Each month, we sit down with a CallSource employee to get to know them and their role a bit more.
Name: Debi Thompson
Title: Web and Social Media Manager
When did you start working for CS?
I started at CallSource as a temporary employee – and was hired on permanently in the Marketing Department in June of 2016.
What position did you start in?
I started as a WordPress Developer. I was brought aboard to help CallSource with the completion of a website project that had gotten stalled. As timing would have it, I was available and very happy to be offered the challenge.
What is your current position?
I am the Web and Social Media Manager. When CallSource was putting together their Marketing Team in 2016, I was delighted to become a part of it!
And I am delighted to work with closely with you on the team every day! 🙂 You’ve been responsible for CallSource’s website for a few years now – and most recently were an integral part of our website redesign. What are some of your tips for a smooth and successful website redesign process?
Patience and a sense of humor? (LOL)
OK… here are a couple tips for the website redesign process:
- A well-thought-out Marketing Strategy – encompassing company brand, organized site structure, and well-optimized content.
- Be sure there are solid standards in the overall design; from visual esthetics (color, font, etc.), to functionality requirements and well-documented code.
- If you prefer an agency for your project, be sure they are well vetted and have the experience and expertise to meet and even exceed your expectations of the finished product.
Great tips! What is your favorite part about working with websites and all things digital?
I feel kind of guilty saying that, but it is. I’ve been in the technical field for as long as I can remember, but my career really got fired up when I was introduced to the web, and how websites worked. I was hooked early on and went back to college to study web design and multi-media. I’ve been having a blast ever since.
And now…what are your least favorite aspects of it?
Oh, that’s easy (LOL)… when something breaks. There’s nothing more important than your own Quality Assurance methods and testing – but even the best will experience a bombshell now and then. For example – how about that video embed code that is suddenly unsupported and no longer works? Or that script library that no longer supports a function your site uses? Gotcha! Looks like dinner’s going to be late…
I know you’ve been learning more about some technical SEO aspects. What’s something new and exciting you’ve learned regarding technical SEO?
One of the most interesting elements of SEO for me is Structured Data – implementing extended markup to provide additional detail around the page’s content. I love seeing the results!
Do you have a special or interesting CallSource story that is one of your favorites?
One that makes me smile… During my very first (and very nervous) visit to CallSource, I was in seeing Suzanne in HR when the company’s founder, Jerry Feldman came in and asked if I was the person that was going to “fix the website.” When I said yes, he smiled and replied, “Ah, well then… Are you good at it?”
Sounds like something Jerry would say! And I’d say you are very good at it. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far with your career at CallSource?
I would have to say developing our latest Media Library site. The project was challenging and fun, and it provides our Sales Team with easy access to all our CallSource media.
Now to the fun non-work related stuff! You and your husband are avid outdoor people. Tell us about some of your fun hobbies!
You bet! Bicycling, hiking, camping… but windsurfing has always been ‘the big fav’ for us – that is, until we were introduced to standup paddleboarding. Windsurf season just got a little shorter. 🙂
More about paddleboarding…how long have you been doing it and what got you into it originally?
A neighbor asked me to go paddling with her and a friend – and she kept asking. After months of her kind invitations, my hubby and I finally decided to give it a go – that was six years ago, and we love it. Whether we’re surfing or out on the open ocean or just in the harbor – it’s a great workout and a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. We’ve had many amazing encounters with marine life, too!
Oh really? Care to tell us about some of the most memorable ones?
A few years ago, we made a trip to Avila Bay – the best for up-close wildlife sightseeing. Otters, dolphins, seals… but by far the best show was the humpback whales. A humpback breached 12 to 15 feet away from my SUP – as it turns out…. they are VERY large. I was speechless the rest of the day – it was like my brain wouldn’t work. Immediately after, my husband paddled up and said “well, you can take that off your bucket list!”
The next day, he also got a close-up show with a humpback and her baby.
No way! What else?
The best dolphin encounter was surfing at the Dredge (Ventura Harbor). A mother dolphin brought her baby up to my board to take a look. Way cool! The dolphins are curious and surround us on nearly a regular basis outside the breakwater.
I love dolphins; I’m so jealous! Changing topics a bit, what’s the next place on your travel list that you want to visit?
I’d really like to go back to Maui. My husband and I play a crazy game – “Triathlon of fun”. 6am snorkeling – 9am surfing – 1pm-windsurfing. On day three… we sleep all day.
It sounds like you need a vacation after that vacation! That third day is much-needed and deserved. And what else do you enjoy doing besides being active outdoors?
We love listening to music. A fairly new hobby for us and some of our friends is to visit Bogies here in Westlake – a small venue with some truly incredible talent. Our favorite is the Carl Verheyen Band. Not to be missed – just sayin’.
Well I guess I’ll have to check them out! OK, last question. What is your favorite part about working at CallSource?
The people. Knew it the first day I visited – and still true to this day. I’ve had many conversations with other CallSource employees that feel the same way. We’re all a team here.