Meet Tari Shear, our Office and Community Manager, who wears a lot of hats here at Kepler. Find out how her journey at Kepler began and how it has transformed into various different things.
How long have you been at Kepler? And what do you do here?
I have been at Kepler since July of 2018, back when we were just a handful of folks sitting around in one room together. My role has morphed into many different things, as you’d expect from an operations based role in a company growing nearly ten times its size in just three years. My title was office manager, which has encompassed being an accountant, supply chain facilitator, executive assistant, culture champion, payroll administrator, event planner, interior decorator, and more. I recently got a title change to include the word community in my title, to better encompass my heavy focus on building culture and bridging the remote employees with our in-office employees.
What does a usual day look like for you?
This does not exist. (laughing) I don’t have a usual day! I have never had a day that went as I thought it was going to or is the same as any other day. A lot of being an office manager is reactive work, so you have to react to facilities issues, for example, that you couldn’t have predicted. I would say 50% of the usual day is spent on longer term projects like employment branding or business continuity, and 50% is putting out fires.
How did you get into this job in the first place? Any previous career path, experiences, interests that led you here?
I worked in finance for many years before completely transitioning into the restaurant industry, which meant I have a solid background in a very corporate space, as well as the soft skills from a very fast paced, intense space. One thing that almost every company I have worked for has in common is growth. And I started to see a trend where I was really attracted to working at startups. When I was ready to transition away from the restaurant industry, I knew I wanted to still be involved in innovation, and that exciting growth mentality.
What makes you passionate about this role?
Office management is an interesting job because it’s a lot about taking a back seat and not the limelight. If you’re successful at what you’re doing, no one will notice you. And I am happiest when I can see that people are able to successfully do their jobs and feel supported, and that they have total job satisfaction. The goal to help others achieve success is my passion in both life and at work. And obviously our mission is exciting, and I believe so whole heartedly in what we’re doing!
Do you have one favorite part of the Kepler culture?
Because I’ve been here for so long, I’ve seen the parts of the culture that have changed and the parts that stay consistent. I would say my favorite part of the culture is the acceptance and celebration of individuality and sense of self. Even as we continue to grow. We aren’t trying to make a culture where we all fit into the same box, and I think we’re succeeding at that.
Is there an achievement you’re proudest of here at Kepler?
The introduction of the values as a core part of Kepler’s operations and the value recognition program. I think it has set the tone for peer recognition. It set a foundation to strive for.
Which Kepler value resonates most with you? And what does that mean for you?
I think that “Speak up and listen” for me is so meaningful as a core value. It’s acknowledging the power of every voice being heard. Sometimes I think people can doubt themselves when saying something against the grain or experimental. But this is what makes brainstorming successful, and reminding ourselves that it’s actually valued to say something and to actively listen to a thought that might be different than ours is what makes us innovative.
What qualities do you look for and what do you value most in team members?
Working with intelligent people has always been something I value. I learned so much about all aspects of work and life from my coworkers. There’s this constant hunger for learning, and it’s infectious. I walk away from a lot of meetings reevaluating my own thought process. Being challenged every day gives you a total rush.
What are you excited for in the future of Kepler?
I’m super excited for the upcoming year and some of the attention and focus being paid to our amazing benefits and perks. I think the office is going to change a lot as we continue to grow, and that’s super exciting to see.
Do you have a favorite space movie or TV show franchise?
My very first email address was Princess Leia themed. I paid $250 to see the Phantom Menace two days before it was widely released. And I had a letter published in People magazine about my complete adoration for Harrison Ford. So I would say it’s pretty obvious.