Positively Planful is our way of inviting you inside our company to learn who we really are, especially if you’re considering a career at Planful. We interview members of our team and share a glimpse into their lives. It also lets you meet the individuals whose name or face you might not regularly see on our website or at our events, but who equally contribute to our overall success.
Since the pandemic forced many of us to work remotely, we’ve all had our technical struggles. Whether it’s setting up a new webcam, getting access to cloud-based tools, or simply adding that cool new Zoom background, our collective first responder for technical issues is Planful IT. But while it’s usually a one-time distraction for most of us, from the IT side, it’s a never-ending stream of interesting troubleshoots with fellow Planful people.
Derek Mann is one of those critical frontline problem solvers. He’s an IT Systems Specialist based at Planful headquarters, and he’s a familiar face to just about everyone on our team. He’s been at Planful for 4 years, but his previous work put his name up on the big screen!
Elisa Forbes, a People Operations Coordinator at Planful, interviewed Derek to learn more about the person who keeps us all connected.
Elisa: We tend to need your help with just about everything. How do you always have a solution?
Derek: I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been in tech support for more than 20 years, so I’ve had a lot of practice fielding all different kinds of questions from people who use Windows every day, people who use Mac or Linux, servers to desktops, all of it. I think my brain is kind of geared to answer random questions. I love it.
Elisa: If you could spend the day in someone else’s shoes at Planful, who would it be and why?
Derek: I would be somebody in the finance team for sure, probably Saran Raksincharoensak, Planful Finance Director, so that I could work with Maria every day even more closely than we do now. (Learn more about Maria Cherry in this Positively Planful blog post!)
Elisa: You currently live in Redwood City, near Planful headquarters. Where did you grow up and what brought you to the Bay Area?
Derek: I grew up in the Midwest. I lived my whole life in Ohio before I moved to California in 2000. I had friends who lived out here and they said it was amazing, and the tech economy was booming at that time. There were tons of jobs and they were all very, very good paying jobs compared to where I came from in Ohio. So that’s what brought me out here, and I’ve been here for about 20 years.
Elisa: We hear you are a huge movie buff. What is your favorite movie and why?
Derek: That is hard because there are so many. I’m a big nerd, so a lot of my favorite movies are nerdy comic book movies or Star Wars. I love Empire Strikes Back. Or maybe How to Train Your Dragon. My name’s in the credits on that one. My job before coming to Planful was at DreamWorks Animation. So my name’s in the credits on a bunch of animated movies. But I would probably stick with Empire Strikes Back as my favorite movie of all time. Maybe that or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Whatever it is, it’s going to be very nerdy.
Now you know a bit more about Derek Mann, a member of our global IT team. We’re grateful to have him on the Planful team, helping us to quite literally stay connected to each other, every day.
Let us know what you think about this glimpse into Planful. We’re Positively Planful that if our people-first attitude sounds like a good fit for you, you should check out our Careers page.