Continuing on our Silverline Office Tour, our next stop is Chicago. Four Silverliners — Scott Rojas, Lizz Hellinga, Andy Mack, and Thomas Lentz — took a break from their busy days to share what it’s like to work in the windy city.
First things first: Who are you and how long has Chicago been your home?
- Scott Rojas: I’m a Portfolio/Delivery Director for client services. I’ve lived in the Chicago area for the last 20 years. It’s great that not only does Silverline promote working remotely, but that we do have a Chicago office to leverage as well. It is nice to be able to connect with colleagues in person every once in awhile.
- Lizz Hellinga: I’m a Sales Effectiveness Manager, and I was born in the suburbs of Chicago.
- Andy Mack: I’m an Engagement Manager who wound up in Chicago due to a job transfer.
- Thomas Lentz: I’m the Director of Mortgage & Lending solutions, and a member of our Industry Solutions Center of Excellence. I’m local. Most of my extended family came and settled in the Chicago area in the early 1900s and I’ve lived here my whole life, even venturing as far as Naperville for college.
Why is Chicago important for Silverline?
- Scott: Chicago is the fourth largest market, and there’s a large push to become the tech hub of the Midwest. The city is making a large investment in helping smaller tech companies, and many larger companies are starting to move back into the city from the suburbs. Finally, Salesforce is increasing their footprint in Chicago with a new tower right on the River, so Salesforce sees growth in Chicago, which will mean growth for Silverline in Chicago as well.
- Lizz: It’s a central location for clients, Salesforce has a large presence, and we are able to recruit talented Silverliners from the rich pool of talent here.
Tell me about the coworking space.
- Scott: I love the coworking space that we have in Chicago. I was just there last week, and there were 6 of us in the office, and it was nice to have some conversations and connect with others. Plus, Industrious (our coworking space) has a lot of activities in the office and breakfast available each morning, which is nice.
- Thomas: For our hub space, it’s wonderful to get out of the house for a bit and into the office to see everyone in person.
And what about your home offices?
- Thomas: I have this amazing sit/stand desk and a couple of monitors that make it very easy to have conference calls and collaborate. I really like how I’ve managed the setup. The fact that I’m so accessible to my family is really the most appealing thing to me.
- Andy: Standup desk with dual monitors, view of the yard through a window, a fireplace for winter time and a large flat screen for entertainment. I get to work in the walkout basement of my house.
- Lizz: Laptop, additional screen, pics of family, and Salesforce swag.
What does a typical day look like for you?
- Scott: A typical day for me would be split between client meetings, and meetings with our client service managers to discuss how we are managing our engagements, while also working with our client services leadership team on how we can continue to improve our delivery approach for our clients.
- Thomas: If I’m not traveling, I typically start with meetings early in the morning, customer calls, team stand-ups, etc. In the afternoon, I have more meetings or I’ll block time to do work.
- Andy: Generally it’s wake up, work out, get to the computer, and work. Working remotely is great fun as each day is a bit different depending on the family dynamic at home (we have a 10-year-old and an eight-year-old). I love that I am able to be at home with my family and not waste time commuting.
What advice do you have for someone visiting Chicago?
- Lizz: Chicago is not as windy as people perceive it to be! The Art Institute is my favorite place to spend an afternoon, andI like to enjoy a meal or beverage along one of the riverwalk restaurants.
- Thomas: I think people are always shocked when they visit and the weather is nice. Aside from the winter and a few choice weeks in each season, the weather can be pretty amazing in Chicago. The thing I’ve found that is unique to Chicago is the mindset. It’s a We can do it, we can solve any problem mindset, especially when traffic or snow related.
- Scott: And it’s so clean! If you are used to New York, you will think Chicago is spotless for a large major city; the downtown is very well kept and clean. For what someone should try to see, I would recommend going out to Navy Pier, see the museum campus (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium) as well as the art museum. You must go to Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), and must walk down Michigan Ave. to shop The Magnificent Mile.
- Andy: Take the architectural tour on the river. You’ll learn so much.