29 Apr

Celebrating 5 Years: Ryan Kelly

Today we are celebrating another five year work anniversary, Ryan Kelly, Senior UX Designer. Ryan has been a critical part of our UX team for the last 5 years, sleighing any UX task that comes before him, and known for his friendly, upbeat personality. He’s also a talented illustrator, often seen with a sketchbook in his hands, doodling or drafting up the next logo or practicing his hand lettering. Check out this graphic for more info about Ryan, and read our incredible interview:


 

 

1: What do you like most about working at 11P? Simple. I love the people! We’re fun, exciting, and freaking talented! I have never worked with such a diversely talented group of people. That alone, is inspiring…and motivating! Our company is run by wonderful people who make it their priority to put us first no matter what. I’ve worked for both small and large companies and by far, Kristen and Bryan got it right.

 

2: What is a favorite 11P memory? Visiting Atlanta for the HOW Conference. So many memories made during that weekend! From spending time with friends to walking away truly inspired and ready to crank out some awesome creative stuff!

 

3: What is your favorite Christmas present ever received from 11P?  Technically the Squatty Potty was an employee white elephant gift. So probably the Disney trip. Duh!

Jesse Evans brought a Squatty Potty to our holiday party white elephant gift exchange. I got it. Someone stole it from me. Luckily, Albert also brought the same gift! But unfortunately someone stole that one too. I think I ended up with some Goslings Rum.

So yeah, Disney.

 

4: What is your favorite 11P event? Needless to say that our holiday parties are always fun. Especially when you win big at blackjack! The Parks definitely know how to throw a party. It’s great to get all the peppers together since we don’t get to see each other all the time.

 

5: If you were a pepper, what type of pepper would you be and why? Poblano. It’s mild and versatile. Everyone likes a poblano. You can stuff it, chop it, stick ’em in a stew.

 

6: Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: Krista Cochran.
Krista’s the type of person you can totally open up to. She became a pepper in 2015 and went straight to work on our UX team and instantly, a life-long friendship was created. We might have been regulars at a local sandwich shop for lunch. Codename: DOGPOUND

 

7: Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Melissa “the Don” London.
The Don’s work ethic is legendary. I hear her name whispered from time to time between our customers. No joke, the new team I’m on brought me an example of a brochure she designed and asked us to “do something like this.” Now those were big shoes to fill.

 

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame!
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

 

Get to know Ryan a little bit better…

1: Favorite Star Wars character and why?
Chewbacca. Well, I can do a pretty good Chewbacca roar.
Other reasons:
Chewbacca sounds from everyday objects
10 best Chewbacca quotes

 

2: You’ve just brewed the perfect IPA. Describe the flavor. What it’s called?
*the perfect hazy NEIPA…
It’s called “Floccinghell, this is good!”
The reference is from yeast “flocculation.” And I might sometimes say this after sipping a perfectly crafted NEIPA.
The description: A fluffy mouthfeel with a citrusy burst of tropical fruits and maybe a subtle coconut.
Thirsty now aren’t you…

 

3: Favorite local brewery? Favorite national brewery?
Local: Sapwood Cellars in Columbia – the owners are known nationally for their skill and pushing the limits. We’re lucky to have them so close!
National: The Veil in Richmond – Every single beer they put out is perfect. And their taste in artwork is pretty cool too. They put on the best festival I’ve ever been too called the Forever Summer Festival. You must attend if you like craft beer!

 

4: Name your favorite all-time Orioles player.
This may be a shock to some people, but no not Ryan Flaherty (or Ron Flattery as he’s called by some lower shoremen). Eddie Murray – He played first base and could hit from both sides of the plate. His stats are amazing. He’s why I chose to play first base growing up.

 

5: If you were a pro baseball player, what would your up-to-bat walk-up song be?
Wake up, Rage Against the Machine

 

6: Favorite daddy/daughter time event?
She is a dancer. It doesn’t matter where we are. Out of nowhere she will come up to me, grab my hands, and get me to do a quick dance move (usually spin her) and go about her way. It could be while shopping in the mall, the middle of Baltimore Inner Harbor, or on our way to her teeball game. I love this and hope that she never stops doing it.

