Welcoming Forrest Sears to the UpKeep family as our Revenue Manager!!
Finally, for our FIFTH new hire this week, we have Forrest Sears!! Forrest is joining our emerging People and Finance Team as our Revenue Manager. We’re thrilled to have him onboard, building out this function and this team! Welcome Forrest!!!
We’re excited to welcome you to the UpKeep family, Forrest! Tell us a little about yourself.
I suppose I’ll start this with, my name is Michael Forrest Sears, however I go by Forrest. I am 31 years old.I was Born in CA, (which may explain why i was drawn back here) and grew up in Seattle, WA. I lived in the Pacific Northwest until college, for which I moved to Boston, MA. I have lived in CA for the last 9 years, bouncing around from San Diego to San Francisco, back to San Diego and now LA! I have worked for one other startup (Fivestars Loyalty), and I was there for 4.5 years. A little about my personal life, I am a proud dog dad to Rainier. I am an avid basketball fan, and tried to play as often as I could (before the world temporarily closed down). I look forward to getting back out there. I’m hoping UpKeep has a Pick Up Basketball channel, if not I plan to create one 🙂
How did you first get into Finance?
The first job I had out of college was working for Bank of America. I thoroughly enjoyed the finance/operations aspect of the position; but after almost four years, I was itching to work for a tech company! I eventually quit my job at BofA and moved to San Francisco with the hopes to work for a tech company in the bay! I started my tech-career as a Sales Rep at Yelp, and transitioned to Fivestars about a year later. When I joined Fivestars, I came onboard as a Sales Rep and quickly transitioned to the billing/finance team (ask me why one-day and I’ll share, it’s a funny story). It was that position where I saw the complexities of billing/revenue-operations of a SaaS company. Learning how to build and manage these systems really peaked my interest into Rev-Ops. The billing team is like a hub for any company, you work with almost all customer-facing departments, and need to be flexible while maintaining structured processes at the same time, you get to work interdepartmentally while being able to build/implement workflow and own system infrastructure at the same time! Now, with that being said, who wouldn’t want to work in finance? 🙂
Why are you excited to join UpKeep?
Fivestars was my first operations job in Tech. Taking a look back at my time there, I would categorize my position in three-stages, (outlined below). The second stage was by-far the most difficult part of my job, but was also the most fun!
- Learning/Foundation – learning the company systems and how all pieces fit together.
- Building out systems/infrastructure – enhancing current systems, enabling automation allowing ease of use for the organization.
- Ongoing System Management – making sure systems are running smoothly.
Having worked at Fivestars for almost 5 years and as we became more established, towards the end of time at FS, my job consisted of ongoing management. Our processes were already set, and there was much less focus on scalability, which was comfortable for me. When I learned that UpKeep was looking to implement an ERP, I was super excited for the opportunity to be a part of that build! Doing this the first time, it was a rough path with a ton of highs & lows. As we move forward, I expect this to be similar as there is no clear road to success and Implementing an ERP will take problem solving, diligence and numerous hours of cross functional collaboration. Though I expect a rough road ahead, i’m excited to get back in the trenches with a new team to help build this from the ground up!!
What are your first thoughts about the culture and team so far?
I worked remote in my last position, and I held multiple meetings with my team to capture as much FaceTime as possible. I have been very impressed with UpKeep’s ability to put together such a comprehensive remote onboarding experience. There has been clear communication along with clear expectations on what is required of us! Everyone has been so welcoming, I can not wait to meet everyone in person.
We have to know – what have been the coolest places you’ve gone scuba diving? Where’s next on the bucket list?
Bonaire was my first dive and probably my most eye opening, now that very well may be because it was my first time seeing everything underwater which is an amazing experience. Thailand was a close second. Bucket list would be to complete the Blue Hole in Belize!
And finally, most importantly, what would you be if you were a kitchen utensil?
I was asked this on my first day, I panicked and chose a can-opener. The more I think about the choice, the more it makes sense. Billing is a very specific department, and you need to have someone that can help problem solves, so in this metaphor, billing issues are the can and I am the opener!
To learn more about our current openings, visit www.onupkeep.com/careers!