Employee Spotlight: Makayla Calderone Celebrates 10 Years with CWS!
This month’s employee spotlight is a very special one. Meet Makayla! Makayla Calderone is ourMarket Data Specialist, and this week she is celebrating her 10 year anniversary with Commercial Web Services! We were excited to get her perspective on the business over the past ten years and highlight her strong influence within our business as she touches many different pieces of it. Not to mention, it’s also her birthday month– happy birthday, Makayla!
Sarah: First, tell us a little about yourself, Makayla.
Makayla: I grew up on a farm in Upstate New York near the Canadian border where I received my regents diploma and afterward attended SUNY, until I moved to Virginia Beach. I used to get asked about my accent when I first moved here, but it’s slowly gone away over the last 10 years. I loved living on a farm when I was younger and used to jump hale bales and eat cherry tomatoes in the garden. I come from a large family of small business owners, which is where I grew my passion for entrepreneurship. I enjoy architecture, and have designed, built, and flipped 2 houses in Virginia Beach. I recently bought a 36 acre farm in Virginia Beach with my Fiancé, and we currently own and care for 13 rescue horses and enjoy the simple life of having a farm. We plan on getting goats and chickens once we’ve built our house there. I’m also passionate about staying active and typically run 16 miles a week, as well as beach cruise down the oceanfront boardwalk.
Sarah: What brought you to Commercial Web Services and how has your position evolved?
Makayla: When I first started, Commercial Web Services was housed within a large new building in Downtown Norfolk, and there was a lot of excitement about the potential for the businesses within this new building- including CWS. I was drawn to working at a web service company. I started working at another company within the organization and quickly moved to Trader Online before moving to Commercial Web Services. I began as a Retention Specialist assisting dealers in generating ROI from their websites. From there I became a Revenue Analyst, verifying contracts and setting up new websites on the platform. I create the billing and revenue for all new accounts and products we receive, and also manage the aging and collections. This position later evolved into what I do today as the Market Data Specialist, managing the full revenue cycle of all clients & OEM billing/aging, including key accounts & manual billing. I also process cancellations and business metrics, in which are used for projects needed by the leadership team.
Sarah: When you look back over the last 10 years at CWS, how have we grown?
Makayla: I have watched the company grow from almost the very beginning. When I started we were transitioning from our first platform “Site Construct” to our second platform “PSN.” We had a very small team but quickly grew with our client base. In the past couple years we’ve gained an entirely new development team who have built an innovative, customized platform for our dealers and now we are the number one website provider for equipment dealers. We have always maintained a fun “work hard, play hard” culture. Many of our team members are Star Wars fans so we even celebrate May the Fourth as a holiday!
Sarah: What has been your greatest accomplishment at CWS so far?
Makayla: My greatest accomplishments include helping clients with best practices for their online business and working in a role that contributes to the bottom line by retaining revenue through locating revenue through data anomalies and bad debt in aging. I collect the “kaputnik” as Jennie would say- which loosely translates to coin! In 2016 alone, I collected and retained over $560,000 for our business. I work with the finance team that manages all the companies within our business, and have been praised for having “the best aging in the building!” Most importantly, I have survived a billing system migration this year and even helped our business leaders in creating the requirements for our dealers billing. Contributing to a leadership team that values me and my ability to offer key metrics for important decisions makes it all worth it!
Sarah: What are you looking forward to in the future at CWS?
Makayla: We were recently purchased along with several of our sister companies. We are building “One Team with One Dream” and the opportunities are growing within our new business, Trader Interactive. I’m excited to continue to grow on this journey that started 10 years ago!
Sarah: What about working at CWS has made it “home” the past 10 years?
Makayla: Hampton Roads is not my hometown and this was my first office job out of college. I have grown up with the company, and have built great co-worker relationships and gained valuable mentors. These friendships are so valuable that after a nice vacation, I can’t wait to see them again at work!
Thank you, Makayla, for sharing your personal journey with Commercial Web Services and how this business and the people within it, have shaped you and helped you grow over the past ten years! We appreciate your dedication to our mission to serve the commercial industry to the best of our ability, and look forward to your continued growth at CWS!