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The Pride of Campaign Monitor

KIM COURVOISIER - JUN 23, 2016

As a company that supports equality, diversity, and inclusion every day of the year, we are thrilled to celebrate Pride this month. At Campaign Monitor, one of our core values is “Make Mum Proud”, and in this post, we are celebrating a few of our incredible LGBTQI team members and advocates that not only make mum proud, but they make all of us proud every day.

Dustin Finkle

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been living in San Francisco for 12 years, and the Bay Area all of my life. I went to college in southern California at UC, Irvine, and abroad at the University of Stirling, Scotland, studying film and media. I’ve been actively singing and fundraising for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus for the past 7 years and I love it.

What’s your role at Campaign Monitor?

At Campaign Monitor, I am a project director on the marketing team. I oversee all of the projects we have going on while delicately balancing the workloads of our creative team. It’s an amazing role for a guy like me, who is obsessed with organization.

What’s your favorite Campaign Monitor value and why?

I would have to say “Make Mum Proud.” I love my mom!

The value is a gentle reminder to stay positive, calm, and be a part of a solution as opposed to creating problems.

When you’re one of three children with a single mom, you have to learn to get along! All of those qualities would make my mom proud.

How are you involved with the LGBTQI community?

I’ve been active in the community since arriving in San Francisco in 2003. When I moved to San Francisco, I joined the Triangle Martial Arts Association, an LGBTQI focused martial arts organization teaching TaeKwon Do. Being a super skinny guy, I never felt I could defend myself – so I wanted to take classes…and I fell in love with it. Four years later, I earned my black belt and became an assistant instructor, teaching other LGBTQ students how to defend themselves.

As the years have gone by, I joined the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, as a singer and fundraiser for their non-profit. I was a roadie and a cyclist on AIDS LifeCycle. I also acted as President of Outforce at Salesforce for a year, managing a leadership team on LGBTQI events and issues, while working closely with executives on employee needs. As my partner says, I’m “pretty gay.” I’m cool with that.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

There are so many great organizations and causes. One of my favorites is AIDS Emergency Fund – a great organization dedicating to helping those with HIV/AIDS.

What else would you like to share?

The fight continues. Just when you think you’re making progress or can settle down, you meet individuals or groups that find who you are, at your core, shameful, wrong, and indecent. Love is a powerful state of being and I look forward to the day when we can appreciate and respect one another as our whole, unique, and beautiful selves.

Javier Ruiz

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Javier, but everyone calls me Javi, apart from my Mum. I’m originally from Madrid, Spain, but I moved to London, UK, six years ago and I’ve become a true Londoner. I love traveling and exploring new places, I love music, that’s probably one of my biggest passions, I don’t think I could live without it. I also love art, design, photography, sports, good food, and especially spending time with my family and friends.

What’s your role at Campaign Monitor?

I joined Campaign Monitor in January 2015 as the first customer success manager. The customer success team serves as trusted advisors, relationship managers and strategic partners to our largest customers.

We also drive value for all customers through scalable mechanisms such as webinars, various programs, and product feedback.

What’s your favorite Campaign Monitor value and why?

I actually have a couple of favorite values, but I have to go with “Make mum proud.”

It’s important we treat each other with respect. This means being honest, having empathy and being considerate of other people.

How are you involved in the LGBTQI community?

I moved to London in 2010 when my husband Jorge was transferred here with his work. I did not know many people in London and thought that getting involved in LGBTQI campaigning, which I had been doing in Spain since I was at university, would be a great way to make new friends and to forward the cause of diversity. When I started my first job I was surprised that there was no LGBTQI employee network at the company so I joined the InterTech network, which is a networking organization for LGBTQI people working in the tech sector. More recently I have been volunteering with the Albert Kennedy Trust to help them build a digital marketing strategy.

Editor’s note: Javi was also honored by The Daily Telegraph as one of the Out at Work Top 50 LGBT Executives.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

Of course, Pride is amazing and is the highlight of the LGBTQI calendar but the event that moved and inspired me the most this year was the Albert Kennedy Trust fundraising dinner. The Trust helps young people who are homeless because their families have thrown them out because they are LGBTQI. To hear the stories of how this charity is literally saving the lives of the youngest and most vulnerable LGBTQI people made me exceptionally proud to be able to use my digital marketing skills to help them raise more money for their incredible work.

Heather Noonan-Hargroves

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m originally from the North of England, now living in Sydney, Australia. I’m a huge movie and television geek – I completed a Film Studies bachelor’s degree (first class!) for entirely selfish reasons. I wanted to spend time studying something I love when I was at an age where I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. I can out-win anybody at movie trivia, especially Lord of The Rings. Nerd alert.

What’s your role at Campaign Monitor?

I’m the Global Head of Compliance – my team ensures that Campaign Monitor’s commitment to sending permission-based email that subscribers want and love are met. We look after customers who want to make sure that they are doing the right thing and using best practices when it comes to email marketing and list acquisition, as well as protect our platform from malicious users.

What’s your favorite Campaign Monitor value and why?

