“Employees are able to thrive to a much larger degree when they feel like partners; partners in the vision, the challenges, the decision-making, and, of course, in the success. When employees feel their opinions matter and management really takes the time to listen and implement, they tend to thrive. I’ve always requested of everyone in my companies to share their candid thoughts with me, especially when they think differently. I believe I am here to help them grow and succeed with their tasks and not the other way around, as some managers may think.”
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I am a tech entrepreneur with experience in big data and high throughput analytics. Prior to Belong, I founded three companies and transformed them from ideas into successful businesses and exits. The “backstory” behind Belong is, unfortunately, one of personal loss. My grandfather and aunt both lost their battles to cancer, and three years ago, the genesis of this venture took place. I had a conversation with friends about our mutual experiences and losses to cancer and the idea came to me: What if instead of investing in developing faster computers or new financial analytics, we apply our skills to change the way patients and physicians manage their cancer journey, to make it more manageable and effective. Today I’m proud to report that Belong.life is the world’s fastest-growing and largest mobile social network for cancer patients and caregivers.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The most emotional and satisfying moment was the first time a Belonger (a cancer patient who uses the Belong app) wrote us a heartfelt thank you note, saying that Belong saved his life. The young man was being treated for a cancer he didn’t have, and he realized this with the help of our app! Even the toughest members of our team were in tears that day.