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Article first published June 2016, updated June 2019.

As a company that supports equality, diversity, and inclusion every day of the year, we are thrilled to celebrate Pride this month. One of our original core values at Campaign Monitor has been to “Make Mum Proud” and in this post, we celebrate a few of our incredible LGBTQ+ team members and advocates who do just that.

While Campaign Monitor has changed a little since this post was originally published in 2016, we continue to celebrate our team members for who they are and all the good they do in their lives and in our company. These days, our team members from the CM Group family of brands just happen to be scattered across the globe.

Happy pride, y’all!

Evelyn Rumsey

Evelyn Rumsey's headshot

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been living in Los Angeles for 6 years now. Before that, Wisconsin was home, and way back, Texas was. I have a huge love of pen and paper games (complex rulesets are my jam).

I am also deeply in love with the hurdy gurdy (and still waiting for mine to be built).

What’s your role at CM Group?

I am a Jr Database Administrator for Emma. Mostly I find ways to speed up data retrieval and assist in creating and maintaining sustainable and effective data storage.

What’s your favorite thing about working at CM Group?

My favorite thing about CM Groups definitely has to be the people. Everyone I’ve encountered is respectful, listens well, and, if ever something doesn’t click, they’ve been willing to sit down and talk it out.

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ community?

I spend a significant portion of my income directly supporting struggling trans women, enbies, and agender folx. Beyond that, I am tangentially connected to an effort to improve anti-discrimination training available to organizations in California.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

Trans women of color (particularly black and indigenous trans women) are killed at an alarming rate. Trans Day of Remembrance was started as a way of honoring the dead and as a call to action to prevent these murders.

Access to mental health and medical care is also a huge issue affecting the community at large. Anyone who does not conform to perceived gender or gender assigned at birth is at greater risk of mental and physical health concerns, and is also less likely to be able to find or afford treatment.

There are many local organizations working to address this, check in with your nearest LGBT center to see if you can help!

David Studinski

David Studinski's headshot

Tell us a little about yourself.

I started with Sailthru and NYC Pride the same year, within weeks of each other in 2011. I joined Sailthru’s staff as one of the first 15 employees and as its first product manager. I was a client prior to that, which is how I’d met the company’s co-founders and got them to hire me!

What’s your role at CM Group?

I serve as the Sr. Director of Product at Sailthru.

What’s your favorite thing about working at CM Group?

I’m surrounded by great colleagues and great clients.

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ community?

I’m Executive Board Co-Chair for Heritage of Pride/NYC Pride. We’re the producers of the city’s official LGBTQIA+ Events, including WorldPride NYC 2019 | Stonewall 50.

That means I’m WorldPride 2019 Co-Chair, too!

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

We do what we do in order to bring a sense of belonging and empowerment to millions of visitors and countless more onlookers from across the globe. One look down Fifth Avenue at a sea of rainbow filled with love, and anyone who has ever questioned themselves instantly knows that they’re not alone.

Aidan Doak

Aidan Doak's headshot

Tell us a little about yourself.

I come from a small town in Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand. I moved out to Christchurch when I was 18, studying Graphic Design and learning plenty about myself, too. After only small successes in the industry at the time, wrestling with high requirements for junior roles, I decided to switch gears and moved to Wellington to study Computer Science, after which I  started at Sailthru through the great Summer of Tech internship program.

I like to create art and music in some of my free time and have been meaning to pick up physical paint media again some day.

Slightly deeper than that, I am asexual and trans non-binary (I use they/them pronouns), and have ‘come out’ to friends and family multiple times; the rainbow journey never really ends!

With the right engagement and respect, I do like to talk about these areas and educate others with understanding and empathy, so the next person in my position can be as comfortable with themselves as I came to be. I know who I am and so can you!

What’s your role at CM Group?

My role at Sailthru is DevOps Engineer; I work with the Sailthru Mobile product team in Wellington, helping manage cloud infrastructure and support the needs of our developers.

My everyday challenges can include making problems as observable and measurable as I can, as well as documenting and sharing new infrastructure knowledge with the team. I constantly benefit from the knowledge and support developers provide as well.

What’s your favorite thing about working at CM Group?

Since joining CM Group via Sailthru, I have thoroughly enjoyed the level of engagement and communication between different teams. The opportunity to immediately connect with new people in Campaign Monitor and trade knowledge has been very exciting!

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ community?

I first participated in a few community events when I first moved out and lived in Christchurch for 4 years. My first pride parade was when I moved to Wellington, joining in after getting involved with the student-run support group UniQ at my university. Since then, I’ve helped volunteer a couple of times at the Gender Center and Aunty Dana’s Op Shop (a gender diverse focused clothing donation store in Wellington).

Other areas I participate include the LGBTQ in Tech Slack Channel (@ https://lgbtq.technology/), and a regular listener of the podcast Gender Reveal, which also has a Slack community.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

With so much ire still being publicly or legislatively leveled against trans people, particularly if they experience racial prejudice as well, causes that support them are my largest area of focus. Some of this has become a reason to be more politically active in my own life, but also do what I can to donate time or money to these causes.

Thanks to Sailthru’s use of Bright Funds, I have also created and donated to a collection of organisations (mostly US but some worldwide) that regularly support trans communities and fight for their safety. I welcome anyone who is able to join in here. Sailthru covers the transaction fees, leaving 100% of the money to split across the selected trans-focused and adjacent charities.

