XDS Employee Spotlight: February 2021

Introducing our newest team members!

It’s a new year and we’ve grown a few inches! We have certainly come a long way since our first employee spotlight. We are kicking off 2021 with several new faces around the office to accommodate our growing client roster. We’ve got digital producers, web developers, designers, Quality Assurance analysts, Digital Strategists, and marketing pros galore! Say hello to another round of XDSers and get to know them a little better!

 

Courtney Lang, Digital Producer

Courtney Digital Producer

Courtney has been with us for a few months but you have never been formally introduced! She looked long and hard for the perfect career and found her home with The Experience Design Studio. She’s a burrito loving Jersey girl with a love for American classics like baseball, burgers, and summer camp. Say Aloha to Courtney.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?

After a long job search and reviewing the XDS website with the body of work that has been accumulated, I knew I had to apply, after interviewing with many employees I knew I wanted it to be my work “home”. The environment here compared to previous places of work is completely different and in a good way.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?

Bring your A-Game.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?

This is a hard question, but I think my favorite project I have worked on is a complete website re-design and re-build at my previous job just because of the sheer difference in how the website looked and functioned.

Q: What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?

Probably that it is “easy” to do or the fact that projects can get done in a day.

Q: Where are you from? Where have you been? Where do you want to go?

I am from New Jersey, I have only been to a few places outside of the US but I would love to visit more and revisit some places I have previously been to. I want to go back to Hawaii, I would love to go to Europe and travel around and eat great food.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? 

I didn’t have any unusual jobs, I was a camp counselor a lot. I also worked at a bagel shop for a while.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

Oh, this is hard, I think it would be something to do with animals, like a zoologist or vet because I love animals so much.

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

I love all furry creatures.

Q: What trend do you hope makes a comeback?

I feel like all the trends from when I was younger have made a comeback but I think it would be hilarious to see butterfly hair clips again.

Q: If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chipotle, or some sort of burrito or tacos.

Q: Which fictional family would you want to be part of?

The Belchers.

Q: What’s your superpower?

My superpower is doing makeup.

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?

The Sandlot

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?

Travel to Europe and adopt A LOT of dogs.

Q: What is your favorite quote?

Life’s uncertain, eat dessert first.

Q: When Im not at work I’m….

Playing/streaming video games

 

Mallory Steffes, Web Developer

Mallory - Web Developer

Mallory is a Texas native but has lived from coast to coast. She loves the rush of conquering digital battles but don’t ask her to fix your cable hook up. Her favorite TV Family? They’re creepy, they’re kooky, mysterious, and spooky! Meet Mallory! And by the way, does anyone know what a Gunpla model is?

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?

I knew XDS was the right company for me when I saw their incredibly diverse team.  It’s important to me that my company is made up of people of all different backgrounds, ages, cultures, etc.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s the only way you learn.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?

I really like the Vesper Medical website. Probably because it was the first site I really touched on my own – but I also really like angled, layered backgrounds as a design feature.

Q: Who or what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

Lisbeth Salander, from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (I’m aware our careers have nothing in common – I just knew I wanted to type on a keyboard and look really cool doing it).

Q: What do you love most about your craft?

The rush you feel when you’ve been struggling to implement a feature or un-wrangle a bit of logic, and you finally realize whatever the issue is.

Q: What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?

That I have the slightest idea of how to fix your router.

Q: Where are you from? Where have you been? Where do you want to go?

I’m from Texas – but I’ve also lived in Florida, California, and New York City. I want to end up in a quiet, peaceful cabin with my dog, far away from the sounds of any city.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was in a circus for half a year! Aerial silk arts, baby.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

Language-learning? Is that a thing?

Q: If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?

Bill Gates. Time to transfer some funds!

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

Dog – I love cats, but my immune system does not.

Q: If you could choose a name for yourself, what would it be?

I’d change my last name to something starting with M. I love alliterative names.

Q: What trend do you hope makes a comeback?

Capes. Come on.

Q: If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza.

Q: If you had a yacht, what would you name it?

The Unsinkable 2

Q: Which fictional family would you want to be part of?

The Addams Family.

Q: What’s your superpower?

I can always tell when someone is lying.

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?

The Iron Giant

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?

To own a house, and 2.(hear me out) space tourism. Boom.

Q: What is your favorite quote?

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” – Winnie the Pooh

Q: When I’m not at work I’m….

Building Gunpla models, watching UFC fights, and playing with my bear-dog.

 

Erica Webb, Digital Producer

Erica - Digital Producer

Erica is a book-loving, magenta-haired maven who enjoys helping to create new products and building client relationships. She’s a caregiver by nature and a flexible team player with more than 10 years of combined customer service and project management experience. Erica comes to the XDS team with an extremely diverse background in organizations, including at one point being a professional medieval wench! She’s a supportive service provider and champion of logistics with a passion for technology and a creative eye for detail. Originally from Delaware, Erica moved to Lancaster, PA in 2010 where she has enjoyed immersing in the local culture while continuing to learn the Lancastrian way of life. In her free time, she enjoys hanging with her family, taking snowboarding trips, and prides herself on creating the perfect music playlist for any mood or occasion. Say hello to Erica! 

