Get to know Skedulo – David Wabel – Senior Director, Growth Marketing
I’ve always been inspired by creative works, and often entertained the thought of becoming a poet in my younger years. But, being extremely difficult to make a living, I opted instead for a career in advertising – a choice where I felt I could combine my love for creativity with the potential for a good living.
Since then my work has taken me many places, across a huge variety of sectors including banking, insurance, law and healthcare (to name a few).
Most recently I worked as a self-employed Growth Marketing Strategist, where my goal was to engage with as many clients as possible so I could pinpoint an area that I was truly passionate about. In that time, I discovered an affinity for technology. More importantly though, I developed a strong sense that important work meant doing things that have a much bigger impact than I alone can achieve.
So when the opportunity came up to join Skedulo in 2020, it ticked all the right boxes for me: right stage, right people, right culture, and with a leader I knew I could work for.
I was also excited about the company’s burgeoning global presence – which ultimately meant I could live locally, but see the rewards of our work on a global scale.
Learning to curve my sharp elbows
Having spent over 15 years in marketing, I’d had no choice but to develop a thick skin. Advertising can be as cut-throat as they say (I see a lot of truth in the Mad Men series), and I’m also incredibly process driven which stems back to my childhood.
I grew up in the midwest and my father was an engineer who made parts for vehicles. A lot of precision goes into that type of work because any errors can be fatal.
I’ll never forget one particular summer…I was 14 and the latest round of parts didn’t fit. My parents put me on a truck to Kentucky with a WW2 veteran and 6 pallets of metal parts, and then I sat in the factory for 2 weeks re-machining them so the production line could go on.
I hated it at the time, but looking back you think about how experiences like this shape you as an adult. Being very process-driven, and having developed sharp elbows from decades in marketing, I know I can come off as a bit adversarial.
It was a bit of a shock to the system to find that Skedulo is not like this at all.
Everyone genuinely lives by the company value: Caring for each other.
It may take some time getting used to, but until then I’m learning that I don’t always need to be the tough guy in the room.
I think it’s important to learn from our past and present, and also consider how other people’s past and present shapes their own personal experience. Even though someone might come off as being tough or blunt, you never know what’s going on behind the scenes.
A peek behind the scenes of my life
I love to travel, and used to travel a lot before COVID. I also love to read, cook and dabble in interior design. I enjoy having fresh flowers in the house as I love that they bring the outdoors inside and it gives me great joy to see things alive.
Another area of passion for me is music. I particularly like versatile singer songwriters who bring poetic creativity into their music. Aretha Franklin, Frank Ocean, Rufus Wainwright, and Taylor Swift are particular favourites, as are newcomers like Lil Nas X.
Growing up, most of the music in our house was country. As I got older, I introduced rock and roll (Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC…all the favourites) which absolutely drove my parents crazy. I remember getting into trouble for sneaking out to attend an AC/DC concert, but that’s a story for another time!
When I travel, I always try to visit the Opera because I consider it one of the highest arts there is.
I believe music is a way to share experience, and some of these really hit home. Not too long ago, I heard the song “Sun Goes Down” from Lil Nas X, about a young man who is gay and spent all of his younger years afraid to tell anyone. He sat crying in the bathroom at his high school prom – and as a kid who had similar experiences growing up, I found the poetry in the music very powerful.
As Loretta Lynn once said, you don’t know how important something is until you look back, and I feel music helps us do that by triggering thoughts and emotions.
One important thing I’ve learned in life is that we seem to succeed the most when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. And as I settle into my journey with Skedulo, I’m so excited to continue learning about myself and to see where this new road takes me.