We decided to put our spotlight on Valet’s Chief Operations Officer, Kimberly Lipari, to find out a little bit more about her favorite foods, strange obsessions, and what brought her to her love of WordPress. Here we go!
Name: Kimberly Lipari
Hometown: Luling, Louisiana
Years at Valet: 3
Spotify Fav: Ellie Goulding’s new album is my Spotify obsession right now.
What’s your story with Valet?
A long long time ago in a far away galaxy, I worked in Civil Engineering. When my first kiddo came along, I stayed home and started a local family newsletter & crafters guild. While working on an e-commerce store setup, I came across WordPress and WPMU Dev. I applied for a position and was hired by Mason. A couple years later, he asked me to join his small side business, and here we are today!
What do you do here?
I manage daily stuff that helps us to grow and scale. I coordinate the needs of our team with our budget and our tools. We’re forging our own path, and I’m responsible for drawing our roadmap each day. I consider what the team needs, what the business needs, what we want to do in the future—and try to find a way for us to attain #allthethings.
What was your most unusual job?
I worked with 3D terrestrial scanning and rendering. We once scanned a PVC manufacturing facility & created a rendering. We used the rendering to re-engineer the piping system that carried chemicals. It was a huge project, literally, the piping was 12 inches in diameter in most places!
What’s one productivity tool you adore?
I’ve got to vote for pen and paper! I write down everything somewhere. I use Wrike (our PM software) for a digital equivalent of that, but I have a spiral bound planner that holds all my family birthdays, events, and schedules. I’d be a mess without it!
What are your favorite industry events?
I remember my first WordCamp…I was absolutely giddy over it! The WordPress community is filled with so many great people and has an air of friendliness and camaraderie that you don’t usually find among competing agencies or freelancers. We’re all working towards the same goal—the growth and standardization of WordPress.
Who was one of your favorite mentors?
I’ve been so lucky to have many people contribute to my learning curve in life. I’d be lax if I didn’t mention Mason specifically. Our personalities balance well. I’m a bit more abrupt in conversation, and he’s more methodical and very focused on delivering a message in a particular way. I’ve tried to emulate his communication style, and it’s helped me greatly.
Who’s one movie character you relate to?
JOY in Inside Out. We’ve seen it 82374628374 times in my family. I REALLY relate to her constantly trying to keep other feelings in headquarters & looking on the bright side.
What’s your strangest obsession?
My kitchen sink must be clean before I go to bed.
What is your most embarrassing moment at Valet?
Oh this is painful! I was screensharing for a product we were considering buying, and forgot that MY screen was sharing. Someone messaged me, and I replied that I was ‘stuck in a boring and pointless meeting” and the meeting organizer saw! I instantly apologized, but she hadn’t even noticed! I was probably more embarrassed that I outed myself.
My mom always taught me to never say anything that you don’t want others to hear. I broke my own rule!
What is your favorite snack of all time?
I could live off a charcuterie plate! Meat, cheese, side of fresh bread, pickled things, etc.
What noise completely drives you crazy?
Screaming! With three kids, things get loud FAST if they are all trying to compete with each other. I can tune out just about anything else—not screaming though.
If you could live anywhere for a year, where would you go?
I’d do a tour of US state parks, then head overseas and take trains across Europe.
What’s a piece of advice that you appreciate?
When we got married, my husband had this annoying habit of asking me ‘What’s the worst that could happen?!’ It drove me nuts until we were faced with a tough decision that could have cost us a lot financially. We asked each other ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ and that changed my feelings. It’s not a catch all, but it has definitely helped me put things into perspective.
Thanks for chatting with us, Kimberly!
If you’re in south Florida this weekend for WordCamp Miami 2016, say hello to Kimberly. She’ll be speaking on the WordPress business panel at the conference, so throw her your questions about the ins and outs of running a distributed tech agency.