 

7: How many times have you watched your daughter’s favorite movie (estimate), and what is it?
Well, her favorite movie changes from time to time…but we have watched “Dolphin Tale” over 1,000 times. She loves dolphins (probably because her god-mama, Aunt Erica does as well). We went to the Baltimore Aquarium during Fleet Week one year and she wanted to go down to talk to the dolphin trainers. She asked 100 questions and told them she wanted to save dolphins one day.

 

8: Favorite movie of all time?
Usual Suspects. “I’ll flip ya fa real.”

 

9: Any secret talents or hobbies? If so, what?
I consider myself a craftsman. I tear stuff apart and put it back together. I like woodworking, maintaining my car, and creating something from nothing to hang on a wall. Side note: my jetta currently has 275,000 miles and I’ve done all the maintenance on it. I’m a little proud of that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Apr

Pepper Talk with Debbie Williams

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting up-close and person with Deb. Just a little background before we get started, Deb has been with Eleven Peppers Studio for about 3 years. She currently works on UX projects for the government sector but also has a lot of experience working as an Instructional Designer. Read her Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Just about everyone close to me calls me Deb…

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Make coffee! I’m a morning person but no conversations until coffee. Shortly after, I’m also scrolling through text messages from my kids and then jumping online to catch up on emails or see what’s going on in the world.

 

 3: How would you describe your design style?
I like clean, simple designs. My writing style is conversational and I enjoy incorporating elements of story-telling into my writing.

 

4: How did you get started?
I graduated from Penn State (yay Nittany Lions) and began my career working as a systems engineer. After staying home with my kids when they were little, I decided to enroll in a master’s program in instructional design where I could combine my passion for teaching with my interest in technology. Since then, I’ve worked on all sorts of instructional design projects including serious learning games, simulations, web-based training courses, and instructor-led training. I’m really interested in finding out how people learn and thinking about how best to use multi-media to express an idea or explain a complicated concept.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Favorites: I like anything Adobe.

Worst: PowerPoint, SharePoint.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I’m a research junkie so when I start a new project, I love to research the audience. I also like to draw inspiration from other ideas and will spend time seeing what other people are up to.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
I would have to say my kids often provide my greatest inspiration – Lauren (25), Allison (23), and Michael (21). They give me lots of ideas to draw from and they keep me young! For style and color inspiration, I look for ideas in fashion and interior design.

 

 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine…coffee, lots of it.
Sweet or Savory: Sweet…any kind of chocolate
Favorite Movie: The Shawshank Redemption.
Guilty Pleasure: Watching old episodes of The Office
Hobbies: Hiking, reading, crafts, any activity near the beach!

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
The yellow smiley face…it’s simple and make people feel happy.


Thanks for meeting Deb. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

14 Mar

Celebrating 5 Years: Theresa Santelli

Today we are celebrating another five year work anniversary, Theresa Santelli, Director of Creative Services. Theresa has been instrumental in leading one of our award winning private-sector teams and has rightfully earned the respect of her teammates, and of course, her customers. She recently transitioned into her new Director role to support the strategy and operations of ALL of our creative services. Check out this graphic for more info about Theresa, and read our special interview:


 

 

1: What do you like most about working at 11P? The lack of BS… and the trust. The trust I feel is put in me and the trust I have in my bosses and co-workers alike.

 

2: What is a favorite 11P memory (in words or in sketch)? The second 11p Holiday Party. It was the point in my mind when symbolically it all came together. To look around and see how far we had come since the year before when we all fit at one table (and I was still waiting for a start date J). Kristen had such a look of gratitude on her face when she looked around the room… it was like …Look what we did!! Amazing!

