach to move past something challenging. That’s where grit really becomes important.
Loyalty – we have to get things done as a team and having a group of people to work alongside that are willing to do things perhaps outside of their explicit responsibilities for the greater good of the company, that makes work really easy and fun. Common bonds and all that. We’re here a LOT and if you don’t have a loyalty to your company, it’s hard to get things done together when it’s time to get really creative. Clock in clock out isn’t a successful approach for our team at SOLTECH.
Pizza or tacos? Tacos. They’ve got tacos for breakfast, choco tacos, tacos with lots of green stuff for lunch, tacos with lots of meat for dinner. Our hands are biologically designed to hold a taco snug as a bug in a rug in our palms anchored by our thumbs. What’s to decide here? Tacos 2020.
Think you’ve got what it takes to be a SOLTECHie? Check out our open positions.