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Managing Teams and Living on 3 Different Continents!

Posted by Sonya Hoshmand

With this new blog series, we take an inside look at Givex and the people behind the technology created to streamline your operations!

Here is our Hong Kong Project Manager, Emily James:

January 2020 marks 10 years (total) working for Givex. Working for Givex has involved me taking on roles in multiple departments, managing teams, working on my own, and living in 3 different continents.

I started working at Givex HQ (Toronto) in 2006, a couple of years after I had graduated from university. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at the time but had lots of sales experience from working in retail to pay for my education. A recruiter found my CV online, and I just like that I was hired as a Business Development Manager, my first real corporate job. Approximately 50 people were working for Givex at the time.

In my BDM role, I found I wasn’t very good at finding new clients and selling our products to them. I was much better working with, and upselling to our existing clients, so after a short time of working in sales, I was moved to a Client Relations Manager role. I was working with some of our biggest clients in Canada on their gift card projects, promotions, and card production orders. This role allowed me to expand my skills on how to manage projects, manage my time, and manage my client’s expectations. I also quickly learned how to work with the different departments within Givex – from Implementations to R&D to QA to Media – and I was learning new things every day about how the Givex system functions. It was exciting working with recognizable clients and saw the tangible results of my efforts.

In 2008, I was asked to switch roles and build up a new team in a new department – Program Administration & Control. This was one of my biggest challenges – I was managing a team in a corporate environment for the first time and starting a new department with new processes from scratch. It was a tough journey, and I worked lots of extra hours as I needed to understand how our system works to support the clients and my team. I managed this team for about a year before I made yet another move – this time, to Hong Kong.

I opened the Givex Hong Kong office in 2009 as a regional Operations Director. I had never been to Hong Kong before but was excited at the change. Givex had acquired a local company, and it was my job to incorporate the team members into the Givex culture and train them on our systems. I mostly worked on implementations of clients in Australia, as at the time, we did not have any implementation team members outside of Toronto and the UK. It was just me and regular conference calls at night with our implementation team members in Toronto when I needed help.

In 2010, our Australia operations were expanding quickly, and there was a need for local support. I moved from Hong Kong in late 2010 to work from our office in Sydney. I was there for 8 months but decided to move on from Givex and moved back to Hong Kong in 2011.

Fast forward to January 2015, and I came back to Givex in Hong Kong as a Project Manager. I got back into the Givex groove quite quickly and was very happy to have our proprietary task management tools back in my life. Our client base in Asia and Hong Kong had grown in the 4 years I was gone from Givex, and I started working on implementations for well-known brands in the Asia Pacific. I even moved back to Sydney for 3 months in 2017 to work on a big migration project for our largest client in Australia.

My journey with Givex is not a typical one, but it shows what can happen when you work hard, have an open mind, strive for success, and have a supportive team behind you. I have been able to see different parts of the world and work with clients of all shapes and sizes in my various roles, and I look forward to continuing on this path with Givex.


Interested to start a career with us? Come see what we have to offer!



Another Employee Highlight Blog: Overcoming Obstacles in a New Market Dynamic!

maria 2

I’ve been with Givex for eleven years now, and it seems like it was just yesterday when I landed in São Paulo to start the Givex Brazil business. At the time, it was a brand-new market in a country filled with a lot of challenges to overcome. Looking back, it’s pretty incredible to see how we’ve positioned ourselves as a leader in the industry alongside building a strong reputation and trust in the market.

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