 

3: What is your favorite Christmas present ever received from 11P? Disney World! It was the best! I love Disney World! I even reached a new level of Disney nerdom on that trip when a few of us (Albert and his now wife and Popka and her family were there with me) got on a bus before the sun even rose to catch an early magic hour at Animal Kingdom to get in line for the new Avatar Flight of Passage ride. Yup! New level! This girl, not a morning person. Good thing we did though. Later that day the line was like 4 hours long.

 

4: What is your favorite 11P event? I don’t have one because I can’t choose. We are always trying new things, which I LOVE trying new things and many times just a simple happy hour turns out to be so much fun too.

 

5: If you were a pepper, what type of pepper would you be and why? Thai Chili because it’s with an “H”

 

6: Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: There are so many! I’ve been lucky enough to work directly with several peppers all of which have been amazing people as well as co-workers. To name one though I have to say one I haven’t worked with, Dave. He’s my partner in crime (disclaimer: not real crimes). He listens to all my things (or at least acts like he’s listening 😉 ), tells me things will be okay when I’m upset, and is happy when I’m happy.

 

7: Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Debbie. It’s inspiring how dedicated she is to how a project will turn out.

 

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame!
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

 

Get to know Theresa a little bit better…

1: Where is the furthest you’ve traveled from home?
Cusco, Peru (that took some serious googling, with London, England coming in a close second with only a 13 mile difference between the two).

 

2: Where do you want to travel next?
We have a trip to Zion National Park planned for next month. I love going to national parks, and love traveling in general.

 

3: How many trails have you hiked (estimate)?
How many hikes and how many trails is different. I’ve hiked the same trails several times and couldn’t possibly come up with a number of hikes (in the hundreds). But the number of trails not hikes, hmmm, probably about 75 spanning various states, countries, and continents.

 

4: What is your favorite hike so far?
Inca Trail (Peru), but other top tier are Iceberg Lake (Glacier/Montana) and Half Dome (Yosemite/California).

 

5: If you could be ANY superhero/have their powers, who would it be?
So, I feel like saying Wonder Woman is cheating because who doesn’t want to be a demigod raised by Amazons, so Logan/Wolverine. If I had super healing I could get really good at so much stuff!! No injuries, no recovery time, no illness!! I would have so many more black belts!

 

6: If you had to pick one wine to drink the rest of your life, what would it be?
Whoa, this question hurts my heart a little, but pinot noir. I miss the others already and this isn’t even real.

 

7: What is your favorite type of yoga practice?
Hatha is my favorite and the one I couldn’t live without but I like it all.

 

8: If you were a type of coffee, what would it be?
Espresso.

 

9: Any secret talents or hobbies?
Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 Feb

Pepper Talk with Jill Nemec

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re snooping into the inner-working mind of Jill N. Just a little background before we get started: Jill is a Senior User Experience Designer and has been with Eleven Peppers for a little over 4 years… get ready for her 5 year anniversary interview in September! If you’re ever in the need of someone for a Murder Mystery party, she’s your gal! Read her Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Oh lots and lots – Jilly, Jill the Pill, Jilly Bean, Jillian, Jill the Thrill and what I call myself when I’m irritated or exasperated with myself… Bean.

 

 2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Look at all the texts that have rolled in throughout the night from my 19 family members (mostly nonsense, but sometime emergencies), open up the blinds for all my high maintenance plants, drink hot water, and start getting dressed.

 

 3: How would you describe your design style?
Simplicity.

 

4: How did you get started?
Started at Seattle University pursuing a degree in Social Work and after two years I reevaluated and took a hard turn transferring far away to Virginia Tech and into their Architecture program. After receiving my BS at VT I decided I still needed some more education (my parents were of course overjoyed) and headed to Savannah, GA to SCAD to get my MFA in Graphic Design.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Favorites: First and foremost my retired type A personality Father/My Personal Assistant aka Papa Joe (gotta keep him busy). Along with Google Calendar, Timers, ibooks and Nook, Alexa (when we aren’t in an argument), and my first love AutoCAD.

Worst: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram… sensing a trend!?!?

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
Ask lots of questions, research, ask questions again, get some hot water, and then jump in.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Architecture mostly, patterns, and textures (I have to touch everything so museums can be extremely frustrating).

