We recently did a series highlighting the core Zao team so you could get to know us better. We often partner with other experts in our industry, and since we’re all about building long-term relationships, we like to work with our contractors over and over again. For our end of the year, we want to highlight a few of the great contractors we’ve worked with over the past year and are continuing to work with now.
To start with, meet Stacy Kvernmo:
Who are you?
An eternal cheerleader and geek. I am a fan of all things tech-related and love to turn it all (ok, mostly all) off for a good yoga session. I think I am funnier than I really am, and will always try to find the humor in most (appropriate) situations. I love learning, teaching, and creating.
Where do you live?
What do you do?
I mostly stick to user experience design and UI development. I love the problem solving aspect of both and have been incredibly lucky to always work in environments that allow for that kind of flexibility.
Stacy is a delight to work with. With her fun spunky personality, phenomenal expertise, and know-how, she is an asset to any team. She asks great questions and really delves deep into the heart of the matter. I look forward to working with her again.
-Liz Karaffa, Zao Front-End Developer
What’s your connection to Zao?
What do you like best about your job?
I like that it never really feels like work. I don’t sigh on Monday morning or complain about corporate red tape. I love puzzles, and the work I do in design and front-end development often feels like I am putting together the best kind of puzzle step by step. Each day brings something new, and I am always learning and trying to give back where possible.
How do you take your coffee?
When I don’t forget to pour myself a cup, I enjoy my coffee with sugar and a straw (I’ve recently switched to reusable straws).
What are your hobbies?
After a twenty-three year break from competitive gymnastics, I found a gym near me that offers adult gymnastics classes. After enrolling, I thought it would be fun to recruit a few adults to compete in a regional meet. Our team (the Naperville Cougars) competed last April and we are currently prepping for two upcoming meets in early 2018. Gymnastics, by far, is my favorite hobby.
I probably wouldn’t be able to do gymnastics without yoga. I don’t consider myself a “true yogi” but I rather enjoy the physical practice. Just recently, I built Restruxure, a website to help find answers to yoga-specific questions that I couldn’t find anywhere else. You can think of it as an, If this, then that for yoga. It is still in beta, but it is open for registration if anyone wants to join me. I have big plans for Restruxure in the future.
We recently had a client project that was desperately in need of some incredibly challenging UX thinking. We needed to come to our client with someone we considered to be at the top of their field, who could think through their UX challenges with the mindset of their customers – anticipating challenges that weren’t obvious to us, to our client, or even necessarily to their customers. Stacy came through for us, and executed the UX strategy with elegance and excellence that is unmatched. We can’t wait for another opportunity to work together.
-Justin Sainton, Zao Founder
What is your Myers-Briggs?
Apparently, I am a CAMPAIGNER (ENFP-A).
What is something “insignificant” or silly that you feel passionately about?
I despise bad forms and they are EVERYWHERE, showcasing their ridiculous questions, labels, and bad organization.
Also, when people who are waiting for an elevator stand way to close to the door and starts to walk in when it opens before letting people exit first.
Zack Morris. Love him, forever.
What is one great article or book you’ve read recently?
I’m sorry, I can’t choose just one. So here’s nine:
I know I am super late to the game, but I finished reading the Harry Potter series and couldn’t love them more. Why didn’t I read this 20 years ago?
As far as non-fiction goes, I enjoyed reading Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz, and Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace.
Stacy is an extraordinary person. I worked with her at my previous job, and was so excited to work with her again at Zao. She has a brilliant way of delivering information to clients, advocating for their needs (even when they’re fighting against it!), and delivering beautiful work. She’s also a delightful human being, very funny, and a delight to work with overall.
-Lizz Ehrenpreis, Zao Project Manager
What is your favorite podcast or TV show and why?
Anyone who knows me well would say I start too many conversations with “I heard on X podcast…” My favorites tend to ebb and flow, but lately I have enjoyed listening to Reply All. I recently sold a phone on eBay and had to ship it to a place they reported on a few months ago.
Here are the podcasts I am currently subscribed to:
What is one piece of advice you’d have for someone who wants to do the same kind of work as you?
Stay passionate about what you do. I find those who enjoy their jobs will be more motivated to learn and continue to grow and share. Read, explore, find inspiration, and work with or at least socialize with other people in the industry. I found I grew leaps and bounds when I worked with a team of people who had similar skills, but different backgrounds.
If you had to describe working with Zao in three words or less, what would you say?
Thoughtful delightful experts