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Introducing the RaiseMe Team’s WFH Series: Meet the Experts

Remote work best practices from RaiseMe’s full-time remote team members in our new WFH Series.

In the wake of the novel coronavirus, our RaiseMe team shifted to a fully remote work staff overnight. Luckily, a quarter of our team was already working remotely full time and were able to share their tips and tricks with the wider team. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share our WFH experts’ tips on everything from how to set up a productive home workspace to how our teams and ERGs have seamlessly scaled community-building efforts to a virtual setting.

WFH Series, Part 1 – Meet the Experts

RaiseMe HQ is located in California but we have team members scattered across 13 states from coast to coast. We know that our team’s diversity of regional perspectives helps us create a strong product for all students across the United States. 

Map of RaiseMe team's geographic distribution.
Check out all of the places where our Raisins call home.

Who are our Resident WFH Experts? 

Whitney Larimer's Headshot

Name: Whitney Larimer

Home base: Iowa

Team: Business Development

How long have you worked remotely? 5 years

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? Starting my day early and having the flexibility to jump back online late in the evening to respond to messages and Slack. I also work best independently. 


Tara Zirkel's headshot

Name: Tara Zirkel

Home base: Pennsylvania 

Team: Growth/Marketing – Community Colleges

How long have you worked remotely? Almost 2 years

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? I love the efficiency of not having to travel! In my prior life I commuted over two hours each day, so working remotely has given me back 10 hours a week of productivity.  


Ari M Gonzales' headshot

Name: Ari M Gonzales

Home base: Arizona

Team: Partner Success

How long have you worked remotely? 1 year

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? My favorite part about working remotely is the work-life balance and control that I feel it gives me. I feel like I can split time between my day to day family/ personal obligations as well as dedicating the appropriate time to work. I like to do different things each day, I’ve learned that I appreciate not feeling like I’m trapped in a boring routine so I like to find things to do like walking the dog in between calls/ meetings, taking breaks by calling a family member or even finding classes (hard to do now with COVID-19) to participate in, in the community to keep myself busy, like a yoga class or community service. I have the luxury of a back yard so if I have an extended reading or boring manual task I often take that outside and work from the yard. 


Kendall Ellexson's headshot

Name: Kendall Ellexson

Home base: Oklahoma

Team: Partner Success

How long have you worked remotely? 6 years 

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? After many years of commuting it is still so lovely to have that time back, especially in the morning. 


Jennifer Kanellis' headshot

Name: Jenn Kanellis

Home base: New Jersey

Team: Partner Success

How long have you worked remotely? 2.5 years

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? No commute!


Wendy Vinson's headshot

Name: Wendy Vinson

Home base: South Carolina

Team: Business Development

How long have you worked remotely? 8 months

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? Flexibility – doing laundry while working instead of having to wait until the weekend to do all my housework.


Lyquaia Purcell's Headshot.

Name: Lyquaia Purcell

Home base: Georgia

Team: Partner Success

How long have you worked remotely? I’ve worked remotely in 3 different roles so 5 years total

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? Lighting candles, playing my music as loud as I want (no need for headphones), dressing as comfortable as my heart desires, and zero interruptions when I really need to hunker down.


Julia Adams' Headshot

Name: Julia Adams

Home base: Washington

Team: Partner Success

How long have you worked remotely? Since 2014!

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? Getting to see my family throughout the day.


Laura Kalinkewicz's Headshot

Name: Laura R Kalinkewicz

Home base: California 

Team: Business Development

How long have you worked remotely? 5 years!

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? Flexibility, uninterrupted time to focus on projects at my own pace.


Nicole Sonaike's Headshot.

Name: Nicole Sonaike

Location: Texas

Team: Partner Success

How long have you worked remotely? A total of about 3 years in different roles.

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? Flexibility. It’s nice to grab groceries on my lunch break or throw something in the washing machine between meetings. My husband works nights half of the month and I never saw him those days when I worked on campus. 


Jaymee Griffin's Headshot

Name: Jaymee Griffin

Home base: Pennsylvania

Team: Growth/Marketing – Community Colleges 

How long have you worked remotely? Since December 2019; And one job prior where I worked remotely for maybe 3-4 months.

What’s your favorite part of working remotely? I like being able to work with people from all across the country. It gives great perspective to regions and how different states and areas are managing the education space. I also love being able to have heads-down work blocks where I am uninterrupted to do projects. 


Over the course of our WFH series, we’ll hear from our WFH experts and share other tips and updates from the RaiseMe team. Check out our team’s Top Tips for Working from Home.

Want to learn more about working at RaiseMe? Check out our jobs page.

First and foremost, Mariah really loves snacks. She also loves people. She is a Teach for America alum turned ed-tech People Operations Manager with a side hustle co-leading RaiseMe’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy & programming.

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