Locally, I like to spend some of my free time at Gender Minorities Aotearoa events, mainly the monthly social gatherings. As an organisation, they also help trans, intersex, takataapui, and other gender minority locals with finding and educating doctors, therapy services, and supporting changes to government identity or the legislation surrounding it.

Robbie Short

Robbie Short's headshot

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a 24-year-old Geordie from the North East of England. I am in London a lot as my partner lives there so I find myself working between both.

I absolutely love swimming, binge-watching TV series on Netflix and travelling! If I’m not working, I’ll definitely be doing one of those three things.

What’s your role at CM Group?

As a Compliance Specialist, I mainly review new and existing accounts to make sure they’re abiding our terms of use, anti-spam policy, and anti-spam laws. I help protect Campaign Monitor against sending phish and spam, and I also help customers manage their lists to get the best results possible whilst remaining in line with our policies.

What’s your favorite thing about working at CM Group?

There are many favourite things, so it’s hard to choose only one! Ultimately, I love working for Campaign Monitor Compliance as it’s a great feeling to protect your company brand as well as the general public from spam and phishing campaigns.

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ community?

As a gay man from a small coastal town, I grew up not knowing anyone or even being able to talk to people who were [out as] gay. My mam now works for a children’s charity that helps protect vulnerable children in our area, and they’ve recently started organising LGBT+ events, so I help her out where I can by offering support and advice from my experience as a child.

And by coincidence, the friendship group I’m in now is mainly LGBT, and so we all love to travel the UK and abroad to explore their local gay scenes and culture.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

Northern Pride at Newcastle is my favourite, because it’s amazing to see everyone from my area get together and be able to dance, drink, be true to themselves and have a great time with not a care in the world. :) If you haven’t been to Newcastle, I’d recommend going to Pride in July!

Beatrice Lajous

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hey, I’m B! I’ve been living in the UK for 4 years. Leaving France was such an important step in my personal and professional life. I’m lucky enough to enjoy the vibrant, artsy, and inclusive feel of Brighton.

My spare time is dedicated to my friends, books, and journaling. And I’m always up for a walk by the seafront!

What’s your role at CM Group?

At Campaign Monitor, I am a Customer Support specialist. What I enjoy most about my role is the element of problem-solving and helping people get back on their feet. I love the fact that every day is different.

What’s your favorite thing about working at CM Group?

The people! I recently joined the company and I’m still amazed by how supportive and willing to help everyone has been. We all come together with different talents and life experiences. We learn everyday from each other.

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ community?

I used to volunteer at Switchboard for the helpline. I planned to move to Bristol this autumn and would love to join/volunteer for the Trans Youth Group led by Gendered Intelligence, an incredible network for the trans community. Spending time with younger people feels right as such support was not available when I was a teenager or even in my early twenties.

Tarot is also one of my main hobbies. Meeting and interacting with queer tarot readers has been an important part of my self-care practices in the past 6 months. There are so many inspiring sub-communities where it’s indeed possible to take up space, be creative, and speak our truth.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

I’ve always been attracted by organisations related to mental health awareness. I ran my first half marathon two years ago and raised money for Mind UK. I’m also really looking forward to the next Trans Pride in Brighton. It will be my first Trans Pride since I came out as a non-binary person.

We’ve also organised a run to raise funds for local charities. Running for and standing with organisations whose visions I value is incredibly empowering!

Leah Miranda

Leah Miranda's headshot

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in Kailua-Kona, HI, surfing and eating haupia (coconut pudding), until we moved to the mainland (Minnesota) right before junior high school. After graduating college, I hightailed it out of the frozen tundra and eventually settled down in Nashville, TN, with my wife and well-fed chihuahua.

What’s your role at CM Group?

I am the Senior Email Marketing Manager for CM Group. I spend most of my days coding emails, building out strategy, and being a complete data nerd. I get to work with some of the best designers and copywriters that make our emails sound and look amazing!

What’s your favorite thing about working at CM Group?

Honestly, it’s the people. Whether imparting some wisdom, teaching a new skill, or offering an encouraging Slack emoji, my co-workers push me to be a better email marketer. They’re a lovable bunch who make work invigorating and fun.

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ community?

Growing up in a conservative environment was difficult; it caused me to really struggle with how I felt and who I was taught to be. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I met someone who helped me come to terms with my upbringing and who I was. And it’s because of that person that I am a mentor for others who struggle with their faith and sexuality.

In an effort to promote further awareness of this community’s needs and calls to action, I also perform pro-bono work for LGBTQ+ startups and non-profits to help get their marketing off the ground in a cost-effective way.

Do you have a favorite event or cause?

The Trevor Project is an organization that my wife and I love to support. They offer crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ youth, creating safe and inclusive environments over the phone, online, and text.

 

Dustin Finkle

headshot-dustin_480x480

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.

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ 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.

Javier Ruiz

headshot-javier_480x480

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.

How are you involved in the LGBTQ+ 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

blog-heather

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.

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ 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.

How are you involved with the LGBTQ+ 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

Dustin Finkle reminds us that the fight continues: “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.”

We couldn’t agree more, Dustin.

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.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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