Last week we celebrated community manager appreciation day and there is no better time to go behind the scenes with one of our community managers – Catherine LaCroix. I was happy to discover we have a star among our team – not only a community manager but also an actress in a few movies and a novelist! Read on to discover more about Catherine.
Any personal details you’d be willing to share, like location, hobbies, family etc.
I’m originally from the San Francisco bay area, now live in Portland, Oregon with my husband Randall and our wonderful adopted kitty, Zuma.
Details regarding your title, group and role.
I began as a contractor 9 years ago when SCN was SDN. I came on full time three years ago and have been working as a content strategist on the community for both existing spaces and onboarding and developing new spaces. I also manage the community newsletter: Technology News @SCN.
What brings you the most satisfaction from your role/community?
Working with stakeholders who are really enthusiastic about the kind of community they can build around a topic or product is really gratifying. When they see how developing that communication with partners and customers can enhance the overall customer experience, it’s a testament to the power a community like SCN can provide.
Sharing regarding an interesting project you’ve worked on
Last year, we launched a pilot program called the SCN Daily. I worked with Jeff Mandl on the launch and the subsequent pilot where I managed the moderation piece. It was an exciting experiment as the automated feed pulled content from not only SCN and SAP.com, but from other news sources as well. While it was popular, it didn’t meet the benchmarks we’d set, so it’s been put on hold for now. It was great to work on something so new, so I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to bring back at some point.
Favorite SCN space and why?
Developer Center space is, to me, the epitome of what the community can be. It’s a hub, a home base for many members and it’s full of life. It’s a great place to exchange ideas, troubleshoot problems and learn about the latest technology. In fact, in a recent SCN survey, the number 1 reason members come to SCN is to troubleshoot a technical issue.
What would the community be surprised to learn about you?
I studied acting in NY after college. I have miniscule part in a movie called “Getting Even with Dad” and I appeared in an independent movie called “Watermelon Seed.” That’s as far as that went! I became an editor in NY and that’s been my career ever since. I’m also a certified scuba diver and I’m working on my second novel.
Adi: Well, I hope we will get the chance to read it someday J can you share what it is about?
My first is about the years I lived in NYC after college, when I first started in publishing and was studying acting. (My first job was at Book of the Month Club.) My second novel is still forming, but it’s half historical. Based in New Mexico it follows the life of a journalist who discovers her past is linked to an historical event from the 19th century.
A day trip to the Gorge, outside of Portland, where Catherine happened to found “Catherine Creek”
Please help us grow from your personal experience; share one tip/resource/guide/experience that you recommend after finding it helpful from personal experience
After being an editor for years on print publications, it was an adjustment to adapt my skills for the web, but being willing to learn and adapt was key. When I started freelancing, I had to develop new skills each time I needed to pitch to new/potential clients. I don’t have a specific resource or guide, but just the ability to adapt, I suppose. To seek, learn and grow. Be open to new things as much as possible and trust your instincts.
Personal philosophy or motto
Be honest, stay present.
Adi: Why this motto?
Honesty is the best gift you can give to yourself and those who know you. Without it, there’s not much you can rely on
Actor Studio questions:
- What is your favorite word: Truth
- Least favorite word: Hate
- What sound do you love: Jazz!
- What profession other than yours would you love to attempt: Film, design, architecture; something creative.
What is your favorite book, or share the last book you read?
One of my favorites is Madame Bovary for the human conflict it presents among other things. A recent favorite is the Signature of All Things.
Adi: What is it about?
This novel traces an 18th century woman who teaches herself botany and becomes a leading authority. She eventually travels around the world to find a specific type of moss (odd, I know) and the novel covers all her adventures abroad. It’s very well written and compelling
As the one responsible for featured content, any interesting stories from experience there over the years?
I’m always impressed by the level of integrity from community/user generated content. There are always good blogs to feature. Don’t think I have an experience to share except that all the community content is written by members who take their own time to research, write and publish pieces that not only share their vast knowledge and expertise, but enhance the community and encourage others to grow.
Catherine is the type of person that is always willing to help others and support the team and the community. Read on to hear the great things her teammates have to share:
- “Catherine is the kind of person you love to have on your team: Always willing and able to step into any project or situation to get it done, and able to perform at a high level in any role – in her case, as content strategist, newsletter editor, and community consultant, among others.”
- “I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Catherine who is a true team player. Dedicated, capable and highly professional are just a few words that describe her. During our projects at SAP, I found her to be very knowledgeable, supportive and always very reliable. I feel lucky to have Catherine’s support and really enjoy working with her.”
- “Catherine is a great editor, professional at her work and very fun to work with.”
- “I appreciate her mindfulness and kindness. Being in a team meeting with her she always tries to find a solution in accordance with her colleagues. Being in contact with her you get the feeling that she looks at you as human being not only as a colleague at work.”
- “Catherine has long been a steadfast, dependable member of the SCN team whose work happens mainly behind-the-scenes. So while you may not be familiar with her by name, Catherine’s work impacts everyone. System announcements, SCN homepage updates, content strategy for spaces, Catherine’s work is wide-ranging. I’m glad we have her expertise supporting the community!”