ZemDriver Spotlight: Judith

Zemcar has some pretty amazing drivers and we’re adding more every day. We thought it was time to share some of the amazingness with all of you. Let’s start this week with Judith.

Judith is an Arlington resident who is very dedicated to her community. In fact, Judith started her driving ‘career’ long before joining Zemcar. She tells us that she began driving people back in high school – and the word “chauffeur” was actually under her yearbook photo :). Not to mention she was an actual chauffeur, driving for a limo service, at one point in her life. And in recent years she has kept up with the title and often drives the neighborhood children to different activities. Judith’s children are grown now and she wanted to stay connected to the community in a meaningful way, and driving for the young families in town made sense. “I just love helping people and providing transportation is one way I can help,” Judith told Zemcar’s Director of Operations.  

Then she heard about Zemcar through her husband’s colleague who was using the service. What a great way to help more families (and make some money doing it!!!). Judith is a strong believer in the safety and convenience of the service for busy families – she has experienced it first hand. “The vetting process here at Zemcar is so comprehensive that, it seems to me, the safest way to transport a child short of a family member,” Judith remarked when asked what she would tell parents that are on the fence about trying something like this. In terms of drivers, Judith encourages those who like to be around kids to give it a try. And, Zemcar rides are scheduled ahead of time so there is an opportunity to better plan your day than with other rideshares, she added.

As if this was not already enough to make you want to schedule a ride with Judith ASAP, we found out that she also runs a part-time thrift shop to benefit the local Arlington library and volunteers with the Arlington public schools even though her daughter graduated four years ago.

Let’s not forget about Judith’s career as well – she was a technical writer for 15 years. Her first job was at one of the original startups ever – Symbolics – founded by more than 20 people from MIT’s AI lab. Judith went to law school and passed the bar but went into the tech industry instead.  

Judith is just one of the fantastic drivers here at Zemcar. We hope you get a chance to meet her or one of her colleagues soon! Questions, please contact support@zemcar.com. And download our app at https://www.zemcar.com/parents.

 

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Advisor Answers: Cristina Addesa

At Zemcar, we have an amazing Board of Advisors with backgrounds that span children’s health, security, technology, and business. Transparency, safety, and security are our mission and, with that in mind, we thought it was important that you get a chance to know a little bit more about our team driving that mission. This week’s interview is with Cristina Addesa.

Cristina has spent the past 20 years in brand and product marketing for new-to-the-world technologies and brands like Keurig and iRobot.  Her passion is to truly understand the people who are experiencing her brands and make sure that every interaction they have is delightful.

What attracted you to Zemcar?

First and foremost, I see with my friends and family that this is a big problem that needs to be solved.  Secondly, I met the team and knew that they were the right people to develop something that could truly solve the problem because of the combination of expertise in building technology and overall safety.

What about your experience do you think will bring the most value to Zemcar?

I’ve spent my career taking complex technology and products that have never existed and make sure they are easy to understand and use.  Hopefully, I can help the team continue to keep the consumer front of mind while we are acquiring drivers and riders and improving the service and app.

Besides Zemcar, what’s a “must have app” that you can’t live without?

I’m a bit obsessed with AccuWeather.  It’s a must-have here in New England but I also check it when I’m traveling so I know what to pack.  In my house, we’re also crazy about music apps like Sonos, Spotify, and Pandora. 

Are you a parent?

I am!  I have 2 daughters, 5 and 3 years old.

Do you think technology has made parenting today easier or more difficult?

Both.  Technology can help us in so many ways as parents.  However, I think it adds to the things we need to show diligence around in terms of keeping our children safe.

Funniest Parenting Moment?

Every day my girls make me laugh with the things that come out of their mouths.  Yesterday I was playing with my 3-year-old on a slide and she wanted me to stand in a certain spot.  When she checked to make sure I was where she wanted me she told me “Mom, you are messing this up.” And I thought to myself “More than you know!”

One piece of advice to parents?

I shy away on giving parenting advice since I feel like I’m making this up as I go along!  What I would say is that I don’t know anyone who isn’t time-crunched.  We all take on so much.  So, where possible, try out new technology that will save you time and check things off your list. In my career, I’ve heard so many times “I wish I had bought this product years ago – I don’t know what I’d do without it!”

Advisor Answers: Stephanie Cota

At Zemcar, we have an amazing Board of Advisors with backgrounds that span children’s health, security, technology, and business. Transparency, safety, and security are our mission and, with that in mind, we thought it was important that you get a chance to know a little bit more about our team driving that mission.

Today’s interview is with Stephanie Cota. Stephanie has spent 15+ years overseeing global Brand Marketing including for the world-famous Barbie brand.  As Senior Vice President of Global Communications at Mattel, she leads and oversees their entire portfolio of brands. In addition to serving on the Mattel Children’s Foundation board and the board of trustees for Otis College of Art and Design, she is an executive producer for ABC’s The Toy Box television show.

Are you a parent?

3 boys, an almost 4-year-old and twins who turned 2 in January.  And a dog who is almost 9- he is also the best-behaved member of the family.

What attracted you to Zemcar?

As a working Mom of 3 young boys, getting from point A to B to C and everywhere in between is challenging. We go to great lengths to keep our children safe- from cutting up grapes to childproofing cabinets to state of the art car seats.  Putting one’s child in a car with little to no visibility is risky and in my opinion, not smart.

Zemcar brings smart technology and security into the car AND gives the control to the parent/caregiver.  Simply said, Zemcar brings peace of mind- a necessity in the sea of parenting chaos.

