Inquisitiveness is an intrinsic value at Socure, and we’re always learning more about what makes our team members tick. Our SoCurious blog series will explore how we’re working together to eliminate identity fraud, and highlight the many people essential to driving growth, innovation, and our unique culture at Socure.
We’re SoCurious about: Rivka Gewirtz Little, Socure’s Chief of Staff
How did you first learn about Socure?
When Socure was a young company, Rivka worked for a large fraud vendor, where she was on a team that assessed startups for acquisition. One day in 2013, Johnny traveled to Hoboken and pitched Socure to Rivka and her team. Rivka remembers: “Johnny’s energy level was unlike any other. I knew this guy was gonna run through walls to be successful.” Rivka admired Johnny’s vision on tackling fraud through a lens of identity and onboarding and stopping fraud at the point of day zero as opposed to beyond.
What drew you to Socure?
During her time as a market analyst for IDC, her team worked on a big market survey for holistic identity fraud and verification vendors. Rivka quickly noticed that Socure was positioned in a way that was very different from its competitors.
While thinking more about the Socure, Rivka reached out to a friend (who also happened to be a mutual friend of Johnny’s), who mentioned that Rivka should consider working for Socure.
Johnny encouraged Rivka to come talk to the team and learn more about Socure. Shortly after, Rivka came into Socure wearing a full suit—not knowing Socure had a relaxed dress code environment. And by the end of her conversation, Rivka didn’t even realize how engrossed in the conversation and how comfortable she was, until she noticed that she had actually kicked off her heels during their meeting. This would be the start of a very exciting time for her and Socure.
“Ultimately, it was the combination of a winning team led by Johnny and a technology that literally changed the game in how you prevent fraud, and more importantly, how you open the door for digital innovation.”
What does it mean to be a Chief of Staff? What problems are you solving?
Being the chief of staff comes with many responsibilities. Rivka acts as a vital partner to every functional leader at Socure. She works with each leader to identify any roadblocks, strategize solutions, and ensure that every team is as efficient and successful as possible. She notes, “I’m really lucky to be a thought partner to every leader in such a dynamic executive team.”
Rivka often jokes about being a therapist: “What is the problem and how do we get to the bottom of it?” She continuously thinks of herself as a multiplier of Johnny, and wants to expand and support his strategy and work toward the overall mission.
“This is the best job of my life – no questions asked. It’s something I’m exploring everyday. I ask myself every morning what I can do to enable the rapid scale that we need to execute on”.
What has been your favorite project so far?
The most exciting project began the first day of Rivka’s journey as chief of staff. Socure’s Founder & CEO Johnny Ayers said “We’re going to raise $100 million,” and mentioned that Rivka would be the person to help tell the story to achieve it. “The fundraise process required input from every functional leader and many others across product marketing, marketing and commercial teams. It really showed how cross-functionally aligned and strong we could be at Socure.”
Rivka is currently helping each team across the organization set detailed OKR’s (Objectives & Key Results). These types of objectives will be ‘visionary’ as opposed to solely tactical, and she will help ensure that every single person in the organization understands and executes against these OKR’s. She notes, “Setting a north star and enabling everyone to walk their distinct but aligned path to their north star is the most important thing I can help do this year.”
Additionally, Rivka mentions that there is now a larger need for digital commerce in unexpected ways— mainly due to the large amount of work distribution, remote living and functioning. She is also working with Socure’s CEO Johnny Ayers, CRO Rhon Daguro, and the entire marketing team to strategize and ensure that Socure can successfully spread across these new verticals. She says, “This is an exciting opportunity to ‘speak new languages’ and learn how to apply our product in new, innovative ways.”
How would you describe the culture at Socure and in your team?
Socure’s leadership team prides itself on providing a healthy work environment, ample opportunities for employee growth, and ultimately, the chance to be a part of a company that is making a difference in the digital identity verification and fraud space.
Socure’s leadership team is divided into two teams: Team Orange and Team Blue. Rivka is part of Team Orange, which includes Socure’s entire executive team. She mentions, “Team Orange is candid and curious and critical…it is so stunning to see a team evolve from functional to a super productive, optimized, goal oriented machine.”
As Rivka works with functional leaders and individual contributors, what she sees across all teams is that culture is very much embodied in everything Socure does. There is no gap between individual contributors and who they report into in Team Orange.There is an increasingly consistent culture that she loves to see take shape daily.
Why do you think people should Join Socure and why at this phase?
One reason why people should join Socure? “Growth,” Rivka says. Not only is Socure growing rapidly as a company, but there is also extensive room for career growth within the company. She emphasizes that employees at Socure have the opportunity to be a part of a company that is revolutionizing digital identity and how the world digitally operates.
“There is no doubt this is an exciting time to join Socure, especially as the company is now considered a “Unicorn” in the start-up world.” Rivka says, “ Socure’s mission has long been to ensure 100% trust for every application and transaction on the internet and within that our goal is to eliminate identity fraud. Creating 100% trust becomes even more exciting at a time where digital channels are exploding with innovation and use. We at Socure are the fabric that makes it possible, we are the layer of trust that enables all of those digital interactions.”
“Not only are we working to eliminate identity fraud, but we have done a lot of work to define our culture and to ensure we continuously build a community that reflects these principles of mutual respect, intense collaboration, constant learning, radical candor, and holding ourselves to relentlessly high standards. We are clear on what makes you successful as a Socurean and it makes this a very dynamic place to work.”
When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
Rivka believes there is always a combination of ‘work and play’ when holding an executive level job at a fast growing company. Rivka says that spending quality time with her children and family is her top priority. When she’s not working or spending time with family, you can find her riding her bike and spending time in nature. She is an avid traveler and can’t wait to get back to seeing new places. Rivka recently purchased a little bungalow, and she enjoys traveling there with her family.
“Not only is Socure an amazing place to work, but it also celebrates a balanced work and family environment where each member of the team can experience ‘work and play’ successfully.”
Michelle joined Socure in 2018, and is a Recruiter for the Talent Team. Michelle is a New Jersey native, and is excited to continue watching Socure grow. When not working, she is an avid traveler, enjoys cooking, playing video games, and loves spending time with her partner and their fur babies.
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