Q: What do you love most about your craft?

I’m a natural problem-solver. I find it rewarding to dig deep and uncover solutions to challenges—it’s like solving a puzzle. It’s something I’ve always excelled at and something that I enjoy. Much of marketing and product development is about finding innovative solutions to challenging issues, which is what drew me to the project management career path in the first place.

Q: Where are you from? Where have you been? Where do you want to go?

I’m originally from Delaware but I moved to PA in 2010. I’ve traveled to or through every state along the east coast of the US. I’ve also traveled overseas to France, Norway, and Sweden but also hope to make my way to Scotland and New Zealand someday!

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Once upon a time…I worked as a medieval wench for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. This was definitely one of the most interesting experiences of my life.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

I’d love to be an expert or fluent, in more than one language. Communicating with others is my bread & butter so having the ability to speak with or translate for others in another language would be an extremely valuable skill set to me.

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

Ooo…this is a tough one because I’m definitely an equal opportunity pet lover but if I had to pick, I’d say I’m more of a cat person. Cats are so weird and quirky, there’s just something about their personalities that I click with.

Q: What trend do you hope makes a comeback?

I don’t feel strongly about bringing back any one particular trend BUT I do hope low-rise jeans and jelly shoes never make a comeback. (Talk about some seriously uncomfortable fashion trends!)

Q: If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hands down, it would definitely be tacos. Or, better yet, my homemade crunch-wrap supremes!

Q: Which fictional family would you want to be part of?

The Gilmore family from ‘Gilmore Girls’ – I’ve always felt a love and connection to this TV show over the years because of the close-knit relationships, witty banter, and the ever-charming town of Stars Hollow.

Q: What’s your superpower?

The ability to slow down or pause time. The older you get, the faster time seems to just fly by – so I think it would be great if I could slow down or pause moments in time in order to enjoy more of the little things in life, we generally take for granted, especially when it comes to spending time with family members.

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?

Oh man, this is really difficult because I love watching movies…I think I’d have to say the movie Hook with Robin Williams is one of my all-time favorites, but then if it comes to a seasonal favorite, I’d have to say The Santa Claus with Time Allen because who doesn’t love that one?!

Q: What is your favorite quote?

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore

 

Tim Rabanal, Senior QA Analyst

Tim - QA Analyst

He may have been born in Jersey, but Tim is a travelin’ man who loves to experience new cultures and lots of delish dishes. He’s got an ear for music and may have been a baggy jeans wearing DJ in another life. Don’t underestimate his analytical skills, he’s a quality assurance ninja and QA is essential for creating outstanding UX.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?

A VR project for a pharma client where it mimics both the lobby of a doctor’s office & a patient’s examination room for patients who have certain other medical conditions & on different types of statins.

Q: Who or what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

One of my friends who I grew up with gave me an opportunity to work alongside him on a military training simulator running on Unreal Engine 4 for IEDs. This was my first introduction into the world of tech & QA.

Q: What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?

It’s the minimization of what we do (you JUST test, you just do this or that, we’re not technical people, etc.) and yet the willingness to make QA the scapegoat when something isn’t caught…..They think QA stands for Quick Assurance because they don’t really understand the quality we assure. They feel that way because we aren’t creating, we just slow down the process, a bottleneck.

Q: Where are you from? Where have you been? Where do you want to go?

I’m from Ledgewood, NJ up in Morris County. I have traveled to Italy, Greece, The Grand Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, The Philippines, Most of the major cities in Florida & California, Las Vegas, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maine, Boston, Hawaii, San Antonio, & a few others. I would like to go to Japan, Iceland, Malawi, and Tanzania.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Working at BJ’s Wholesale Club in the Bakery Department. The majority of the items we “supposedly” baked fresh in house but really it’s all frozen from other bakeries that we order in bulk from lol

Q: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be

DJing or Video Production

Q: If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?

Drake or The Weeknd

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

Mostly dog, but I do appreciate cats too!!

Q: What trend do you hope makes a comeback?

Low-key baggy jeans or cargo pants hahahaha

Q: If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza!!

Q: If you had a yacht, what would you name it?

The All Might

Q: Which fictional family would you want to be part of?

The St. Patricks (Power & Power Book II: Ghost)

Q: What’s your superpower?

To amplify & enhance any part of my body to go beyond its limits #PlusUltra

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?

Goodfellas

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?

Get a tattoo from the homeland in the traditional practice (batok, a hand tapping style) & skydive or bungee jump

Q: What is your favorite quote?

It matters not how many times you fall down, what matters most is how many times you rise, mistakes build character, & character takes you places money can’t.

Q: When I’m not at work I’m….

