One of Personify’s eight company values is service. It’s hard to find a colleague who embodies service more than John Rosa, a Principal Business Analyst at Personify and a Staff Sergeant for the National Guard. In honor of Veterans Day 2022, we salute John for his service to our country and our clients.
Why did you choose Personify?
Eight years ago, I was seeking an organization where I could grow my career. I didn’t have a technology or business analyst background but as a family-focused individual, a former elementary school band teacher and coach, and as an active Reservist – I’m a member of the US Army and have been for 14 years – I had a broad range of skills. Personify was able to see my potential and chose to bring me on, train and mentor me. It’s a very unglamorous story; but at the same time, also one of the reasons I think Personify is an incredible place to work. This is a company that saw my ability to work hard, solve problems, achieve goals and take calculated risks.
What do you get to do in your role that is unique?
I’ve been working exclusively with the Alzheimer’s Association for six years as a dedicated Business Analyst. I’ve been helping them build out a piece of software, gathering requirements and interacting with the entire Alzheimer’s Association, from Marketing and Finance to Business and Technology. My role is to ensure that what we’re customizing is going to work across the entire board. It’s a huge project, and I spend more time with the Alzheimer’s Association than I do with other Personify colleagues. They’re a massive client of about 1,500 employees who all have a stake in what they’re doing as an organization – it’s inspiring to be a very small part of that.
How is the impact of the project you’re working on at Personify motivating?
Alzheimer’s is a terrible, debilitating disease. I love that I get to work with an association that is making such a profound impact.
Two years ago, I lost my dad to cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). If you’re familiar with the disease, one of the leading thoughts is that these proteins called amyloids build up in the brain. While my father didn’t have full-blown dementia or Alzheimer’s when he passed, these proteins caused little micro tears. So, one day he was fine and then passed the next very unexpectedly. It’s a very real reminder to pause and remember that the work I’m doing is helping further the Alzheimer’s Project which is so much bigger than the little things that might throw off my day.
What’s something you or your team have accomplished this year that you’re proud of?
I really consider my team to be the Alzheimer’s Project team. We have a few offshore developers, two technical consultants, a project manager and two analysts, including myself. We’ve built this product out for Alzheimer’s over the last six years, and we are on the cusp of going live in February. Everyone is incredibly excited to have accomplished such an amazing feat, having put so much effort, energy and time into this for so long. It’s a little terrifying at the same time.
If you had to pick a book that related to your experience at Personify, what would it be?
Make Your Bed by four star Admiral William McRaven. He gave a speech at the University of Texas that went viral. The whole premise of Make Your Bed is to get up every morning and make your bed and know that you’ve accomplished your first task of the day. From there, you build on that small but significant accomplishment, getting things done. And, even if some of these tasks are unpleasant or go terribly wrong, you have the comfort of coming home and climbing into your bed that is made and ready for you.
What I draw from this book is the importance of focusing on the fundamentals to work through this six-year long project that I’ve been a part of. It’s about one deliverable at a time and the impact each one can make.
People of Personify
The “People of Personify” is a multi-part series featuring profiles and interviews with leaders and talented team members at Personify who are driving innovation for professional associations and event management partners.