Can I choose all of them?! If I had to stick to just one, it would be “If our customers kick-ass, we will too.” The Compliance team is part of customer operations, a wider group of teams that put the customer front and center in their everyday work. We all strive to provide the best support, advice, and email strategy that our customers need to help them crush their email marketing goals.

How are you involved with the LGBTQI community?

I spent a lot of my younger years really struggling with my sexuality. I had strong feelings for other girls from a very young age, but the social climate around me at the time was telling me it was wrong. I was bullied throughout my school years and so I kept these feelings very secret, to protect myself. It was hard – I didn’t really understand what it all meant. Was I gay? Would people hate me?

As I got older, I came to terms with my bisexuality – I am attracted to and find beauty in all forms. I came to realize it wouldn’t matter who I fell in love with or shared myself with; my parents had always been encouraging about letting me be myself and made it clear that it didn’t matter who I may bring home. They only cared that I was happy, and treated well.

In my late teens, I was encouraged to “come out” by a friend, to our peers. I did – I was scared but I did it. Unfortunately, the same friend then told everyone I was a liar and was doing it to get attention, a common stigma of bisexuality when others think it’s “for show” or not genuine. I feel that stigma still lingers now. Even though it was petty kid stuff, it hurt so much; it still does. It was tough and awkward, and my safety net kind of fell away. Insecurity comes easily to me and this was another thing to be afraid of.

I’ve seen other friends afraid. Anxiety and depression can develop in absolutely anybody. They struggled to accept themselves because they were terrified the people close to them couldn’t or wouldn’t accept them, and couldn’t accept themselves. It can really affect your perception of yourself. I’ve lost people I cared about because they struggled so much with themselves and felt at a loss with the world – they couldn’t go on any longer.

Honestly, it has made me angry and has made me incredibly passionate about making sure the people I love feel accepted, cherished, and worthwhile. I can only do that if I am honest and comfortable with myself, so I haven’t backtracked.

I know who I am – I decided no one was going to tell me otherwise.

I suffer from anxiety, but I can be feisty if I feel strongly about something – especially when people are treated unjustly and are left in despair!

Being bisexual comes with stigma and expectation but ultimately, I will love who I love. I’m married to a beautiful human being, who happens to be male. We are madly in love and he is fully accepting of my nature.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

Mental health awareness is incredibly important to me. I do feel we’re paving a new road of social acceptance for people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Mind UK is a wonderful charity helping sufferers and their loved ones with treatment, therapy, and support. The Trevor Project specializes in suicide prevention for the LGBTQI community. They’re the leading organization in helping young people (they work with teens and young adults) fielding over 45,000 calls a year from kids in distress, educating communities everywhere on the topic of suicide prevention, and advocating/supporting government funding for LGBTQI mental health support. Amazing!

John Peters

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have been with Campaign Monitor for two and a half years. I was born in India but migrated with my family to Sydney as a teenager, and have been living in Australia ever since. I love traveling, exploring different parts of the world, and the people who live here. Both our differences and our similarities are equally fascinating to me. I’m also a huge fan of board games, especially co-op board games where everyone plays together against a common enemy, as they are the most social and interactive type of games.

What’s your role at Campaign Monitor?

I’m part of the compliance and deliverability team. I review new accounts to make sure they meet any legal requirements and our terms of use and anti-spam policy. I also assist existing clients to help them make the most of their mailing lists and send out successful campaigns, by troubleshooting any engagement and email deliverability issues.

What’s your favorite Campaign Monitor value and why?

“Care about why” – I think we should always care about why because it helps us understand why we do what we do, what our clients want, and what our business wants. As part of the compliance team, I sometimes have conversations with our clients about delivery issues they may be encountering. Being able to explain the “why” is just as important as explaining the “what” so we can work together to resolve any issues. Clients are more receptive to recommendations if they understand why steps are necessary and how their email marketing will benefit as a result.

How are you involved with the LGBTQI community?

I’ve been involved with the LGBTQI community since my university days. I’ve volunteered at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, been a telephone counselor at the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service, and most recently was on the board of directors for Trikone, Sydney’s South Asian Queer community group. I’m also part of Campaign Monitor’s diversity committee. For Pride month I presented a lunchtime talk about the history of Sydney’s first Mardi Gras parade, and a morning tea where we raised funds for Twenty10 a community organization that works with homeless LGBTQI youth.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

My favorite event is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. Like other Pride events around the world, it’s all about celebrating and accepting our authentic selves.

When we overcome negative feelings we’ve internalized from the world around us and accept ourselves for who we are it feels… great, wonderful, joyous.

It is also an inclusive rather than an exclusive event. Anyone who’s been made to feel shamed or degraded because of their race, religion, gender, body shape or any other attribute can empathize with what our community has gone through.

Wrap up

At Campaign Monitor, we are thrilled to celebrate Pride and hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know some of the incredible members of our team a bit better. They inspire us every day to continue to build a culture of equality, diversity, and inclusion in everything we do.

Love is love is love.

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