Name: Greg Phelps
Occupation: Director of Sales and Marketing, CAIRS Solutions
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.
My career is divided into three parts. The first thirteen years, I wrote and performed stand-up comedy. It taught me a lot about believing in myself. I learned that perseverance pays off. I evolved marketing pieces and strategies and evolved as a writer. Toward the end of my career, I learned of the power of the internet.
I spent the next 13 years in sales and marketing for digital media companies. Early on, I began to leverage technology to drive down production costs. Then I assembled people or companies associated with different technologies and they became team members or vendors.
Mark Livings, our CEO, and I went to college together. He told me about CAIRS and the adoption software his team had created. One of my clients, Kirsh & Kirsh, is an adoption law firm. I mentioned Childconnect to them. That started a larger conversation with Mark. I came on board about a month later wearing the sales and marketing hat. That was 2012.
Take us through an average workday for you.
My first task is to launch our social media posts for the day. Those posts display adoption profiles. Next, I’ll follow up on anything from the previous day. This could include meeting with other company executives or collaborating with our head copywriter, Colin, on a marketing campaign. He writes the content, I design the piece in Creative Suite. Some of the pieces we use in email blasts, other pieces we mail or take to adoption conferences.
In the afternoons, I’ll concentrate on working with our technology, like updating our CRM, purchasing URLS or coordinating a website build. I also use the afternoons to follow up with clients/agencies, build proposals for potential clients or follow up with our Family Marketing team and troubleshoot with them.
What is your workspace setup like? Do you have a picture? It’s okay if it’s a little messy!
My workspace is pretty simple. It’s an office with a desk and computer. I have photos, paintings and illustrations in frames on the wall. I have a Moose antler that I found in Alaska. Behind my door, I have a backpack for my computer. Behind my desk, I have a stack of artwork from previous marketing campaigns.
What is your best time-saving hack? Or just life hack, in general?
If I don’t know how to do something, I look it up on YouTube.
What apps or software do you rely upon on a daily basis?
- Microsoft Office
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Google Docs
Who are the people on your team who help you get things done? How do you rely on them?
Really, I rely on everyone here at CAIRS. Each person has a different skill set. Without them, we wouldn’t be in business.
- I rely on Mark Livings to evolve our products and to lead the development team to build them
- I rely on Kim Noeth to serve our adoptive parents. Kim’s been with our team the longest and has really helped us evolve our Family Marketing program.
- I rely on Colin Cummins to collaborate with on our marketing and to lead our writing team. He brings fresh ideas and valuable insight. He’s upbeat and a cool office partner.
- I rely on Mark Hurt to manage the adoption profile design process. He prints our adoption profiles. He’s a cool office mate.
- I rely on Gina to add her insight as a Birth mom and to continue to provide adoptive parents with great adoption profile writing.
- I rely on Bidisha and her team to keep up with the latest trends in Google advertising.
Without them, we wouldn’t have such a high success rate. She manages the team that builds websites for our birth mother marketing campaigns.
How do you keep track of all your tasks? How do you optimize your time each day?
I have a note pad full of lists and set reminders in Outlook.
How do you recharge outside of work?
I exercise early in the morning. I listen to guided meditation. That’s consistent throughout the year. Aside from that, it depends on the season. Our yard is my sanctuary. We have a great patio surrounded with ornamentals and perennials. I like to relax out there or work in the yard. We grow fruits and vegetables. I make jam and can the veggies. I love to slalom ski and backpack. I also like IndyCar. My family goes to the Indy 500 in May and my wife and I go to the St. Pete Grand Prix in March.
Are you working on any side projects right now? Do you have any other passions that you pursue outside of work? My wife and I are rehabbing a cottage that was built in the 1930s. It’s one property away from a place my grandfather built in 1960. They are on a lake in Northern Indiana. My family has been going there for five generations. I’m also the Vice President of the Board for the Indianapolis Ballet. I help guide their branding and marketing efforts.
What are you currently reading? (Or listening to? If you’re into podcasts) I listen to a handful of podcasts: This American Life, Freakonomics Radio, The Ted Radio Hour, The Moth, This week in IndyCar with Marshall Pruett, Trackside with Kavin and Kevin.
What is the best single piece of advice someone has ever given you and why? I believe in the saying, “When one door closes, another one opens.” I know it’s true. That’s how I came to work with CAIRS. I don’t just mean the conversations with Mark. My career course is a path through doors opening at just the right time. The skills I learned before coming to CAIRS are the result of doors opening. I’ve taught my girls that lesson and I see it happen for them too.