Our “People POS” series shines a spotlight on colleagues who help bring Revel’s client-first business approach to life. In our previous installment in the series, we featured Mac White, a director of software development who helps define Revel’s technical vision and roadmap.
People like Mac work with a variety of teams to help get projects over the finish line, including our project management team. That’s where Barbie Taylor steps in. As the director of project management, Barbie helps gather the right minds within Revel’s walls to shepherd major projects from inception to completion.
Revel’s Marketing Communications Manager Julie Standridge sat down with Barbie for a Q&A session and more insights into the professional making and role of a director of project management. Read on for a deep dive into Barbie’s background and her current role at Revel.
(Q): I’m excited to get to chat with you today, Barbie. Let’s get started with an easy question. What is your title here at Revel and how long have you been with the company?
(A): I am currently the director of project management and I've been at Revel since November, 2020.
(Q): You’re based remotely and were hired during the pandemic. Tell me a bit more about what it’s been like to onboard with Revel remotely.
(A): That’s right, I’m based in Lubbock, TX, although I recently had the chance to visit Revel’s headquarters and meet a lot of the faces I’ve gotten to know virtually. It was such a nice experience and I loved having the chance to meet my colleagues in-person.
Getting hired remotely wasn’t new to me, so I like to think it was an easier transition. I worked remotely for another company for eight years. Also, because I started during the height of the pandemic and the company was remote, everyone else was forced to adjust to working from home as well. So we were all in the same boat figuring it out together. I think working remotely is a lot easier than it used to be just because it’s the new norm now.
(Q): Let’s take a few steps back from your current role at Revel. Can you tell me about a few of your career stepping stones, and how you landed in the field of project management?
(A): I have a degree in hospitality management and I went to work for a hotel company as a manager in training after college. I was doing accounting and auditing work and quickly realized that wasn’t something I enjoyed, so I switched into a front office role. At that point, I moved to Grand Rapids, MI and I was the front office manager at a hotel for many years.
My husband worked in the restaurant industry, and when we got married we soon found ourselves working opposite shifts. It sunk in, more than ever before, that hotels never close. I knew I wanted to have the opportunity to work a more “9 to 5” job.
That’s when I went to work for a software company as a client relations manager. I ended up working there for 16 years and ventured from client relations to management support roles; I held a lot of different roles within that company. That’s where I met Leslie Leaf—who is Revel’s Chief Customer Officer today—and worked for her.
(Q): Wow—what an interesting career shift! I would assume the hospitality world is very different from the software world. Did you find any skill set similarities that helped you succeed?
(A): My role at the software company consisted of handling a lot of different client situations and escalation cases. Oddly enough, in the hotel world you’re having to do a lot of the same. The adjustment really was just from a schedule perspective, but I was also learning a lot more about software and how the technical world worked.
I’ve never been extremely technical myself, but I appreciate the challenge of learning as I go. I’m always picking up new technical skills that help me communicate even more effectively with the teams I work with today.
(Q): So it sounds like you came full circle when you joined Revel, is that right?
(A): That’s right. When I left that role I got my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and then had a couple of project management roles before Leslie approached me with the position I have today. At the time, it was a new position for the company and it was a go to market (GTM) project management role. The Revel team was growing, and was ready to have someone focused solely on managing our major GTM projects.
(Q): Tell me a bit more about your current role today.
(A): As I gradually got more and more involved with other teams, I eventually got pulled in to help with a lot of the strategic corporate projects, so my role became more than a GTM project manager. Today, in addition to GTM project management, I also help manage our business readiness unit. This team ensures that, with all of the projects we have going on, the business is prepared and that all of our different functional teams have a voice in the prioritization of those projects.
On a day-to-day basis, I’m really focused on how I can effectively manage my time, my team’s time, and the timelines of our various projects. I was an individual contributor when I first started at Revel, but after being promoted in April to director of project management, I will now be managing a team. I’m excited about what’s to come.
(Q): What other teams within Revel do you collaborate with on a daily basis?
(A): I’m constantly chatting with product managers and project owners for GTM activities. Our corporate systems team is also involved in pretty much every project because there is almost always a systems update required for us to complete the initiative at hand.
I also have the opportunity to collaborate with talented individuals on our operations and fulfillment, payment operations, and customer success teams. Our support operations team is key because they write a lot of the documentation for us, and our content support team helps us communicate changes with our client base.
Oh, and our marketing, learning and education, sales operations, and finance teams are also all critical to the work I do. As you can see, I work and collaborate with a lot of folks and I couldn’t do my job without them!
(Q): It sounds like you’ve had the chance to work with some talented colleagues here at Revel. On that note, what’s kept you at Revel for nearly two years?
(A): It’s cliché to say the people, but they are really the reason.
I recently got to meet a bunch of team members at our headquarters in Atlanta, GA, and then got to spend even more time with some during the Revel Performance Club trip. Despite joining the company during the height of the pandemic and in a fully remote role, it felt like everyone was a dear friend upon meeting them.
The relationships that I’ve built even in a remote environment—it’s been a great experience. I think it just goes back to the culture at Revel; the company is really focused on its people.
(Q): Can you tell me about a project at Revel that you got to work on and are really proud of?
(A): We have a big strategic partnership and I had the opportunity to help from a project management perspective. Knowing we were working with a large company on the other side, we had a really tight timeline that we set for ourselves. We were small fish in a big pond, if you will. We had to control what we could control in our little box and really drive the conversation.
The project has since moved over to our program management team, but we accomplished a ton of great work. In the six to eight months that I was engaged, I’m proud of the work that we did so quickly and effectively.
(Q): When you’re not managing GTM projects at Revel, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
(A): I’m a wife and a mom to two boys who are 15 and 18 years old. Our family has also been very involved with Boy Scouts of America, where I volunteer at the unit level with the youth and at the council and national levels.
Highly collaborative teammates like Barbie are the reason Revel drives iterative GTM products over the finish line.
Speaking of major projects, Revel’s 2.74 app release is right around the corner! For a full listing of the 2.74 functionality, check out our 2.74 overview article. We hope you enjoy the latest features and enhancements available with this release.