Tom and one of Geocaching's little buddies - Stumpy

Geocaching Employee Spotlight: Tom, Veep of Marketing & Merch

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Tom Phillips

Tom skiing
Tom skiing

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
VIATRU

How did you come up with your username?
When I first moved to Seattle back in 2000, I worked on a wonderful start up business called World2market. We used the internet to create a global marketplace for third world artisans. It was an amazing project and along the way we considered other company names. One was VIATRU.

What is your job title?
I am the VP of Marketing and Merchandise here at Geocaching HQ

Tom and one of Geocaching's little buddies - Stumpy
Tom and one of Geocaching’s little buddies – Stumpy

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I am very privileged to have the opportunity to serve the geocaching community in two ways. 1) I work with our merchandise team to make sure geocachers around the world can find the physical products they need to create, share and enjoy the game of geocaching. 2) I work with our marketing team to make sure the geocaching community stays connected and informed with what’s going on both here at HQ and around the world.

Tom (upper right) with come of the Geocaching HQ crew on a team outing
Tom (upper right) with come of the Geocaching HQ crew on a team outing

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I am definitely an explorer when it comes to Geocaching. I love geocaches that take me somewhere new or challenge me with a new experience. Geocaching has taken me into caves, up trees and into the woods in the middle of the night. I love this stuff!!

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
From the day I was first introduced to geocaching back in 2004, I have been both inspired and amazed by the enthusiasm, support, creativity and endless imagination of geocachers around the world.

Treasure Trackers
Treasure Trackers

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
Three simple words, “Let’s go Geocaching”. I said yes and 12 years later I’m still having a blast!!!

Ben (Dean F.) supports DNF Pride

Geocaching Employee Spotlight: Product Owner & Avid Geocacher, Ben Hewitt

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of GeocachingHQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Ben Hewitt 

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
benandjayme (shared with my wife!) 

Jayme, Ben, and Signal the Frog at a Geocaching Event
Jayme, Ben, and Signal the Frog at a Geocaching Event

How did you come up with your username?
Hmmmm… it’s not the most creative username, but it’s certainly representative of the two of us! 

What is your job title?
Product Owner 

Bryan, Ben, and Jayme at Geocaching Block Party 2014
Bryan, Ben, and Jayme at Geocaching Block Party 2014

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I’m one of the six members of HQ’s Product team. As a team, we’re responsible for identifying and defining the best new features to add to Geocaching.com and the official mobile apps. “Best” is a lofty and sometimes tough to define goal, so we’re constantly striving to create features that are good for the community, good for the game, and good for the business. Individually, I’m responsible for managing the flow of design and development work that passes through one of our three product delivery teams at HQ and for helping making sure that the team meets our timeline and quality commitments.

Ben is a firm supporter of DNF Pride
Ben is a firm supporter of DNF Pride

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I love to use geocaching to explore new places. One of the things I’ve really come to appreciate after almost 8 years of geocaching is that exploration and discovery are always just around the corner. I’ll always love flying across the world and discovering a new country or culture, but I’ve had just as many amazing experiences discovering new places just a few blocks outside of my well-worn everyday routines.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I’m always amazed at how many different ways geocachers come up with to play this game. Any time you think you’ve got it down (“THIS is geocaching”), some new and unexpected geocache or trackable experience will surely come along to defy your definition. I love that about this game!

Ben and his baby girl geocaching last summer
Ben and his baby girl geocaching last summer

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
An oldie-but-goodie that I do believe: it’s not about the numbers! 

Jennifer on Halloween

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Jennifer

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Jennifer

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
Lee-Majors

Jennifer on Halloween
Jennifer on Halloween

How did you come up with your username?
I have an unhealthy love of 70s TV.

What is your job title?
Administrative Assistant

Jennifer on her ergonomic Administrative Assistant throne
Jennifer on her ergonomic Administrative Assistant throne

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I’m a Lackey Herder. I help manage schedules and schedule meetings for the founders. I try to ignore filing duties to the best of my ability. I help everyone with whatever they might need – conference rooms, travel plans, scheduling and general support. I get to interact with pretty much everyone at HQ at some point or another which is great when you work with such awesome people.

