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An interview with Toya Brown-Riberdy on building relationships

Just before we wrap up 2021, we interviewed our Sr. Account Manager, Toya Brown-Riberdy, on her role and the lessons she's learned along the way: how to build remote relationships with clients and colleagues, why diversity and inclusion matter, and the importance of perseverance. We're looking to end the year on a positive note and this conversation inspires us to take action on the things that matter most.

You’ve been working in ad tech for nine years now. What brought you to Remerge?

I had been working for a supply-side ad network for most of my career and I was looking to make a change. During the past nine years, my goal throughout my career has been to learn different facets of the industry to not only broaden my knowledge but also enrich my professional skill set. Finding an opportunity to learn or be challenged is important to me when making career choices.

Being in the same industry, I’d heard about Remerge and they seemed to be everywhere! While Remerge has been around for years, our presence saw serious growth, even before the pandemic. App retargeting has always been around and a few companies I have worked for had a “retargeting” feature, but true retargeting was not familiar to me. Remerge has a great reputation and as the top retargeting platform, joining Remerge seemed like the best move forward.

You’d also been working remotely before the pandemic. How do you build relationships with your clients and colleagues?

I always say that I can talk to a wall. I’m determined to build relationships, even if it takes a bit more effort in some cases. To me, building relationships in person is not much different from building relationships remotely. It’s about getting to know someone. When it comes to work relationships, it can’t be all business all the time. Asking personal questions helps — ask them about their kids, their significant other, their weekend plans, what they’re watching on TV, and so on. Naturally, I would also share a bit about myself and my plans. At the end of the day, we will spend a significant part of our day working together, so why not get to know them?

What’s your mantra for healthy professional relationships?

Work-life balance is important! I believe in treating everyone like a human being — but I also know that there is a line between professional life and personal life.

Thankfully, our industry is one of the funner ones, which allows you to be yourself. That’s key, because at times being yourself can be hard. Being true to yourself is important for mental health and it allows you to grow authentically. I started my career working in the finance industry and that’s a whole different world. I found myself hiding parts of myself and it certainly takes a toll. So apart from work-life balance, find an industry and a company that allows you to be YOU. Because YOU are awesome!

« Diversity and inclusion are my drivers to ensure that the world my children grow up in is equal. »

Toya Brown-Riberdy

You’re also quite active in diversity and inclusion matters.

We all know what the pandemic showed us and we do not need to relive the unfortunate events of 2020 and 2021, but they also do not need to be forgotten. Diversity and inclusion are my drivers to ensure that the world my children grow up in is equal — a place where everyone is respected and treated fairly. That discrimination is no longer a feeling nor a thought that would ever have to pop up in their minds. Wanting to create a better world for children is every parent’s wish. It is certainly mine.

Unfortunately, our industry is relatively homogenous and that needs to change. There are strong voices outside of the few men who have been chosen to champion our industry. We should be striving for new voices, new ideas, and growth.

Any last words of advice?

From my personal experiences, I have learned that life is a rollercoaster. Hold on and see what happens at the next loop-the-loop. I say this because things happen and regardless of how well you have things planned, somehow the world almost always intervenes. Learn to ride the ebbs and flows, and in between you will find growth. Remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint!