Work Experience

GROUP PROJECT - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
FOUNDER
2016 TO PRESENT

Founded a SaaS company that makes data-driven tools to understand employees’ abilities, then bring out their best work every day. Developed and piloted beta software with 2 paid clients with CEO buy-in, including public tech company Yext.

  • Designed and developed internal talent-mapping tool that invites employees to self-report skills and preferences, surfaces team-wide talent data to leaders, and provides individual career development data to employees and managers.

  • Developed in-product inclusion strategy to monitor and flag potential data bias.

  • Built technical approach to glean and analyze skills data flexibly from employees, rather than using prescriptive, traditional assessments. This tack gives employees a voice on their own professional profiles and reveals emergent talent patterns that would be missed by conventional skills assessments.

  • Personally researched, designed, built, and tested a skills-driven 1:1s tool using no-code builders. The tool gleans skills data from employee weekly updates, and uses it to personalize more effective manager 1:1 conversations, while building an employee profile over time.

  • Built pre-launch waitlist of 50+ managers (with hundreds of reports) for 1:1s tool paid beta. Currently testing with first teams.

  • Recruited data scientist, developer, sales + ops generalist, and team of advisors and consultants.

CONSULTANT + ADVISOR - NEW YORK CITY + ELSEWHERE
MARCH 2016 TO PRESENT

I consult and advise on product vision, strategy, and development (sometimes building to launch), talent strategy and people operations, and internal operations (especially early- to growth-stage). Some examples:

  • Promise Venture Studio (Non-profit innovation catalyst org focused on early childhood development) : Built custom Crunchbase-style ecosystem index product from idea through launch. Product reaches 1000s of investors and 100s of startups.

  • HomeValet (Last-mile home delivery hardware + software startup): Conducted formative user and market research to create go-to-market plan and product development priorities.

+ More Consulting + Advising Information

BUSINESS STRATEGY + PEOPLE OPERATIONS

  • I help early- and growth-stage companies, or developing groups within larger organizations, become operationally high-functioning and build clarity of purpose and process as they grow. I take a dynamic approach, keeping teams nimble while improving efficiency.
  • I stand up operations including strategy and tools across organizational design, people ops, goalsetting and productivity, and overall process optimization.
  • I refine overall business strategy including go-to-market strategy, product and service design, and change management from one operational stage to the next.
  • Through my own company, I have deep expertise in HR/people analytics, skills-based profiling, and people management techniques. I upskill managers and leaders and create people tools/data strategies inside companies.

PRODUCT LEADERSHIP

  • As a product leader, I've led design, build, and launch for technology products and service offerings. Past work includes product concept development, UX research and concepting, market and competitive research and analysis, and agile product management and prioritization.
  • I'm a systems thinker and people person - always identifying the underlying dynamics in teams, tools, and decisions to make great judgements and set smart priorities. As an articulate and compelling communicator, I'm able to get stkaeholders on the same page and drive shared understanding of critical information like user and market insights, goals, and priorities. I'm highly conscientious where it matters - I believe great process is part of great delivery. And I genuinely think it's fun to do deep, thoughtful product work - and bring that positivity and presence to every team I work on.

POSITIONING + PITCHING

  • I consult on positioning and pitching narrative development for nascent-to-growing products and companies. Expertise in refining audience definition, defining brand perspectives and differentiation, developing consumer-, partner-, and investor-facing narratives, and honing decks and collateral for sales and investment.

BUSTER (Transportation marketplace startup - like Expedia for booking buses, limos, and vans) - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
STRATEGIC ADVISOR
2016

  • Developed and distributed original outlook on the future of transportation, including Buster's role in changing group transportation with data, as part of a larger shift toward technology-enabled shared transportation and communities in motion.

  • Advised on strategic product, marketing, operational, and business decisions.

VP PRODUCT + OPERATIONS
APRIL 2015 TO APRIL 2016

Led data-driven product bringing the charter industry online: modeling industry data, recreating the booking experience, designing accurate predictive pricing algorithms, and introducing vendor-customer matching, all for complex trips.

  • Led full UX redesign and build touching front-end and back-end, including complex consumer travel booking tools (first-in-industry conversational trip itinerary-builder), and vendor booking marketplace and management interface. (Demo: sallysimms.com/buster)

  • Aligned team performance by introducing internal operations frameworks including OKRs, hiring protocol, cultural and operational norms, tools, and processes.

  • Overhauled brand messaging including narrative, voice, and visual style, wrote all product and marketing copy, and produced best-in-industry original marketing imagery.

GOOGLE, INC - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
FOUNDING TEAM, NEWS LAB AT GOOGLE
AUGUST 2014 TO FEBRUARY 2015

Founding member of Google's News Lab team, an international, cross-functional group that collaborates with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media from within Google.

  • Developed external brand identity and narrative for News Lab team, collaborating across product, marketing, sales, legal, and comms teams. Supported strategy development and managed budget during team’s start-up phase.