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
Quality over quantity but convenience over everything. I’m the mom of two little boys so long finds aren’t always an option. I’ll grab any cache when the moment is right.

I'm the mom of two little boys so long finds aren't always an option.
I’m the mom of two little boys so long finds aren’t always an option.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
When I first started geocaching, the very first cache I tried to find was right down the street from my house in a pretty ubarn city area. I ended up DNFing. I added it to my watch list and of course, people logged it. I went back around 5 or 6 times before I finally found it. It was camo’d to the bottom of a billboard sign and it really looked like part of the structure. Up until then I thought geocaching was just Tupperware containers in bushes. (I looked in soooo many bushes around the billboard lol). Awesomely camo’d urban hides never cease to surprise and amaze me.

Jennifer and the boys geocaching
Jennifer and the boys geocaching

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
Always carry mosquito spray!

 

Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Reid

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Reid

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
reidsomething

Reid on the moutain
Reid on the moutain

How did you come up with your username?
I am a sucker for a double entendre. And I like books. It’s a call to action. My co-worker, ThePaigeTurner, and I couldn’t resist making a name-theme cache.

What is your job title?
UX Videographer

Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?
Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
Over 98% of the videos you’ve seen come out of Geocaching HQ over the past 6 years were made with these hands! (with the help of some wildly clever co-workers). Basically, I get to tell stories, geocaching stories, for a living. So, next time you see a HQ video of someone climbing a mountain, crawling through a sewer, or pie-ing our co-founder Jeremy Irish in the face, you can picture me and my trusty Canon 5Dm3 camera doing our best to make it all look pretty.

Geocaching Video Production Team
Geocaching Video Production Team

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I like a cache with a story. My partner and I biked the Oregon coast a few summers back. We stopped for lunch one day at an ocean lookout where it turned out that a momma and baby whale were circling the cove. After much awe, I looked for a cache nearby so I could always remember that spot, that moment.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I’m always struck by meeting different kinds of geocachers. There isn’t really one common trait that all geocachers share apart from a spark of curiosity and adventure. I love meeting new people in our wacky, eclectic community.

Reid hosting the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)
Reid hosting the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
If the cache is placed well, you shouldn’t have to go off-rail/damage plant-life to find it.

Erin Geocaching flower

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Erin

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Erin

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
Oceansazul

Erin Geocaching flower
Erin geocaching in the spring time!

How did you come up with your username?
I’ve always had an affinity with the ocean and my zodiac sign, pisces. Besides “Erin” and “Ocean” were already taken. “Azul” means blue in Spanish (which I speak), so Oceansazul just fit.

What is your job title?
Guest Experience Coordinator

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
Geocaching is headquartered in Seattle, where we are lucky enough to meet visitors from all over the world. During HQ visits, people talk all things geocaching, discover rare and cool trackables, find the HQ geocache, take some photos, ask questions, learn more, and even get some cool geocaching merchandise. It’s fun for me too because I love to laugh and I like to make other people laugh – but many people tell me I have a dry sense of humor. If you come tell me a funny story I will give you candy!

Erin Geocaching hotdog
Erin is Geocaching HQ’s Guest Experience Coordinator. Need we say more?

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?  
I don’t have a ton of finds, but I have found geocaches in a lot of states and a few countries. I love the creativity and what people come up with. I like to cache whenever I travel, I like taking newbies on their first geocache adventure, and I also love to Night Cache. There’s a Night Cache in my hometown of Puyallup that’s really cool because it’s a Multi-Cache, and I took my dad caching there. He had a blast. I just like the whole experience.

Erin Geocaching Kyoto
Erin and friends in Kyoto, Japan

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?  
The endless creativity of brilliant people. Geocachers come up with the most amazing hides. One that comes to mind is the second cache I ever found. It was a huge fallen log on the side of the trail, about three feet in diameter. But something in the middle of it looked “off”. I pulled a piece of log on the side, and it pulled out of the log. The geocache was a disguised piece of PVC pipe with part of the log on the top as the cap. I thought, “This game is incredible!” and I was hooked. That was five years ago.

Erin Geocaching Snow
Erin and other Geocaching HQ employees hit the slopes for our annual snow day!

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned? Hmm… Take a step back and look again. And then, look again.