Employee Spotlight: Jo Saunders

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do,” said Mark Twain. When thinking of people, in the WhiteWater family, that are living lives without regrets, Joanne Saunders (“Jo” as she is more commonly known) comes to mind.  Playing professional volleyball in France, solo traveling around New Zealand, running her own small marketing agency, producing photo shoots for a huge running company, and teaching people how to surf are among some of the “you only live once” type of things Jo has under her belt. Now, for the last three years, Jo has called FlowRider, Inc. her second home where she works as a Marketing & Sales Specialist. As busy as Jo is, she still lives that laid-back California lifestyle. As much as possible, Jo goes outside to run, snowboard,  golf, swim, and of course, surf.

Where are you from?
I’m from Northern California – a small town called Saratoga.

What drew you to FlowRider?
Honestly, it was the 2-sentence header to the job posting that drew me in at first. The company was anonymous in the listing, but it said something like, “A work hard, play hard company with a passion for board sports…”I felt like the company was a personified me, so I applied immediately.

How would you describe your role at FlowRider and what does a typical day look like for you?
No day is ever the same which is wonderful for me. My brain moves really fast, so moving from task to task keeps me awake and helps me operate on all cylinders. I usually get to work 1-2 hours before the rest of the crew. This way I get a slice of quiet time and I have a chance to tend to my European clients before their day ends. I answer all the phone calls, make sure the plants are watered, the coffee is hot, and that all FlowRider leads are distributed to our international sales team. I usually have a website, marketing collateral, forms, proposals or media to update and/or organize as well.

What is your favourite project you’ve worked on at FlowRider?
Since I haven’t seen an entire sale through yet (there are some hot ones pending though!), I have to say it was when we activated the FlowRider® Mobile in downtown Austin, TX for three days during SxSW. TNT Network hired a production company to bring us on to promote a new season of a TV show. It was basically a temporary Flow House concept with a DJ, a cool viewing area, a bar, and a hip food truck. Watching people get so excited that they could “surf” in the middle of downtown Austin (for free!) was great.

What is your proudest moment at FlowRider?
My proudest moment was when Marsh [Myrman, President, FlowRider] revealed that he had confidence that I would be valuable in a sales position. My hard work seemed to be paying off. He recognized that I am indeed a people person who would do well in the field and that I would be up for learning even more about the business.

What is your favourite part about working at FlowRider?
My team. The range of personalities we have between our 14-person team keeps everyone on their toes. Also, the fact that we really do live up to the “work hard, play hard” aspect of the business. Delivering ‘fun’ to our customers is what we do, so we sprinkle in our own personal fun when we can whether it’s a few people surfing together in the morning or going to a Padres game all together.

What is your favourite FlowRider or WhiteWater product?
The classic FlowRider Double. The wide, patented tensioned ride surface makes it really fun to not only ride but to watch people ride. Especially when those people are way better flowboarders than I am – watching all the different tricks is so (kick) flippin’ entertaining.

What’s something people might not know about you?
There was no girls golf team when I was in high school, so I played on the boy’s team.  I got to play some amazing courses like the Olympic Club and Pasatiempo.  I competed in the California State Championships and to this day, I still hit from the men’s tees.

If you could switch your job with anyone at WhiteWater, what would it be?
I am grateful for and happy about my ever-changing position here in San Diego, but if I absolutely had to (and I had an engineering brain), I would love to be part of the slide path team!

Dawn Kirby