Ron Selvey, WebDAM: DMN 2014 40 Under 40 Award winner

Ron Selvey
VP of Marketing, WebDAM, a Shutterstock Company

Winning ways: Efficiency runs in Selvey’s blood. Earlier in his career Selvey worked at the U.S. Government Printing Office, where he’d identify how government agencies could be more efficient, and recommend technology for them to deploy. He now applies that same mentality to WebDAM: Since joining the company in 2011 he’s grown inbound leads by 802%.

Defining moment: “Everyone’s afraid of change…. This fear really burdens many organizations—millions of dollars of lost opportunity—and also provides a growth barrier. In most organizations that I’ve worked in, I’ve been able to find opportunities to reduce these barriers to entry and build confidence in others that change is a great thing.”

Words to live by: “It’s so important to hire people who are really nice and really smart.”

Head swivel: “[When I first started at WebDAM,] I noticed that our competition’s growth rates were fairly stagnant when it came to year-over-year traffic and sales; yet our industry was growing like crazy. There was a lot of significant brand dilution in the space because everyone was doing the same thing…. We had to stop and say ‘We’re not going to follow our competition. We’re going to be completely different, try to be the misfits, and disrupt the space. If we do that, we’re going to grow faster than everyone else.’”

Good advice: “Be fearless, drink lots of coffee, never be afraid of success, and work harder than your competition.”

First job: “At 14 years old I landed my first job as a server at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called California Burger. I was a server, but I also was a cashier and a busboy. [I was] working the whole front of the restaurant. It taught me how to focus on the customer experience first and foremost. We had a lot of people that would return on the same day just to say hello again and chat it up. It also taught me how to make a mean milkshake and some of the best cheese sticks.”

On your nightstand: One book that really helped me that I read probably 10 years ago…is called Monday Morning Leadership. It’s by David Cottrell. It’s a quick read. One of my old mentors [from] when I used to work in the federal government gave it to me. He said that it helped him quite a bit and that he loved it. I read a portion of it for about 10 minutes every morning before I went to work, and it would really help me get in that mind-set of trying to apply new things on a day-by-day basis. It’s all about building effective teams, employee engagement, and just becoming a better manager and person as a whole.

Favorite mobile app: “WebDAM has an amazing app that we use here in our marketing team. Not to self-promote, but it helps our team work quickly—we know where everything is, all of our files, everyone has access to everything. On a personal level, there’s that app called Whisper…where people share whatever’s on their mind. It’s interesting just to see how the human mind works and what’s going on in different places in the world.

Click or tap here to read the stories behind the successes of the other Direct Marketing News 2014 40 Under 40 winners. 

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