 

 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Moderate Caffeine via Nespresso or fellow pepper, Albert–my favorite Barista
Sweet or Savory: Savory
Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams
Guilty Pleasure: Psycho thrillers/Murder Mysteries
Hobbies: Skiing (snow and water), paddle boarding, cleaning and organizing (seriously), screen printing, reading, rock collecting, hiking

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
The Roomba!


Thanks for meeting Jill N. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

30 Jan

Pepper Talk with Katie Long

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting cozy with Katie L. Just a little background before we get started: Katie L is fairly new to Eleven Peppers Studio. She mostly works on projects for the government sector but occasionally contributes content for 11P blogs and social media posts. Read her Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
KT, KTor, Cyber Mama, Buckaroo, Auntie Shark

 

 2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Hit the snooze button! Then I lay there either dozing until it goes off again or sleepily telling my cat I’ll feed him in a minute. I’m definitely not a morning person so I’m slow to wake up. I like to enjoy my coffee at home before I hit the road. That’s really for the safety of everyone.

 

 3: How would you describe your writing style?
When it comes to what I contribute to the 11P blogs and social media posts, I like things that come from my own personal experience and/or my heart. If I’m writing a blog post, I’m going to pull from something I’ve seen or dealt with even if it’s not directly talked about in my writing. In the work I do for the government, I’m all about creating content that is clear and concise. I write documentation for software so I have to make sure that the customers that will be using it can use what I’ve written to navigate through the software when they’re learning to use it instead of needing to call for help. I end up doing a lot of translating from developer speak to English.

 

4: How did you get started?
Wow… that’s a long story. I went to Towson University for Mass Communication with a focus in Public Relations. I really wanted to work for the Washington Capitals (back before they were the STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS) in their youth hockey outreach program, but I ended up as a front desk receptionist for the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. I moved from that Commission to an administrative position with the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves and when that wrapped up I got an administrative job at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL). This is where I really gained the experience for what I’m doing now.

 

The group I was working with developed software that was being used at military cyber exercises – think war games or capture the flag, but in cyber space. I started traveling with a large group of people (25+) from APL to logistically support the team on site. I had to fill my time somehow so I started getting familiar with the software and then I was helping run between teams to get information on issues they were having and moved on to troubleshooting issues. By the time I moved on from APL (9 years after I started there), I was going to smaller scale exercises as the only person on site from APL to help install and run the software and I was running software training for everyone at the larger exercises.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Pen and paper. I take TONS of notes in meetings. Anything that I’ll share with my team is written on the lines, but the things I’m noting for myself (something I want to research more or something I need to do) goes in the margins.

 

The team I’m on now does agile software development so we use JIRA a lot. Before joining my current team I hated it, but I have to admit it’s growing on me.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
Devour as much background information as I can get my hands on and then hit the ground running.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, news articles… as previously mentioned, I like to devour as much information as possible and that Google search bar is my bff.

 

 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Coffee coffee buzz buzz buzz
Sweet or Savory: Sweet… I’ve never met a dessert I didn’t like
Favorite Movie: Fried Green Tomatoes
Guilty Pleasure: Snarky memes, Downton Abbey (obviously the Dowager is my favorite character), true crime shows/podcasts
Hobbies: Genealogy, obstacle course racing, working out, reading (although lately it’s mostly audio books for me)


Thanks for meeting Katie L. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

04 Dec

Celebrating 5 Years: Rebecca Popka

Could the end of 2018 get any better? Multiple promotion announcements, holiday get-togethers, and our SECOND 5 Year Pepper-versary!!! This time we are celebrating the wonderful Rebecca Popka.  Rebecca (or Popka as we fondly call her) also took a leap of faith as our first Commercial Team employee, working hand-in-hand with owner Kristen Parks. Rebecca worked on everything from 11p in-house marketing efforts and social media, to client branding projects and full website redesigns. Rebecca’s commercial team work even earned her an ADDY award for her 11p holiday hot chocolate kit design. Since then, Rebecca continues to wow and amaze her clients and teammates with her incredible talent and work ethic. We’re so lucky to have her in the pepper family! Check out this graphic for more info about Rebecca, and read our special interview:


 

 

1: What do you like most about working at 11P? I love everything about 11p but what I like the most is everyone’s amazing talent that makes them a unique pepper.

