President Grace Keith Rodriguez and Culture Manager Kate Forster sat down for a chat…

Grace: As our Culture Manager, how do you think of Culture at Caliber and what do you want to encourage about our culture?

Kate: There is so much about our culture that I want to nurture and make sure “lives on” no matter when or where. 

So I don’t write a novel, I’ll give you my top three:

  1. Caliber’s Monthly Mentorship Program – mentorship has always been a huge focus for me both personally and professionally. I made it a point along my professional journey to seek out mentorship from the right people at the right time. For instance, during a career pivot years ago, I joined PRSA-NY and immediately introduced myself to the head of the mentorship program, Mr. Ken Jacobs, who took me under his wing and helped me grow as a communicator, networker, writer and in many other ways.
  2. Caliber’s Health & Wellness Package – I have never worked for a company that not only provides health insurance, but also a monthly health and wellness allowance for employees to use on anything that means wellness to us.
  3. Caliber’s commitment to our continued learning – having recently worked in the human capital industry, I’ve been well-versed in the importance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training for teams. Being able to recognize and mitigate unconscious bias is very important to me. I was very impressed when Keesa Schreane joined us for a DE&I learning session. My knowledge at the time was specific to the neurological components of mitigating bias. Keesa really expanded my understanding about how to focus on instilling compassion into company culture to promote DE&I.

Grace: How have you seen corporate culture evolve in a virtual environment and how do you think it has changed for the future because of this?

Kate: I believe shifting to a fully virtual environment has brought many benefits to Caliber employees including our dedicated efforts to keep our teammates engaged (and having fun!). We’ve added more Lunch & Learns, increased our employees’ WFH budgets and expanded our Health & Wellness offerings. 

I have noticed that working in a virtual environment has really brought the team closer together (ironically!). One observation I’ve made is that working remotely in essence lets others see more deeply into our lives. Just think of a toddler running around in the background during a video call or a puppy whining for attention. Having others witness these parts of our daily lives encourages a type of vulnerability which brings people closer. The more we understand each other (and the larger picture of our lives) the closer knit we become.

Grace: We talk a lot about supporting our team from a professional capacity as well as personal in our conversations each week. What role do you think a company should play in supporting an employee’s professional and personal development?

Kate: I believe the role a company plays in an employee’s personal and professional development is paramount. I know that I want to be the best version of myself as possible and I suspect others do, too. Our dedication to continuously helping our teammates grow is a huge part of why our employees are top notch. We hire people who are open to (and value) mentorship – and I may be biased, but I think we are the best kind 🙂

Grace: What inspires you about your work at Caliber? What is it that gives you the jolt of energy (aside from coffee of course)?

Kate: So much of my work gives me jolts of energy and enthusiasm! I’m going to start with the very first jolt of energy I experienced at Caliber. It was during my very first conversation with Harvey Hudes. It was an exploratory conversation during which I came prepared with a list of what I am good at, what I am not good at, and why. The ability to be 100% honest about my skill set and interests completely set Harvey apart from any other business owner I have ever worked with – and once I joined the team it was 100% clear that this wasn’t just Harvey’s style – it is the culture of the entire company. 

For the first time in my professional life I felt a deep sense of excitement to hit the ground running with the confidence that I could not only be myself (I have a pretty exuberant personality!), but most importantly dig into work that truly excites me every single day. 

As Caliber’s Culture Manager, I find great joy in helping you and Harvey manage all of the benefits you’ve put in place for our team. From our Health & Wellness benefits to our Monthly Mentoring Program and so many more. I really enjoyed flexing my design muscles on this Caliber benefits slide as I’ve always been interested in leaning more into design.

We’re looking for talented Fintech PR storytellers. Are you one? Check out our open positions.