Spending my free time making food and traveling locally, on the lookout for culturally diverse restaurants to visit & highlight with my food blog on FB and IG. @food_runs_of_tim

 

Kristin Rockhill, Marketing

A Jersey girl with gypsy blood (minus the cunning and thievery), she never settles too long. She loves to drag her family to new places which include 4 states and  6 houses to date. Her love of storytelling and creating compelling content is what has led her to a career in marketing.

Q: What do you love most about your craft?

I love brand building, creating content, and highlighting all the amazing employees and the work they are doing.

Q: Where are you from? Where have you been? Where do you want to go?

Jersey Girl first and foremost but we have lived all over including Pennsylvania, Charleston, and currently Atlanta! We love experiencing different cities and traveling. 

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was an editorial stylist and content creator for New Jersey Bride Magazine. I got to plan, design, and produce elaborate fashion photoshoots for the glossy pages of each issue.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

Animal Whispering : )

Q, Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

All of the above but cows are my favorite. 

Q: If you could choose a name for yourself, what would it be?

Francesca

Q: If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Toss up between Cheese Fries & Banana Splits 

Q: If you had a yacht, what would you name it?

GOAT 

Q: What’s your superpower?

Raising 4 boys 

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie? 

80’s movies trump all 90’s movies, but if I had to pick, Romeo and Juliet with Leo+Claire or My Best Friend’s Wedding. 

 

Megan Jones, Junior Designer

Hailing from Lancaster, PA, and thereby doubling the XDS Lancasterian count, meet Megan! She’s a digital creative with a love for fur babies that don’t bark. Oh and is napping considered a superpower?

Q: Who or what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

I loved art but hated getting messy (from paints/charcoal), and computers are cool so I smooshed them together to get design.

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

Cat person all the way.

Q: What’s your superpower?

Napping in any location at any time.

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?

Visiting Japan and successfully running an Etsy shop.

 

Tim Perkins, Developer 

A man of the mountains with his eye on the stars, say hello to Tim.  Sometimes he wishes he could boldly go where no man’s gone before, but he’ll probably stay in Aurora (see fave 90’s movies). If you catch him daydreaming on the job, it’s visions of overlanding through the wilderness that occupies his mind.

Q: Who or what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

The cult Flash web cartoons Salad Fingers and Homestar Runner got me really interested in web-based animation. It inspired me to enroll in a minors program at my university to learn Flash, Photoshop, HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Q: What do you love most about your craft?

I love creating digital experiences that users can easily engage with. There is always something new to learn, new ways to create, and new challenges to solve.

Q: What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?

That I can fix their computer, printer or phone.

Q: Where are you from? Where have you been? Where do you want to go?

I grew up in a small mountain town in Colorado. I have lived in Fort Collins, Boulder, and San Diego. My favorite travel destination has been Greece. I hope to someday visit Sweden, Alberta, Italy, and Patagonia.

Q: If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?

I would want to be an astronaut on the International Space Station, but only for a day.

Q: What trend do you hope makes a comeback?

Not sure if this is really a trend, but the right-to-repair movement is starting to gain momentum and could have a great impact on reducing pollution and waste.

Q: What is your favorite quote?

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” —John Muir

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?

Top 5, no order – Wayne’s World, Friday, The Big Lebowski, Dumb and Dumber, Happy Gilmore

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?

Overlanding through the Colorado wilderness. Going Heli Snowboarding in British Columbia.

Q: When Im not at work I’m…

Having fun with my family, watching a documentary, attending to my houseplants, or hiking/biking.

 

Aly McTaggart, Senior Strategist

Aly - Senior Digital Strategist

Straight out of Michigan Aly adds another state to the XDS employee map. She’s got a master’s in behavioral psychology and all the intuition, insights, and abilities to integrate and implement the complex digital strategies required to become an XDS digital wizard. While she’s a modern girl living in a digital world, she spends time offline with some good old fashioned brush and canvas and her bud Billy. Some advice from Aly, fish can’t climb trees, and that’s ok.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?

The team’s passion and commitment to data-driven strategy and human-centered experiences that has a positive impact on real people and quality of life.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Behavior analyst to teach children and adults with severe autism.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

Abstract acrylic painting. In an effort to find off-screen activities, I recently started painting with acrylics on canvas. Like most things in life, it’s a LOT harder than it looks!

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

Dog! I have a mini labradoodle named Billy and we’re a package deal. Cats are intimidating.

Q: If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Freeze Pop popsicles. Nutritious? Nope. Delicious? Absolutely.

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?

Deliver a TED Talk and own a Philip Barlow painting.

Q: What is your favorite quote?

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

 

About XDS

Created with the purpose of providing big agency services without all the rigidness and overhead, The Experience Design Studio is a full-service East Coast based Digital Agency that focuses on customer experience solutions in the health and wellness industry.

With strategy at our core, XDS make our client’s tools and technology easy to use, engaging, and effective by looking at the complete customer experience – analyzing every touchpoint with the core focus of understanding how real people, patients, doctors, mothers, fathers, payers – interact with an experience.

XDS has offices in Ambler, PA, Charleston, SC, and Atlanta GA. Learn more about the services and solutions we offer.