 

2: What is a favorite 11P memory (in words or in sketch)? The most memorable was the wonderful opportunity to visit Disney, “Where Dreams Come True,” to celebrate the company’s 5thanniversary.

 

3: What is your favorite Holiday present ever received from 11P? Hands down Walt Disney World, which was a complete surprise.

 

4: What is your favorite 11P event? I’ve always been an avid gamer so when 11p announced a game night I was ready for some table top fun. There were a lot of new games I never played before that I enjoyed like Telestrations and One Night Ultimate Werewolf.

 

5: If you were a pepper, what type of pepper would you be and why? A Pepperoncini. It’s a common pepper with a dash of spicy that’s been pickled, which is a favorite thing of mine (picked foods).

 

6: Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: 11p is a unique company with a close-knit family of peppers who are always supportive and there for any type of advice. The pepper chat channel has always been my go-to for creative guidance.

 

7: Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Kate Rodman is an incredible illustrator whose passion and amazing talent is beautifully moving. Her work is always inspirational.

 

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

 

Get to know Rebecca a little bit better…

1: If you could pick 2 fonts that you had to work with forever, which would they be?
Helvetica Neue and Cambo.

 

2: What design trend do you wish would just die already?
Bevel and emboss, especially when new Photoshop users discover this “effect”.

 

3: What designer/artists do you admire?
I really like the artist René Magritte, a Belgian surrealist who captured thought-provoking images that challenges a viewer’s perception of reality. He had a distinct and creative way of displaying ordinary objects out of context, giving new meanings to familiar things.

 

4: What do you love most about being a mom?
Watching my son grow and learn new things is exciting but what I really love is the sweet yet brief moments when he gives a hug, a kiss, or even wants to cuddle.

 

5: What did you do for Thanksgiving?
Cancun, fun in the sun – drinks, a spa day, and some tasty tacos al pastor.

 

6: We know you’re an avid Disney World fan, what is your favorite ride?
Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride even before the popularity of Jack Sparrow. Being immersed in their story while listening to the catchy music in the dark has always been a favorite of mine. One day I would love to experience Shanghai Disneyland’s ride, Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, as the visual effects look incredible.

 

7: If you could dine with any Disney character, who would it be?
As a fan of Star Warsit’s got to be Han Solo and Chewbacca in Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana listening to their adventures as smugglers and joining the Rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic.

 

8: Where is the furthest you’ve traveled from home?
I’ve traveled to a lot of different places but the furthest I’ve gone is to Thailand. The plane ride alone was about 24 hours (not counting layovers)…loooongest travel day EVER but well worth it. It was great traveling to different cities, sight-seeing, and eating a ton of delicious food even the infamous durian, not a fan.

 

9: Any secret talents or hobbies?
Before having a baby I loved gaming. Anything from table top to console to PC gaming, which for each I enjoyed playing Geister Geister Schatzsuchmeister, The Legend of Zelda, and World of Warcraft. I would even host a game night every couple of months but post baby most of my time is now occupied entertaining him. When he gets older I hope to share some of the games that I’ve always enjoyed with him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Oct

Pepper Talk with John Reid

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re doing a deep dive with John Reid. John is a Senior User Experience Designer who has been with Eleven Peppers for three years! John is a very detailed-oriented designer that loves to go off-roading in his precious Jeep and attend Sports games during his free time. Want to know more about John? Read his Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Some of my friends call me ‘AJ.’ Other than that, not really. Though, friends do have the tendency to call me by first and last name which is kind of weird.

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Hit the SNOOZE button and roll over.

