The first in our series spotlighting the incredible Marco team.
At Marco, we so often talk about culture and why it matters for teams — culture has evolved beyond ping pong tables and pizza lunches, and experiences are at the forefront. So, it goes without saying that building a strong culture internally at Marco is always high on our priority list. We’re proud to have such a talented group of individuals working to bring extraordinary experiences to teams.
Introducing our newest blog series — Culture Curators. We’ll be shining the spotlight on our incredible team, what brought them to Marco, and what culture means to them. First up is one of Marco’s very first hires: Partnerships & Community Manager, Ally Rubin.
Introducing Ally Rubin
Originally from California and currently based in San Francisco, our talented Ally Rubin works on many things, but her focus is on identifying the amazing creators, hosts, and experiences that we bring to the forefront at Marco and building strong partnerships with each one.
Growing up in a family where long dinners with great food and conversation were a regular occurrence, Ally always knew that she wanted to work in an industry that brought people together and celebrated them. With that, she studied Hospitality and then worked in the food and beverage industry, in people operations, and recruiting roles.
Now at Marco, she has the opportunity to both bring teams and people together, but also to celebrate Marco’s hosts and their stories.
What drew you to Marco?
I met Suman, Marco’s CEO, in October 2019 through a group called Off the Record, which was all about getting together away from bars and parties and into a really awesome space that celebrated art, music, and experiences — with everything donated to nonprofits.
I started working with Marco on the side, trying to find experiences going on in the city, just before COVID. Then, with COVID, Marco pivoted hard into virtual experiences, figuring out how to bring teams together in a remote work world, while also helping creators still succeed. I worked on building the initial operations and booking flow, while also finding great partners and hosts.I’m super passionate about not just building culture in teams, but also about how we’re facilitating things for the creator economy and furthering our partner’s stories. It’s amazing to find ways we can bring our talented hosts more awareness and attention, while also making a true impact from a culture perspective for our customers. What drew me to Marco is that it isn’t just another entertainment platform to do the quick hits, it’s about thinking more deeply and intentionally on how we can connect people.
What's special about Marco?
We’re a small team at Marco, but everyone is really aligned on our mission. That’s really special. When I started working with Suman, it was this little side hustle. Now we’ve turned this passion project into a real company, but it still has this passion project feel. Everyone on the team is really, really in it. It’s amazing knowing that no matter who talks to a customer or partner, they’re going to get that feeling of passion for Marco’s mission: bringing people together through extraordinary experiences.
How do you see the future of culture?
These days, people's lives are really embedded in their jobs. Working from home, you get an insight into everyone’s lives through the screen, and with social media — you see the life they live outside of work. Plus, with the climate that we’re living in now, it doesn’t make sense anymore to compartmentalize work and everything else.
With all of that, you can’t just rely on going to the bar and getting drinks to make your team feel appreciated. Having a third party like Marco to help facilitate things can make that easier.
Is there anything about culture you think is misunderstood?
For starters, culture is just a pretty vague word. The word culture is misunderstood, and it can really change depending what lens you have on. For example, a team can have a great culture when it comes to celebrating, but not a great one when it comes to furthering diversity and inclusion. Culture is so much more than the fun stuff — it’s a feeling of inclusion and innovation, and the mission behind everyone’s actions. It’s also ever-evolving. It’ll continue to change as people join your company and as the world changes.
What's your quick tip for teams looking to create better culture?
Celebrate everything! Celebrate the things that you don’t even think you need to celebrate. Even if something seems insignificant, you never know how each person on your team will be impacted by the experience you share. So, don’t hesitate to book that experience and have fun.
Also, consider ways you can switch up the experiences for your team. It could seem boring to have a more structured team-building experience, but through those you could actually have more breakthroughs than going out to dinner or something fun. Don’t be afraid to organize different types of activities for your team and find moments to celebrate it all.