From a young age, Mike was destined to have a career in sales. He started his first business at the age of 10 by creating a lawn mowing company where he lived. On Mike’s first day, he attracted 6 customers, and kept mowing their lawns until he left for college, at which point he passed ownership on to another kid. Listening, having a genuine desire to help others, and building relationships with others, as well as inspiration from his college professor are the core components that led Mike to pursue a career in sales.
As someone who values hard data and analytics, it was only natural for Mike to start his employment with marketing technology. Along his career journey he turned his focus towards SaaS and accepted a leadership role at a company that worked with virtual interviewing, recruiting chatbots and AI assessments. From there an appreciation for AI was formed. It was at this point that Appen approached Mike and asked him to come work for us! A month later, our new leader of the America’s team was hired. He considers one of his greatest career achievements was when his entire team achieved club status.
Mike was born in New Jersey but grew up in Indiana. He went to college in Ohio and now lives in Michigan with his wife and their two children. His college claim to fame was creating a hockey program at his school where he received a Bachelor of Science in business administration. When he’s not at work he’s either spending time with his kids at their dance recitals and soccer matches or spending time with his wife and their friends. When asked what he predicts his future will hold he said that he’ll still need coffee everyday and his kids will continue to be smarter than him. Sounds like a safe prediction to us.
Mike + Appen: The Future is Bright
In his time here, Mike built and launched a new enterprise business development strategy that has proven highly effective. It improved alignment and focus for both resources and investments which has directly resulted in revenue growth. When asked what type of leader he felt he was here at Appen, Mike’s answer was servant. He chose this, because to him it means listening, and genuinely caring about empowering his team to thrive. To him it means taking a lot of action and challenging the status quo a bit to remove barriers. This is combined with recruiting and hiring a team of diverse people to encourage new thoughts and ideas. With everything combined, new levels of success are achieved, and valuable insights are gained through those wins and losses.
Since joining Appen, Mike has gained an even deeper appreciation for AI. He finds the diversity of data collection use cases to be extremely fascinating, especially that Appen is able to execute them across the board. It’s what inspires and excites him to come to work each day. What Mike values most about Appen is their expertise, crowd, and technology that is used to enable the worlds most innovative AI and ML platforms, all while continuing to attract new innovators to trust Appen with their projects.
Thoughts on the Future of Tech
To Mike, technology isn’t overhyped. While he agrees that these new technological innovations tend to get characterized as being exaggerated at launch, they eventually become the norm once society learns to accept it. An added bonus is that he knows how Appen helps these companies create these new products by helping them with their lifecycle development, and other data related needs. One big technological advancement that Mike is eagerly awaiting to happen is self-driving vehicles. It clearly gives off a “this is the future…literally” vibe, which he finds extremely fascinating. Once self-driving vehicles become the norm you can bet he will be taking his first of many driverless rides, with a tightly fastened seatbelt of course. With the way technology is developing in this field, this will happen very soon.
We’re delighted to have you as our VP for the Enterprise Sales division. We couldn’t be prouder to share all the successes you’ve had thus far, and know you’ll help us take our mission of making AI data better to the next level.