 

3: How would you describe your design style?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a design style in the traditional sense of the word. If I had to pick a word to describe it, I would say it’s ‘Detailed.’ I don’t necessarily mean there’s complexity to the products I am designing but I do focus on the fine details. To me that’s important because it can elevate your designs. In turn, what actually happens is that you elevate yourself as a designer, all the way from your thought-process to design skills to execution and onward.

 

4: How did you get started?
I always liked drawing designs when I was younger. I didn’t think of design as a serious career option until sophomore year of college when I took an elective art class called ‘2D Design.’ After some well received assignments, my professor asked me, “What major are you?” Dissatisfied with my answer, she said I needed to change my major and the rest is history.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Pencil, paper, and Adobe Illustrator. MS Paint, Gimp, terrible smartphone filters.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
If I’m not assigned a task that needs to be done in an hour, I will always start with pencil and paper. Sketching and Paper-Prototyping is a great approach to successfully fulfill any task in an appropriate and efficient manner. Planning will save you time in the long run. Other than that, I don’t necessarily like a concrete process because it’s not adaptable and/or agile and it’s important to be both with the type of environment my team and I work in.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Video games, television shows, movies, music, architecture. I try to take note of things around me too. You’d be surprised how many cool things are around you that normally, you wouldn’t notice.

 

8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine, duh
Sweet or Savory: Yes
Favorite Movie: Tron: Legacy. The visuals are amazing and the score/soundtrack was produced by Daft Punk
Guilty Pleasure: Watching movies made for kids like Trolls, The Lego Movie, Big Hero 6, etc.
Hobbies: Jeep/Off-roading, playing sports, watching sports, video games, music & concerts, woodworking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thanks for meeting John. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

23 Aug

Pepper Talk with Rebecca Rice

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re doing a deep dive with Rebecca Rice. Rebecca is a Senior User Experience Designer who has been with Eleven Peppers for almost 4 years! She’s a big proponent of sketchbooks and graphite pencils and in her spare time, Rebecca is a badass ice-hockey player 😉 Want to know more about Rebecca? Read below:


1: Do you have any nicknames?
If there’s more than one Rebecca, they call me ‘Rice’.

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I gauge the time of morning by how light the sky is.

 

3: How would you describe your design style?
Flowy and polished with a splash of Tito’s.

 

4: How did you get started?
3rd grade and Unicorns. Lots of unicorns.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
My favorite would be a sketchbook, paper planner, and some graphite pencils. The worst is being confined to only using a computer mouse.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
Ask as many questions as possible!

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Human nature.

 

8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Decaff!
Sweet or Savory: Sweet
Favorite Movie: Happy Gilmore
Guilty Pleasure: Raiding Home Depot at 8:00 am on Saturday mornings.
Hobbies: Ice hockey, painting, pet rabbits.

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?

I think Netflix as a whole (app design, interface, and business model) is pretty amazing. The concept that we can watch anything (anywhere) is pretty neat. I’m interested in seeing how far our need to ‘watch’ things will go. Maybe it will be more than just entertainment and venture into e-learning or something…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thanks for meeting Rebecca. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

13 Aug

Celebrating 5 Years: Dave Meade

We have some exciting news this month at Eleven Peppers! We have our very first five year work anniversary, David Meade, Senior UX Designer. David started with 11p as the first full-time employee on August 12, 2013. He took a leap of faith and joined Kristen to create a name for a “small fries” company that was simply a vision, a dream, a concept– and the rest is history. It has been an amazing journey with Dave and we continue to appreciate his quick wit, talent and craft beer recommendations. Check out this graphic for more info about Dave, and read our special interview:


 

 

1: What do you like most about working at 11P? This question is about as tough to answer as if you asked what my favorite beer was (foreshadowing). I guess if I had to sort through all the great things such as the amazing owners, the awesome Pepper events, and the engaging projects, I would have to pick the people that make up the company. They’re a collection of some of the most talented people I’ve ever known, and I’m lucky enough to not only call them coworkers, but also friends.

 

2: What is a favorite 11P memory (in words or in sketch)? There’s a plethora of fantastic memories over the past five years, but I think signing the offer letter was one of the best and happiest moments of my life.

