I only just realised my last post was written right after my Greek travel adventure over a month and a half ago. It hasn’t been easy finding time to write with a full time job, full time school, midterms, papers, and a plethora of other things I’ve been working on to ready myself to move back to California at the end of the month, but as my work schedule is dying down, I find that I have a little extra time to pick up with writing again. To be honest, this stormy, rainy, wintery night just seems like the ideal time to start documenting my life again (for posterity purposes of course!).
The end of an era
When my previous company, BCC, closed down I was left heartbroken, pining for a company and a family of workers I had come to love tremendously. I never thought it would be possible to find another place of work I loved or cared for as much as I did the company who gave me my first real start in Israel. And then, on a whim, I was invited to interview at a little company called PowToon, situated in a tiny office in the heart of the city, with about 13 employees working to launch an animated presentation software into the main stream. I had ZERO marketing experience when I “auditioned” to become PowToon’s first, and only, assistant to the CMO and community/social media marketing manager, but by some miracle I was selected for the position, and exactly two years later the rest is history. I’ve seen many waves in my two years at PowToon, from staff changes to product changes, and everything in between. I brought friends to the company, made friends in the company, and ultimately left with what I like to call my “Israeli family”. From the founders and upper management who took me under their wings and treated me more like a niece or a daughter than an employee, to the incredible people in each department who helped shape my wonderfully exciting work life in Israel. It was a dream come true to be an employee at PowToon, and as I stood around the dining room table to say a final goodbye to my coworkers, I couldn’t help but feel a stab of pain I can only attribute to the deep sadness I felt knowing I would be leaving my family to start my next adventure.
It was a beautiful going away lunch. Knowing my completely obvious and unhidden addiction to sushi, the higher ups in my company made sure to order an extra tray just for the occasion. There were speeches, songs, and even presents all from a group of incredible people gathered to say their goodbyes. I was so happy Stephane could be there with me as I said goodbye, because if he wasn’t I’m not sure I could have kept the waterworks at bay! I wish we took more pictures, but we were too caught up in the moment, and just wanted to focus on enjoying my last day in the office.
While it is obvious, at least I hope so, that I love everyone in the PowToon offices with every fibre of my being, there are a few people I would like to personally address in this post as they enhanced my life more than my words could possibly do justice.
Ilya Spitalnik, CEO
Thank you for being an inspiring CEO and leader. I learned about marketing from you, and while we have very different marketing styles, I can now hold my head hight and proud when I walk around Silicon Valley shouting to the world that I know who Ryan Deiss is! Thank you for being like a parent when my own parents were so far away, especially during the tumultuous times where I needed even the tiniest bit of advice to keep things together. Your life advice and words of encouragement were priceless, and though you knew my dreams would eventually pull me from your company, you never stopped encouraging me. I don’t know any other CEO who would have done half as much for an employee as you did for me, and I can never fully express my gratitude for your guidance and kindness.
Daniel Zaturansky, COO
Much of the sentiments I shared with Ilya I extend to you as well, including being an inspiring leader, and a great source of encouragement and support in my life especially during very trying personal times. You were always understanding when I needed a day here or there out of the office to deal with things, and you never once made me feel like I had to choose between personal wellbeing and work. I have been blessed to share in some of your biggest life events, including your beautiful wedding, and I will miss you and your gentle kindness tremendously.
Ari Sherbill, Business Development
There isn’t enough space to do justice to all of the things I want to say to you. You are the awesomeness that is PowToon. You are the crazy, energetic glow that lights up the entire office, and I feel more than blessed, and profoundly privileged, to have been able to work along side you for almost 2 years. I think you know more about my life than my closest friends, and, in a way, you were the big brother I never had. Your encouragement and understanding got me through some of the hardest times of my life, and also set me on a career path that is going to lead me straight to Capitol Hill! You are one of the things I will miss the most about coming to work every day, and I hope you know how truly special and unique you are. You will be starting a new journey of your own soon as well, and I wish you nothing but the absolute best as you spread your awesomeness to the rest of the world. I love you, babes, and can’t wait to see you take PowToon to the next level. You are the definition of a Rock Star!
Daniel Nathan, Head of Support
It has been the greatest pleasure watching you transform an entire PowToon department to be this thing of complete amazingness. It has been so awesome because, as your former boss, I literally taught you EVERYTHING you know :-P! When I brought you to PowToon I told Eli and Daniel they would be absolutely insane to pass you up as an employee, and I think everyone is so thankful they took my advice and glowing recommendation. You have been with me through my two incredible jobs in Israel, and I think you are part of the reason they were so incredible. I will miss your “britishness” to the max, and every time I hear anything even the slightest bit pretentious I promise I will immediately think of you. I will also think of you overtime I watch actual football and not the crap I like to call SOCCER! I can’t wait to see what amazing things you bring to this company as it grows, and know that I’m never leaving the whatsapp group, the DaPulse group, or anything else you’ve been trying to kick me out of for almost a year!
Dan Rimon, Product Manager
Last and definitely least is my goodbye to Mr. Dan! Actually it’s more like saving the best for last because, despite our jokes, I will miss you terribly. Remember when I told you you were about 72.5% of the reason I stayed at PowToon when other companies were vying for my amazingness? Well, to be honest, it was more like 90%, which I can’t for the life of me understand since you literally terrorised me constantly, but, despite that, you are completely the best! Well, except when you send me 40 pounds of jewellery to bring back from America… then you’re not so fun! Whenever I would talk about you to my family I would always refer to you as the one I felt was like my “crazy uncle”, and I really do feel like you are a part of my family. This is probably why I don’t feel even slightly bad that you will be forced to come to my Henna and listen to hours and hours of Arabic and Mizrahi music when I finally get married (which might be sooner than you think!) I really can’t describe how much I’ll miss you, but you can rest assured that every year when I come back to visit I will have a little space in my suitcase to bring back crap for you!
To everyone else all I can say is thank you for making the last two years of my life some of the most vibrant and exciting. You are all incredible people and I’m so happy I am continuing my journey with PowToon on a freelance basis from 8,000 miles away. Like Eli said, “I will never truly leave”, and I love you all beyond words. Now it’s time for the next chapter in my quest to become Senator, Dr. Pepper, and I hope to keep each of you close as I embark on this next adventure.
Aside from that I have 3 more exams and a research project to complete before coming home on the 30th. It’s going to be a busy few weeks with all of the school work and studying I have, but I’m ready to finish out strong and make it to my 6 week winter break and trip back to California!
Now that I’m no longer working from the office I’ll have more time for updates!
I miss you everyday and love you forever, Friend.
Until we meet again <3,