So, Dolores and I go way back. The year was 2001. I was just a kid, a twenty-something “kid” that just started his own company. A friend introduced me to Dolores (and our FatLab colleague Ritz) who were both working for Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) at the time. Dolores was very much the boss and seemed far too important to spend too much time with Ritz and me.
I never knew if Dolores was going to join our meetings when I visited the SOCMA offices. However, when she did, I hated it! “Shane, why don’t you stand at the podium and present what you have” she would say.
My mid-twenties BS ego would never have allowed me to admit I hadn’t actually prepared anything at all and that I hated standing in that large conference room with the semi-circle table so that all eyes were on me and those large glass panes that allowed anyone in the main lobby to see that some kid was being made to do a song and dance.
And as they say the rest is history. After decades of business and friendship, Dolores joined Ritz and I at FatLab as a member of our team in 2020. Today I am technically the “boss”, but I still feel the pressure to sing and dance for Dolores now and again.
Now I will let my good friend introduce herself in her own words…
How Did I Get Here?
Hi there! Dolores reporting for duty!
I have spent my career in Association Management in Washington DC and Northern Virginia managing membership departments, conferences, tradeshows and last, but not least, websites!
After 25 or so years in the Association world I thought it was time for a change and I jumped over the fence to work for FatLab.
However, I am not new to FatLab though. I have been their customer for over 15 years. I hired them at one organization and took them with me to another. I attributed much of my success to having them there at all times to support me and the members I served. I remember one New Year’s Day finding out that my site crashed at midnight and Shane was alerted and on it! I also remember thinking “why on earth was Shane spending his New Year’s Eve fixing my site?” Maybe he was in the doghouse? Whatever the reason, I appreciated it and it confirmed my high opinion of them as the most customer centric web support company out there.
I am also not new to working with Ritz. She and I worked at the same Association for 15 years at Dupont Circle in Washington DC and enjoyed many a happy hour…too many to count. And also noteworthy is that our dogs, Cooper and Odie are best friends.
So here I am, full circle, working with the FatLab team. There is not a technical bone in my body. I’ve walked in the customers shoes forever, so my role now is to help understand our clients and prospective client’s needs. I’ve been there, I get it!
My Roots (hablas español?)
My parents come from the beautiful rolling hills of Northern Spain. The region is called Castilla y Léon and is in the northwest of Spain, between Madrid and the Portuguese border. The region is dotted with medieval castles (a lot of them!), monasteries, and (very) old cities with a least one spectacular cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. I LOVE SPAIN, visiting my family and reconnecting with my roots.
On the ole Bucket List is to walk “The Camino de Santiago” known as the Way of St. James. The Camino is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St James at the Cathedral in Santiago, a city close to where my family lives. It could take 30 – 40 days. But before I even consider doing it, I will need to go hit the gym for at least six months.
A New Chapter
I look so forward to contributing the FatLab philosophy. To me it is summed up in this amazing quote from Mahatma Gandhi in a speech given in 1890 (what?) in South Africa:
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.”