 

3: What is your favorite Christmas present ever received from 11P? Finally, an easy question! Hands down, it was my Kate Spade purse, which a pepper stole at the white elephant gift exchange, so I chose another box, which was another purse, which was stolen, but finally, I ended up with the perfect gift. If you know me, you know this gift couldn’t have been any better. It was Orioles opening day tickets, section 11, seats 10 and 11, and the ending couldn’t have been any more perfect. The O’s fought a hard battle, and in the bottom of the 11th inning, they won it with a walk-off homerun. You just couldn’t write a better script.

 

4: What is your favorite 11P event? I think it’s easy to say the Pepper Disney trip was the best Eleven Peppers event. The fact that we were flown to Florida, put up in a hotel, and we got to spend a few days as a company exploring the happiest place on earth, what more could you want? Mickey ears and Dole Whip? Yeah, we got that too!

 

5: If you were a pepper, what type of pepper would you be and why? Easy, Chipotle. They’re my favorite. Smoky, spicy, versatile, rich in flavor. I don’t know if or how any of that pertains to me, but it’s my favorite pepper, so I’ve claimed it.

 

6: Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: This is another tough question because I am good friends with many of the Peppers and have leaned on most of them at one point or another over the past five years. If I had to pick one, it’s the obvious one, Theresa. She’s in my corner everyday, helping me through any issues I may have, whether they’re inside or outside of work, and she keeps me focused and inspired.

 

7: Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Besides Kristen and Bryan who tirelessly work day and night to ensure we’re all happy in our careers and love our job, I would have to throw a curveball and say Kate Rodman. I say curveball because we’ve never worked together, but I’ve heard how hard and efficiently she works, and I’ve been privileged enough to see some of her designs. Her talent is truly inspiring, and somehow she has the energy to continue designing in her free time. She has even had a piece published. She is so accomplished at such a young age, and I think the best is yet to come.

 

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

 

Get to know Dave a little bit better…

1: Where is the furthest you’ve traveled from home?
Theresa and I took a trip to the ocean side town of Lima, Peru where we enjoyed some of the best, fresh fruits and vegetables we’ve ever had, and even took a cooking class. We also hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Truly epic.

 

2: Where is your favorite city to enjoy a meal and a crafty brew?
San Francisco has to be my favorite, with its vast variety of international cuisines and some of the best breweries in the nation, there’s no better place to get a bite and a beer, and then walk it off on those hills!

 

3: How many marathons have you run?
I have only run one marathon, but I have run several half marathons around the country.

 

4: Which marathon was your favorite to run?
The Baltimore Marathon was my favorite, and only marathon. I knew I wanted my first 26.2 to be in my hometown. I was fortunate enough to run it with my fellow Pepper, friend, and inspiration, Kelsey.

 

5: If you could create and produce your own line of craft beer, what would you call it and what would it taste like?
I struggle with this all the time. I want to come up with a creative name that captures a little bit of who I am, and my loves in life: food, my friends, art, music, and the outdoors. If anyone can come up with a good name, please, let me know! As for what it would taste like, that’s just as diverse as my interests. I want to create high quality beers inspired by the foods that I love. Sours, IPAs, Stouts, all infused with fruits, spices, herbs, and anything else I can come up with. Again, I’m open to suggestions!

 

6: What is your favorite local beer?
It’s between RAR and Jailbreak. They both are producing a lot of very interesting and exciting beers. RAR’s best are easily their IPAs, but they made a sour with passionfruit, pineapple and habanero that was fantastic. Jailbreak is very adventurous with their beers too, using fruits, veggies, and peppers in many of their beers. Their barrel aged imperial stout, Dusk til Dusk is one of the best beers ever produced in Maryland, in my opinion.

 

7: What is your favorite national beer?
Trillium Brewing in Boston probably makes my all time favorite IPAs, but The Veil in Richmond is right up there with them, and they make some fantastic, heavily fruited sours, and a stout aged on oreos. Yes, you read that right, an Oreo stout, and it actually tastes like Oreos!