GOOGLE+ NEWS + MEDIA PARTNERSHIPS
OCTOBER 2012 TO AUGUST 2014

Created and led team strategy to scale Google+ activation in U.S. media industry from zero to reach 86% of top 200 media outlets on Google+, with 86% of those daily active and 64% engaging more deeply than daily posting.

Ideated, pitched, and launched highly-visible marketing and product partnerships reaching tens of millions in audience and hundreds of thousands of user actions (e.g. 22K original submissions to TIME’s #MyBeautifulEarth Google+ photo campaign). Secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in free advertising from top outlets (e.g. Vogue, the New Yorker, Time magazine, NPR) for Google+ programming, working with publishing exec teams.

  • Developed Google+ 101 trainings and digital “Partner Playbook” scaling Google+ content activation to 600+ major media outlets.

  • Created the first enterprise toolkit for Google+ publishing, the Google+ Partner Playbook and instructional GIF series for brands.

  • Led #Pridecast campaign and team from concept to execution, making New York's Pride March more accessible online. Program resulted in 60K+ user actions across platforms, positive press, 180M+ social impressions.

  • Pitched and managed product-driven TIME partnership on #MyBeautifulEarth program - a crowdsourced photo mosaic celebrating Earth Day. Program reached 1M+ site hits, 22K original social posts, 150M+ social impressions, saw positive press, and was promoted on the Google.com homepage, the NASDAQ screens in Times Square, and on TIME’s digital properties.

  • Led Vogue partnership for Hangout series on CFDA Fashion Fund featured on Vogue.com over 6 weeks.

  • Led partnership for Mashable’s highly successful journalistic crowdsourcing innovation project, creating a “Digital Bill of Rights” on Google+ and Google Docs tools. Announcement saw 5000 shares, and final “Bill” saw 3200 shares and 50+ collaborators.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS, GOOGLE+ MARKETING
NOVEMBER 2011 TO OCTOBER 2012

  • Led Google+ media outreach in NYC. Promoted to national Media Lead and national Strategy and Operations Team for team of ~100 after 7 months.

  • Developed and got buy-in on success metrics for national team of ~100 Google+ marketers after ~2 months at Google.

+ Earlier Experience

CORCORAN SUNSHINE MARKETING GROUP - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
SALES + MARKETING ASSISTANT
NOVEMBER 2010 TO NOVEMBER 2011

  • Scaled my own job. Initiated and completed development of assistant handbook and process frameworks, launched by C-suite to CS’s 20+ sales locations (encompassing a multi-billion-dollar portfolio).
  • Supported new company-wide CMS development and QA.

CAMPAIGN, MAIL AND DATA, INC. - FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA
SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER - PRODUCT
JULY - OCTOBER 2010

  • Created first scaled support documentation for product handling hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions.
  • Beta tested and advised on campaign fundraising management software in development phase.

PRINCE OF WALES INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LEADERS FORUM - LONDON, ENGLAND
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY RESEARCH INTERN
SUMMER 2007, SUMMER 2008

THINK LONDON
NORTH AMERICA TEAM RESEARCH INTERN
SUMMER 2006

+ Publications + Speaking

  • Speak and write on the future of work and talent, career development, and the future of transportation. Some past event partners include TEDx, UX Lab, and SheSays.
  • Teach classes introducing ethics in data and AI to professionals in related fields (e.g. talent, analytics, HR), partnering with organizations like the Association of Talent Development Professionals and The Conference Board.

    Links on my writing + speaking page.

EDUCATION

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA - CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA
MAJOR: FRENCH / MINOR: FOREIGN AFFAIRS
GRADUATED 2010

  • Dean’s List, 8 semesters

  • Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Member, Fall 2007-Spring 2010

  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Member, Fall 2007-Spring 2010

  • Alternative Spring Break – Treasure Beach, Jamaica, Site Leader, Spring 2009; Participant, Spring 2008

  • Delta Delta Delta, Beta Sigma Chapter, Licensing Chair, 2009; Member, Spring 2007 - Spring 2010

COURS DE CIVILISATION FRANÇAISE DE LA SORBONNE - PARIS, FRANCE
FRENCH LANGUAGE SUMMER SESSION, 2008

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD - OXFORD, ENGLAND
UVA IN OXFORD SUMMER PROGRAM, 2007

THOMAS JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
GRADUATED 2006

Community

  • Cofounded a femme founder mastermind group to share support with other early-stage entrepreneurs.

  • Host a monthly happy hour connecting people across tech, organizational design and innovation consulting, design/agencies, and more - because you meet so many people as a founder, it’d be a shame not to share that.

Activities + Interests

I'm an avid reader (primarily of fiction). I’m working on a sci-fi/futurist novel inspired by a trip to Oaxaca and the future of work (sounds weird but I promise it adds up). I’m an experienced flying trapeze artist and I’ve never spent an unhappy moment in hiking boots. I have boundless energy for dinner parties and flower arranging. I flip antique furniture from auctions for fun. (New York is a great market.) When I do karaoke, it's mostly Elvis and Lily Allen impressions. The cause I get the most excited about is improving education, and I believe in learning every day.