PEN Profile: Cassie Lancellotti-Young
Cassie Lancellotti-Young is Executive Vice President of Customer Success at Sailthru. She got her start as a data-driven, analytic thinker working as an investment banker at Citigroup, and made her first foray into the startup scene as a marketer at TheLadders. Since then, she’s held various marketing, analytics and general management roles, but she’s always remained true to her analytical roots and is one of the sharpest minds in the industry when it comes to data-driven growth and marketing.
Why I love the NYC Tech scene right now: What makes NYC so great is its cross-section of industry and function. I love the diversity of thought here that keeps things different and interesting every day. I spent a lot of time in the Bay Area during business school, working first at SapientNitro and then AOL. There, everything is tech-first, and you lose a little bit of the flavor that makes New York so interesting.
Biggest challenge you’ve overcome at Sailthru: Growing and, in some places, rebuilding a team that scales a company of 200 people. In figuring out how to grow and evolve our customer experience over the last 1.5 years, we had to undergo a bit of a paradigm shift, where we had to transform our hardworking generalist team into a more specialized operation. We did this by bringing in outside talent in director roles. But blending experienced new hires with great people on the existing team is a very delicate operation. The key here is to ensure that the new hires bring deep mentorship into their new roles so that the existing team still has strong development and growth opportunities.
What I’m best at: Taking data and telling a story with it. I’ve been working in NYC tech for the last 10 years, and everything I’ve done comes back to the skills I developed when I got my start on Wall Street, being knee-deep in numbers and financial statements. This metrics-driven approach has been a critical part of every role I’ve held.
How I keep my team engaged: I am extremely transparent, so anything I can share with my staff, I do. I do this in a couple ways: 1) Every Monday night, I send out a teamwide email summarizing what came out of our weekly executive meeting that morning - everything from key hires, strategic updates, etc.; 2) I hold weekly meetings with my direct staff to ensure collaboration among the various teams that roll up into me; 3) I hold a monthly state of the union with my whole team, covering a general Q&A and any topic du jour - budgeting, strategic planning, etc.; and 4) I hold monthly office hours, where anyone can book a 1:1 with me to ask questions or talk about what’s on their mind. My team appreciates the transparency, and it also rounds out their business skill set by getting access to all of that information. This is a skill I came to value/obsess over while working at TheLadders.
Other than mine, NYC tech company I most admire: One of the companies I’ve been watching closely is Flatiron Health. You don’t hear about too many healthcare-focused companies in NYC, and Flatiron is disrupting such an important field (oncology), so I’ve been consuming everything I can about it. On a more pragmatic note, I’ve become obsessed with the ride-sharing app Via.
Favorite business meal/drinks location: Alta in the West Village. It’s convenient and relatively low-key, which gives you an opportunity to escape the noise of the city. Their sangria is not to be overlooked, and tapas is always a fun way of sharing a meal and getting to know people better.