 

8: If you could cheers any living or deceased legend, who would it be and why?
There are so many inspiring people that have lived, and still live, that I would love to meet. I’ll just pick one of the many and say Mario Lemieux. The former Pittsburgh Penguin took his passion to the highest level to become one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He won two Stanley Cups as a player. When he found out he had cancer, he saw that as another challenge, fought hard, and not only beat it, but shortly thereafter returned to the ice. When it was time to hang up his skates, he decided to take his passion to the front office, saving the team from moving out of Pittsburgh, bringing them to four more Stanley Cups, winning three. What’s more inspirational is that he started a foundation to raise money for cancer research, and to build numerous hospitals for children who are battling cancer. He is involved in the community and a man who takes that passion to better his community and help people who are facing the same struggles he did.

 

9: Any secret talents or hobbies?
Although brewing beer is a talent and hobby, I can’t say it’s much of a secret anymore. I guess my secret talent is making friends. Just about everywhere I go, I end up making friends. Even when we’re on vacation in another state, or another country, I make new friends. The best part is that these friendships last and grow. You never can have too many friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Jun

Pepper Talk with Albert Nguyen

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re doing a deep dive with Albert Nguyen. Albert is a Senior Software Engineer who has been with Eleven Peppers for over 3 years. He’s a stickler for clean code and only the finest caffeinated beverages.


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Usually everyone just calls me Albert, but I have been called Alberto, Albie, Al, Albs, and some others I can’t remember off the top of my head.

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Cuddle with Kathy (my wife) and try to muster all of my will power to get out of the warm cozy bed.

 

3: How would you describe your design style?
Since I’m a Software Engineer, I’ll describe my coding style. I try to keep my code clean, concise, organized, and readable. It’s helpful to spend the time to write good code so that the next person who goes through it will easily understand what is happening. It’s always fun to run into some confusing code, wonder who on earth wrote it that way, look into the logs, and find out it was written by you a year ago.

 

4: How did you get started?
It started in middle school when I saved my allowance money to buy my own TI-83+ graphing calculator. At first I got it to play games on it but then I started programming on it as well. In high school I learned Java and some other programming languages. I entered the web development world with my first internship during college at the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology where we did PHP development. From then on I mainly stayed with frontend development, but still dabble in Java and other languages every once in a while.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
It used to be Eclipse but since we use IntelliJ on our current task, it has been growing on me and I like it better now. I also like using Notepad++ to jot down notes and it has useful plugins to format JSON and compare files. I’m also in Chrome’s Developer Tools a lot to debug issues. It allows you to step through the code, view network calls, modify DOM elements on the fly, and many other things. The worst tool is probably outdated versions of Internet Explorer that rarely render anything properly.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
It depends on the project. For smaller ones, I tend to just jump in and try stuff out. Larger ones require more thought into the architecture.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Technology companies like Google that keep on innovating, coming up with new things, and improving what already exists. I use so many Google products on a daily basis like Gmail, Hangouts, Photos, and Maps. I also draw inspiration from the other peppers and my co-workers. Seeing them work hard and solve difficult problems inspires me to do the same.

 

8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Yes, all sorts of caffeine, especially coffee. My favorites include Vietnamese coffee, nitro cold brew coffee, and iced/hot lattes. I did get the 2015 Pepper Superlative for most likely to have stock in caffeinated beverages. =)
Sweet or Savory: I really like both. I can’t decide…
Favorite Movie: I don’t have a single favorite movie, but I like movies that have an expansive universe that you can immerse yourself in and has so many intricacies between the different characters like Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Marvel superhero movies
Guilty Pleasure: Eating free food that shows up in the office
Hobbies: Playing video games, watching anime, cooking, working out, photography, deal hunting, spending time with friends and family

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
Squishmallows! They’re the cutest and softest stuffed animals ever. Also, the Samsung S8 has a really sleek design that I like and the specs on it are great. I know that’s two, but they’re both so good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thanks for meeting Albert. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!