Hey, Doug! Cool nutcracker coffee mug you’ve got there. How do you take your java?
I like it strong, with a splash of unsweetened oat milk. The mug adds some holiday spirit, don’t you think?
Oat milk…so trendy! I’m sure you get this all the time, but you look really familiar.
I do get that from time to time. Before joining Cedar, I was actually a model for Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and several other brands, so that may be why. Modeling brought me to New York in 2002 but I eventually left that career path to attend the general studies program at Columbia University.
Love a good non-traditional career path. How did you go from modeling to health-tech start-up?
I’ve had an interest in entrepreneurship and technology for a long time and I began networking with people in the space while at Columbia. I met the founders of Cedar and what started as an informational meeting really piqued my interest. At the time, Cedar had just raised a round of seed funding and the focus on technology was appealing to me. The mission of the company also connected with me personally–my father had just survived a stroke several months earlier and had a bill sent to collections so I was helping my parents navigate that complex and frustrating situation. After my initial meeting with Florian, I expressed my interest in helping out and came on as a contractor while I finished my degree.
So, you have been at Cedar since nearly the very beginning and (in traditional start-up form) you’ve taken on whatever’s been thrown at you. Can you talk about how your role has changed over time?
Early stage company employees really need to be generalists. It’s important to bring in people who are willing to try new things, stretch into their roles and do a bit of everything. I started as an operations associate focused on product and market research, early people team-related items, and really doing anything that other team members were too busy to handle. I helped build out our first office on Crosby Street, operationalized the early people management function (setting up tools for recruiting, onboarding, helping establish the early culture, etc.), built out some of the initial marketing channels and laid the initial groundwork for our internal knowledge management system.
After we launched our first clients in late 2017, it quickly became apparent that there were heavy client support and resourcing gaps that we needed to fill. I liked the idea of being client-facing and jumped at the opportunity to build out the first stages of the implementation process to better address how we could effectively `stand-up` a client. Over time, we hired specialists to focus on the implementation phase and I transitioned to developing and maintaining our client relationships as an account manager.
Cedar’s account management function is extremely important to our success as an organization. Tell us a little bit about how you currently support Cedar’s clients and the impact you’ve had.
I’m the account manager for some of Cedar’s earliest client relationships. As part of a young organization with a product that addresses a widespread need across the healthcare vertical, my role is exciting because I work with our current clients to innovate and push the next wave of features and product advancement. Our clients are really innovation and thought partners, giving us feedback on their needs so that we can develop solutions to drive continued relevance and product-market fit. I also have the pleasure and opportunity to work with Cedar’s many talented engineers, insightful product managers, business operations specialists, marketing experts, and other amazing team members in meeting our clients’ current expectations and future product needs.
What’s been your favorite part of your Cedar experience? Any memories you can share?
Cedar’s product and new feature launches have been special. I still clearly remember the moment we literally ‘pushed the button’ to launch the first patient on our platform and the excitement that came with that kind of ‘go live’ moment.
Beyond that, my Cedar experience has been memorable because of the culture and the individuals that I get to work beside everyday. You have to derive value out of work beyond just material things. For me, the value I gain everyday comes from working with an amazing team that is focused on improving the patient healthcare experience.
Doug Pickett is an account management director at Cedar. He’s a transplant from North Carolina who now happily resides in New York with his wife, Whitney, and their dog, Gus. Prior to Cedar, Doug traveled the world working as a fashion model for 13+ years.
Interested in becoming a Cedarian? Check out our current openings.