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Podium: Spotlight on Legal Teams in the Ironclad Community

March 17, 2021 4 min read

We’re shining a light on the Legal team at Podium, whose team is new to our Community (welcome!). Podium is a suite of messaging tools that enables businesses of all sizes to connect with customers via text to do things like request payments, collect reviews, and sell products, in a modern, convenient way.

Having recently raised their Series C, the company is expanding their Legal team of three to four and looking for an in-house counsel who’s got hustle, a growth mindset and is looking to make an impact in the business.

We recently talked with the team — Head of Legal Brandon Boulter, Senior Contracts Manager Amber Ellis and Legal Counsel Chris Wallace — to learn more about their roles, company culture, why they joined Podium — and why you should consider joining too!

Meet the Podium Team

Tell us about yourselves. Where were you before Podium?

  • Brandon: I joined Podium over four years ago from a company called Chegg. When I’m not working, I like to spend time trying out a new recipe or restaurant, or exploring the incredible scenery Utah has to offer.
  • Chris: Before Podium, I was at a law firm helping entrepreneurs succeed. I coach on the local high school mountain bike team as well as youth soccer. I love the outdoors, and the Lehi headquarters is perfectly located.
  • Amber: With 14 years of experience negotiating contracts, I am passionate about recognizing the perspective of a counterpart and understanding their world in order to persuade from their standpoint. Before Podium, I was at an enterprise SaaS technology company, creating contracting processes for the transition from a startup to a publicly traded company.

What led you to Podium? Describe your role in three words.

  • Brandon: It’s cliché, but I came to Podium initially because of the people. Years before joining Podium, I had worked at another startup with several Podium team members, so I had a pretty clear sense of the culture and success they were building here and I wanted to be a part of it. That said, the reality of what I’ve experienced over the last 4 years — and what I see ahead for Podium — has far exceeded even my most optimistic early expectations.
  • Chris: I came to Podium because of its potential for growth, the culture, and the product. Podium’s platform is amazing, and I’m proud to be part of building and growing it.
  • Amber: I was recruited to Podium, and the one-of-a-kind culture and opportunities for growth sealed the deal. My role in three words? Communication with results.

Your company values are “Be a founder, murder drama, and enjoy the ride.” How do these come to life in your team?

  • Brandon:
    • Be a Founder: I think most Podium employees have worn (and continue to wear) a lot of different hats, all with the goal of doing whatever we can to contribute to our collective success. This founder mentality is contagious and is one of the key reasons Podium has grown the way it has.
    • Murder Drama: This boils down to recognizing common goals and communicating clearly to achieve those goals. Podium empowers and encourages its team members to share ideas and feedback openly to help move things forward.
    • Enjoy the Ride: It’s often said that winning is fun. At Podium it’s hard to not have fun when you recognize your part in the success you see around you. Being able to celebrate those wins — big and small — with people you genuinely like working with is key to enjoying the ride.
  • Chris
    • Be a Founder: Podium treats teams and departments as mini-startups. You can have an idea of how to improve something and then spend the time validating and implementing it.
    • Murder Drama: Constantly recognizing the team effort that it takes to get stuff done and being aware of how what I do impacts others. We don’t let ego get in the way of our results.
    • Enjoy the Ride: We take the time to recognize our successes and make work fun as well as career productive. We live in the coolest state for outdoor recreation.
  • Amber: Our team brings “Be a Founder” to life by finding ways to make things better around us. We aim to be problem solvers.

We see you’re hiring for an in-house counsel to work closely across departments, especially the Sales, Partnerships and Customer Success teams. What skills are critical for the role? What will be the main focus for this new role?

  • Brandon: In addition to the basics of research, writing, critical thinking, and negotiation, the ability to be solution-oriented and the willingness to be collaborative with individuals across the organization will be critical in this role. Our team often serves as a critical link between departments, so finding ways to effectively balance and, at times, mediate between the needs of key internal stakeholders will be important in this role.
  • Chris: Solid legal skills like writing, research, and contract negotiation. Humility. Willingness to learn. Someone who can educate others and make them risk aware.
  • Amber: An important skill needed is a growth mindset. One main focus will be building trusted relationships by addressing fears of immediate uncertainty and long-term risk.

What sets this Legal team apart from ones you’ve worked with in the past?

  • Brandon: Podium moves fast and our team does everything we can to keep that velocity going. We’ve demonstrated the ability to be nimble, while also being thoughtful and creative in finding solutions. We’ve cultivated a strong working relationship across the organization by bringing answers to the table, not just questions or concerns.
  • Chris: The level of collaboration and willingness to constantly pivot to get things right. We possess a “yes, and” mindset, not a “no, but” mindset. We are learn-it-alls, not know-it-alls. Here are some of the books that I love that I think illustrate our team’s values: Grit by Angela Duckworth, What I Wish I knew When I Was Twenty by Tina Seelig, Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, and The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves by the Arbinger Institute.
  • Amber: Of the five in-house legal teams I’ve worked with, ours stands out for our willingness to adapt as we drive deals forward.

Meet other legal leaders in this series, including Joel Benavides, Head of Global Legal and DPO at Redis Labs; Jennifer Chung, GC of AccuWeather; Ryan Black, Director of Legal Ops at Opendoor; Florence Chan, Legal Ops Manager at Cloudflare; and Deanna Sheridan, GC of Spartan Race. And if you’d like to get new jobs and invitations to exclusive member events, join the Ironclad Community.

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Vera Devera leads Ironclad’s event programs. She’s passionate about creating extraordinary, one-of-kind experiences, and loves bringing people together. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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