As we brought the GeekWire team together last week at our offices in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, recapping the past year and looking ahead to the next, we were struck by the number of people in the room in entirely new roles, positions that didn’t exist a year ago.
This wasn’t an accident. We’ve spent much of the past year laying the groundwork for GeekWire’s next phase as a global media company and hub for the Pacific Northwest tech community. We’ve set the stage to improve our news coverage, refresh our events, and reinvent longtime staples of our business such as the GeekWire membership program.
In the tradition of the periodic GeekWire updates that we’ve shared over the years, we’d like to catch everyone up on some behind-the-scenes changes.
But first, how did we get here? As longtime tech journalists in the Seattle region, we launched GeekWire in March 2011 based on the belief that the Pacific Northwest deserves a national and global tech news site and online community of its own. It’s home to some of the most influential companies in the world, ambitious startups, and leaders in tech, science, health, e-commerce, games, the cloud, and many other areas of innovation.
We aspire to be the connective fiber for one of the most innovative, creative, interesting and impactful communities on the planet. What happens here matters everywhere, and we have the privilege of telling the stories of this place — the good, the bad, and the geeky — to the world.
Our team has grown to 15 people, across news, business, sales, marketing, events and operations. Our news coverage delivers information and insights to millions of readers around the world. Brands big and small work with our business team to expand their reach. Our annual GeekWire Summit has become a destination for global business and tech leaders.
But there are so many areas where we still need to improve and grow. As we told the team at our year-end meeting, we’re more excited about the future than at any point we can remember in the history of the company.
One of the main reasons is the evolution of the GeekWire team. In fact, in just the past few weeks, we’ve filled two entirely new positions.
Paula Wilmot has joined GeekWire as our first internal events director. A native of Coventry in central England, Paula brings years of event management experience to the table, plus a sharp British wit. She most recently served as the event manager at Seattle Academy, organizing and running a series of events for the school. She also operated events for the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and ran her own events company for a decade.
An animal lover, Paula describes herself as a “closet geek.” She has worked for companies such as Terabeam Networks and Splunk, and started her career as an IBM project manager and programmer.
Paula is ramping up quickly, working with our business team and longtime events partners at Proper Planning, gearing up for 2020 events including the upcoming GeekWire Awards, taking place March 26 in Seattle.
We’re also excited to welcome Melanee Ferrier as GeekWire’s membership director, a new role in which she will be responsible for reinventing and running our GeekWire membership program.
Melanee is ideally suited for this entrepreneurial challenge, having previously served as Campus Operations Director at Galvanize-Seattle, as well as working for membership-based organizations such as the Austin Chamber of Commerce and YMCA. Melanee is a native of Texas whose hobbies include painting, baking, music, and movies.
Her knack for networking and connecting people in the tech community makes her well-suited for this role. She is moving quickly to reimagine the GeekWire membership program, expanding beyond our existing benefits to make it even more valuable for the tech community. Stay tuned for more on the revamped membership program in the weeks ahead.
Cara Kuhlman, who was our longtime events, marketing and operations director, has shifted from the business side of the company to the GeekWire newsroom, in the new role of editorial operations director.
This is a multifaceted job that includes overseeing databases and features such as the GeekWire 200, Startup List, Fundings List, and Tech Moves column; coordinating editorial content for events; and other special projects to help us better serve the tech community with news and information.
An experienced sailor, Cara is our resident boat captain, literally and in spirit. She is already making an impact on our news operations in her new role, positioning our team to create meaningful and impactful journalism.
These changes follow the earlier addition of Holly Grambihler as our sales and marketing leader, the hiring of Tiffany Grunzel as digital advertising specialist, and the promotion of Taylor Soper to managing editor, all key positions that strengthen our existing editorial and business teams.
Our priorities for 2020 include bolstering our news team, stepping up our startup coverage, producing smarter and more creative events, and simply getting out there more, creating stronger connections with the community.
We’re fortunate to be leading a healthy and growing media company, covering people and organizations defining the future, and serving the tech community in one of the most dynamic corners of the world. We don’t take this responsibility lightly. As GeekWire approaches its second decade, we’re continuing to adapt to meet the needs of the community in our backyard, and an audience of readers around the globe.
How can you get involved?
- Give us your feedback. Positive, negative, constructive, critical, doesn’t matter, we’re always looking to improve, and we need to hear from you. Use this link to email us directly.
- Support our journalism by sharing our stories, commenting, sending us news tips, and subscribing to the GeekWire newsletter.
- Contact our business team to explore sponsorship and advertising opportunities to help grow your business. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join us at our upcoming events, and become a GeekWire member.
Thank you all for your readership, feedback and support.
— GeekWire co-founders John Cook and Todd Bishop.