Meet the Team: Alli
Meet Alli Pappathopoulos, our Senior Project Manager!
Name: Alli Pappathopoulos
Title: Senior Project Manager
What Your Title Actually Means:
I started working with Raven in 2015, right after I had my first baby and made the tough decision to leave my corporate job – the job where we actually met! We worked together on new messaging that eventually turned into Raven Creative, rvncreative.com, and a lot of the phrases, key points, and narrative you see throughout our content.
Right now, I’m helping guide marketing strategy and project execution for both Raven Creative and our clients!
Other Titles You Use in Life:
Wife, Momma, Christ-Follower, Extremely Passionate Coffee Enthusiast (Thank you, Baby #2!), Fried (?) Foodie, Boss Mom
How Did You Get Connected to Raven Creative:
Raven and I met working together at a financial tech company in Houston. We shared a wall, and she was a wonderful neighbor. No HOA complaints here!
How did you get started in your career/area of expertise?
I majored in Business in college, and then mostly followed the expected plan of get a job, advance, advance, advance. STOP BECAUSE…BABIES! So, not really expected, but it’s working for me.
I started working in marketing strategy at a large financial tech company in Milwaukee out of college, and later moved to Houston to advance in that career path. The company in Houston was smaller, though, and the team took a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done attitude. I’m so grateful to the many incredible leaders and colleagues I had the privilege of working for an alongside. It was because of these roles – and those people – that I was pushed to explore my creative skill set, teaching myself design and a little bit of coding.
Now, I’m able to combine my background in developing strategy with creative execution, and most days, it’s so fun it barely feels like work.
What are some of your biggest professional victories?
After I had my son in March of 2015, my husband and I decided that I’d stay home with him. Nap time eventually lended itself to allowing me to pursue a creative business that had been flickering in my heart for quite some time. So, I’d say my biggest professional victory was making my first dollar on my own, finding an amazing audience for my work, and learning that selling doesn’t feel much like selling when it’s something I truly believe in!
Before that, my corporate career gave me a number of opportunities to lead big projects, many of them creative-firsts for that company. Notable highlights include a virtual client conference (back in 2008, before they were a real thing!), developing an on-site, interactive product experience center, and leading the execution of many, many industry events.
Above all of the things I’d list on a resume, though, are the true and real friendships I’ve built with the people I worked with at each stop. These are the people that made the tough days easier and the boring tasks way more fun. While we no longer chat daily like we did when working together, I’m so thankful for these relationships. Y’all know who you are!
What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned in your professional life?
Serve and learn; try to always do both. When we take on the attitude of service – rooted in the desire to simply help others, it becomes easier to do the hard, less-fulfilling work.
When we commit to never stop learning, even in the tiniest situations, we allow ourselves to stay humble, open to improvement, and available for awesome new opportunities.
Be brave enough to be enthusiastically me. It’s so much better – and easier – than fakin’ it.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I feel like my mind is constantly open for business these days. I’m always trying to soak up inspiration or a takeaway from my moments – whether it’s at the desk or away from it.
More practically speaking, I love Pinterest for a quick brainstorm before a design session…and also for the craft projects that will never actually get done. But pinning counts for something, right?!
What does being a creative partner mean to you?
A big sigh of relief. When I worked in the corporate world, finding that creative partner who could become an extension of our overly-taxed team was just the best.
I didn’t need to spend countless hours explaining background or correcting mistakes, I could just hand-off a project and have confidence that it would get done the right way. Not only that, knowing that it was getting done, freed my mind up to focus on the other things that only I could do.
What are your go-to resources for getting work done?
Warning: I’m an efficiency junkie. I love finding apps, tools, and programs that help me speed up my processes while maintaining quality. This is the short list!
I love Asana for task/project management.
We’ve also recently become a HubSpot agency partner and I’ve been blown away by how incredible that tool is.
I love Feedly for sourcing content, and keeping up with my favorite blogs and content producers.
Tools like Zoom, Google Drive and Dropbox make working remotely with multiple teams so easy.
And I’d hardly be able to call myself a creative if I didn’t mention Creative Cloud. I use the magical trifecta of Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop every single day.
On the fun side, there’s a Texas Country playlist on Spotify that is crazy fun to work to, or Country Coffeehouse is good for when you need something a little more mellow. And my office would be a much less awesome place without my Sonos system. #lifechanging
What were you doing for fun in 2001?
I’m quite certain that 2001 was the year that my best friend and I spent almost every summer day at the local swimming hole. I’m sure there was a little summer job work going on, too, but I mostly remember the beach days. It was the only time in my life I could have been considered “tan.”
What are you doing for fun in 2018?
Sleeping? Enjoying quiet moments? Watching Hallmark movies and eating Little Caesars? Life in 2018 is significantly less exciting and carefree on the outside, but filled to the brim with love. We’re a family of 4 now and while our kids are little and exhaust us every day, they’ve brought a richness and authenticity to life that keeps us full of love and gratefulness. So, yeah, I’m boring, but I kind of love it.
What TV boss would you want to work for?
Michael Scott. Or Randall Winston (The Mayor from Spin City, played by Barry Bostwick.)