What about your experience do you think will bring the most value to Zemcar?

My love of branding, marketing, advertising and communications (which also happens to be my background).

Consumers are no longer interested in what you are selling. Consumers are interested in why you are selling what you are selling. They want to know the products they are buying bring purpose or an experience.

Zemcar delivers on the purpose and the experience and I am so excited to work with the team to bring the brand to the next level.

Besides Zemcar, what’s a “must have app” that you can’t live without?

Waze and Instagram (and Uber when I travel).

Do you think technology has made parenting today easier or more difficult?

Both.  At the end of the day, a parent’s intuition wins over technology.  The trick is letting technology help vs takeover.

Funniest Parenting Moment?

Too many to count!  I’ll go with a moment from last night.  My almost 4-year-old was negotiating for more snuggle time.  The conversation went something like this (note- it was WAY past his bedtime).

Levi: “Mommy, 4 more minutes of snuggle time please”

Me: “Levi, it’s quite late, you may have 2 more minutes of snuggle time”

Levi: “Mommy, your plan is not a good plan, 4 minutes is better”

Me: “Let’s compromise and do 3 minutes of snuggle time”

Levi: “I have a better idea, let’s snuggle for the number of minutes after 3”

One piece of advice to parents?

Enjoy every moment- even the tough ones (note- I get that this is easier said than done- especially when I come home after a long day at work and there is a crayon masterpiece on the wall).

Advisor Answers: Julie Egan

At Zemcar, we have an amazing Board of Advisors with backgrounds that span children’s health, security, technology, and business. Transparency, safety, and security are our mission and, with that in mind, we thought it was important that you get a chance to know a little bit more about our team driving that mission.

Today’s interview is with Julie Egan. Julie has been building parent partnerships and creating family solutions in the child care industry since 2012. As part of Bright Horizons’ Parent Marketing team, Julie focused on ensuring parent satisfaction and developing and implementing marketing strategies, while contributing to the enrollment growth at more than 20 locations in the Boston and New York City markets. She was recently appointed to Bright Horizons’ new Emerging Growth Division where she is accountable for the critical growth function of ramping new locations nationwide. Prior to her work in the child care industry, Julie was a corporate insurance broker specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions risk management. Julie lives in Hingham, Massachusetts with her husband and three sons.

What attracted you to Zemcar?

Two things, a first-hand understanding, as a parent of three with complicated scheduling logistics, of the demand for a safe, reliable, and trusted transportation alternative. And Juliette Kayyem, who better to lead a company of this kind as CEO than a National Security expert?

What about your experience do you think will bring the most value to Zemcar?

My experience working with families in the child care and early education industry and ensuring safety for parents while entrusting their children with Zemcar.

Besides Zemcar, what’s a “must have app” that you can’t live without?

Instacart.  Groceries are delivered to our door in less than 2 hours and before the family has the chance to turn on me from hunger. 

Do you think technology has made parenting today easier or more difficult?

Although it falls somewhere in the middle,  I would say technology has made parenting easier than more difficult for our family. The ease of staying in contact and having the ability to track our teenagers’ whereabouts who wish they could get off the grid gives us peace of mind. The interactive features of educational technology have enhanced learning, engagement, and provides us with real-time progress to help us keep our boys on track.

Funniest Parenting Moment?

Leaving my husband with our newborn and no diapers and coming home to a baby in a DIY brief made of a dishtowel, tissues, and masking tape.

One piece of advice to parents?

To value and cherish the importance of family dinners.  

Advisor Answers: Laura DeBonis

At Zemcar, we have an amazing Board of Advisors with backgrounds that span children’s health, security, technology, and business. Transparency, safety, and security are our mission and, with that in mind, we thought it was important that you get a chance to know a little bit more about our team driving that mission.

Today’s interview is with Laura DeBonis. Laura brings a strong security background to the Advisory Board, having served on technology advisory boards in the past on security and privacy matters.  She serves as co-chair of the Technology Working Group of the Public Interest Declassification Board, to which she was appointed by President Obama in 2015. In the past, she has also held management positions at Google and EF Education First, serving in operational roles and in business development, and has served on project teams for the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

What attracted you to Zemcar?

Zemcar is a terrific solution to a problem increasingly common to so many families today.  Busy parents; busy kids; crazy, conflicting schedules;  and far too many locations often at the same time. Sometimes you just need a little driving help from someone you can really trust and who will be there for you when you need it!  Zemcar gives you an entire circle of trusted drivers to help with getting kids places.

What about your experience do you think will bring the most value to Zemcar?

I have worked in the digital world for a long time on the launch of a number of multi-faceted products, with demanding users, complex partnerships, and privacy and security considerations.  I love the energy that comes from being part of an early team motivated to solve a complex problem, with a technology solution that will really have impact and change the game!

Besides Zemcar, what’s a “must have app” that you can’t live without?

Google Maps.  I would literally be lost without it.  Talk about a world-changing product!

Are you a parent?

Yes – I have two kiddos just emerging into the target age range for Zemcar – I know Ill be using the service!

Do you think technology has made parenting today easier or more difficult?

Some things are much easier and some things are much more challenging.  But, on the whole, technology has really improved the lives of parents today and especially the lives of working moms.

Funniest Parenting Moment?

Oh goodness.  There are so many!  I can’t bear to choose one.

One piece of advice to parents?

100%, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.  Choose your battles wisely and pace yourself!