Meet Our Lineup: Dilara Casey
Dilara Casey is a marketer-turned-culture-leader focused on human connectivity. She is also the newest member of the 30 Lines team and joins our company as the Senior Director of Talent and Culture.
In this newly established role, Dilara will oversee the growth and continued development of 30 Lines’ most valuable asset, it’s people. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to 30 Lines, with more than two decades of diverse marketing experience.
Just like the brands she’s helped establish, Dilara is a recognizable name in the Central Ohio market. She has been featured in the Huffington Post, Mashable, and Buzzfeed while her thought leadership has been featured in blogs for Columbus CEO Magazine, the American Marketing Association, and Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Dilara’s work has also caught the eye of the TODAY Show, USA TODAY, Forbes Magazine, and landed her recognition on the 2016 Columbus Business First Forty Under 40 list.
In her role with 30 Lines, Dilara will drive all company culture, employee training and development, and talent recruitment initiatives. Dilara’s position is designed to help 30 Lines expand on its people-first culture, which already includes an open door to office pets, access to an old-school Nintendo, and occasional meatball madness luncheons for 30 Lines team members.
Please join us in giving a warm 30 Lines welcome to Dilara! Read on for a chance to get to know her a bit better – in her own words. You’re also welcome to send a greeting to Dilara by reaching out to her directly via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How did you get your start in marketing?
Let me preface this with: I have a Spanish degree and a Telecommunications degree. Because of that, I did what most people would do and I started my career in sales. One day I was meeting with a client and realized I wanted her job–I wanted to drive the marketing decisions for an organization. Through some meaningful connections, hard work, and a lot of luck, I was able to make a switch from sales to marketing.
Tell us about how your career has progressed?
Once I started in marketing, things progressed quickly for me through a variety of opportunities; I went from Coordinator to Director in the span of about three years. That wouldn’t have been possible without my network of mentors and peers helping me and cheering me along the way.
The progression was all based on one thing— people. I put lots of time and energy into creating a network by thoughtfully surrounding myself with people who inspire and support me. I spent nearly two decades in a variety of marketing roles; from B2B and B2C, for-profit and non-profit, corporate and startup. One of my favorite roles was at Resource Interactive (now an IBM company) where I was one of the first members on their social team.
In my most recent adventure, I was the Marketing Director at a startup that was scaling for growth; as such, I had my hands in a variety of projects, many of which were people and talent related. I became fascinated with the intersection of Marketing and HR and gathered a better understanding of the people piece from the inside out. That job created a springboard for me to land here at 30 Lines.
What drives your passion for marketing and talent development?
People, 100%. People are at the core of marketing, and talent is in the core of every person. In a marketing role, I’d get a high off connecting a consumer with the product or service they need to make their life easier. In a talent role, I get a high off connecting a person with meaningful work that makes them feel fulfilled.
Tell us a little about your last job.
I worked at a startup based here in Columbus as their Marketing Director. It was a wild ride; we grew from 35 to 160 employees in the span of about six months. It’s times like those that make or break a company and we arrived on the other side with a few bumps and bruises, but otherwise healthy. I was able to leverage my 15+ years as a marketing expert to build systems, process, and programs for the marketing department to drive top-line sales and increase consumer engagement. I worked heavily on internal and external branding and communications, and had the privilege to hone my PR skills more than ever. As a lean startup, I pitched in with other departments, mainly Human Resources.
We worked with a few consultants who opened my eyes to meaningful perspectives in talent and culture and I was drawn to it. I wrote the company handbook and created training programs and systems for our team members, and that really tripped my trigger. I always love learning new things and am constantly fascinated by people and how they think.
How would you describe your proudest professional accomplishment to date?
I was really proud to receive the Columbus Business First Forty Under 40 honor in 2016, but I will have to say it’s the off-the-record moments that make me the proudest. A young lady I mentored landed her dream job recently and reached out to thank me. Another young lady I met in 1999 and hadn’t seen since, recently reached out on LinkedIn to thank me for being a positive role model for her. She has carried that around with her for nearly 20 years— how cool is that?! Trophies and awards are nice, completing a project is fulfilling— but getting that random email or LinkedIn message from somebody I helped five, 10, or 20 years ago; that is what makes me proud.
What are some elements of a winning work culture?
Teamwork. Curiosity. Guts. Passion. Respect.
In my home, we have a household culture. My husband and kids and I worked on this together. If you pull my five-year-old daughter aside, she will recite these without blinking an eye. “Listen the first time. Respect others. Be honest. Keep your hands to yourself.” I often think those four guidelines could make a good work culture, too!
What are you most excited to do here at 30 Lines?
I’m excited to help build this team and work with everybody to unlock their absolute potential and have fun doing it.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If it’s not working for you, then it’s not working.
Seven years ago, after I’d given birth to my son, my friend Nicki Kraft came over and was helping me with the baby. I was reading all of these books and best practices and felt overwhelmed. I was trying a method to get my son to sleep and it clearly wasn’t working. She calmly put her hand on my arm and said this to me and it has stuck with me ever since. To me, this applies in so many aspects of life, love, careers, relationships— whatever. It’s a beautiful, liberating thing to realize that something isn’t working because it empowers you to fix or change it. And it frees you from the guilt of thinking it’s your fault, because usually it isn’t. The fact is: IT JUST ISN’T WORKING.
What’s one thing you’re super excited about that’s coming up in 2019?
I’m super excited to be a part of the 30 Lines team, for sure! I’m looking forward to working with such a smart, engaged group of people.
Personally, I just went through a prolific time of storytelling and wrote a few manuscripts for a book series. I have three books completed and they’re in the midst of heavy edits. I hope to release them in 2019.
If you had to choose only 3 adjectives to describe yourself, which would you choose?
Spunky, Kind, Creative
Tell us about a brand that inspires you.
It might sound cliche, but I love Starbucks. They do so much and they do it well; Howard Schultz had the vision to create a company that offered fair wages and benefits to his employees and built an entire culture around it. It’s amazing how successful you can be when you think of things from the inside out. And I have mad respect for their consistency. A cup of coffee in Seattle tastes the same as one in Columbus. They have their operations down to a science.
If you could spend the day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be and why?
I have tons of respect for Sara Blakely. She’s unapologetic about being a working mom. Many people know her because she’s the founder of Spanx and the first female, self-made billionaire. But I see a woman who had a vision, didn’t give up, and managed to not sacrifice her life goals for her career goals.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to write— physically, technically, and literally! I’ve been passionate about hand lettering since I was in seventh grade when I picked up a calligraphy pen for the first time. I used to do signage and chalkboards for a grocery store I worked for through high school and part of college. In college, I started charging people to let me address their wedding invitations. I took a break from it for a few years, but reignited my interest these last few years. Handwriting is becoming a lost art, and I want to do my best to preserve it. I mean, if you’re stranded on an island and don’t know how to write “HELP” in the sand, how will they come rescue you?
What is your favorite “at bat” song?
I’m really digging the Caroline Rose album right now. It’s been the soundtrack to my 2018, so I’d say “Soul No 5” is probably what I’d use. It’s spunky, fun, fresh, tongue-in-cheek and has a super nice bass line.