Harkening back to an era when friendly, professional call answering was the norm, the name “Ruby” fits us to a T. When Jill Nelson founded our company back in 2003, she quickly realized that business owners and callers alike were longing for a personal connection in a desert of impersonal customer service and robotic answering machines.
Our team of smart, charming “Rubys” is up to the challenge. Our mission is to preserve and perpetuate real, meaningful connections in an increasingly technology-focused, virtual world. We see the fruits of our labor in positive feedback from callers and clients, and our many awards: from being a nine-time “Fastest Growing Company in Oregon” to our crowning achievement of being named a top 5 Best Small Company to Work for in the U.S. by FORTUNE Magazine four years running.
Our Core Values are how we get there. They are not something you hear about on your first day and file away in a drawer. We use them to make all of our decisions, big and small. Every Ruby knows them by heart (go ahead, quiz ‘em!), and if you’re wondering who we are, our Core Values are definitely the place to start.
We’re a happy bunch, and we like to make others happy. Every day, we wage a war on impersonal service and stressed out workdays. We take time to celebrate our successes, of which there are many. Work may be work, but that doesn’t mean we all have to be serious all day. Ruby puts the fun and happiness in professionalism, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s worth it because we foster happiness.
We’re not just about answering phones. We’re about finding that special something that will knock your socks off, and giving it to you before you even know you want it. We don’t do fine—we hit it out of the park. Nothing gives us a bigger kick than impressing our clients and team members. More than impressing, really—surprising, delighting, WOWing. Simply doing a good job isn’t enough for us.
We make our mark by practicing WOWism.
We are a team, and the goal of our sport is success—success for our clients, for our team members, and for everyone we interact with every day. Our clients don’t view us as faceless operators, but part of their team, and we view them as part of ours. When our clients win, we win. We consider the big picture in every action, and choose the path that provides the most benefits for all involved. It is not one superstar that makes our company work. We are all connected and we depend on each other. We create special times together. We make the connection.
We succeed through creating community.
If there is a better way to do something, we’ll find it. “That’s the way it’s always been done” is not a reason to keep doing what we’re doing. We are not confined to “standard operating procedures.” If it’s not working for us, we’ll change on a dime. Our ideas come from everyone in the company, and we’re not afraid to throw ourselves into the creative process, whether or not our ideas come to fruition. In our eyes, perfection is the only acceptable result, and we won’t rest until we achieve it.
We lead through innovation.
Whether we’re growing personally or professionally, we’re always up to the challenge. We aren’t afraid to make mistakes; we’re risk-takers at heart and each decision makes us wiser. Change inspires us, and learning is a life-long passion. We adapt, transform, and get excited about what lies ahead.
We thrive through growth.
Our Leadership Team
JILL NELSON Founder and CEORead Bio
Jill’s passion for making people happy, number-crunching, and superb customer service makes our top-notch receptionist service stand out in the virtual crowd. She holds her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Oregon, and you might say she has a slight obsession with KPIs (and the mighty Oregon Ducks!). She was named a 2012 “Customer Champion” by 1to1 Magazine and was featured as Portland Monthly’s April 2012 “Rainmaker.” In 2010, she was honored with a Portland Business Journal “Orchid Award” for her service as a female business leader who is deeply involved in the community. Jill formerly served as President of the Portland chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, who awarded her as its 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year.
DAVID DE REGO CMORead Bio
With more than 30 years of experience growing service and technology companies, David has spent his career in a variety of roles: technical support, software training, consulting, project management and a number of different marketing positions. With most of his career leading a team of marketing professionals, David’s approach to successful growth is best summarized by one of his favorite quotes by Michael Jordan – “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. When it comes to driving brand awareness, creating demand and viral growth, nothing is more significant than a positive customer experience and a community of advocates. David and his wife Karen live in Beaverton, Oregon, where they raised their four daughters and son. A descendant of Manuel Nunes, the inventor of the ukulele, David is originally from Kaneohe, Hawaii.
KEITH NELSON CIORead Bio
Keith left corporate America after 25 years designing and implementing enterprise data networks, and vowed never to cut his hair again. It may be short once more, but his commitment to out-of-the-box thinking is still long-haired as ever; since joining Ruby, he has completely overhauled our technology, transitioning us onto our new, customized, state-of-the-art communications platform. As network architect, he keeps our technology cutting-edge and our virtual receptionist service seamless, reliable, and secure.
DIANA STEPLETON Vice President, OperationsRead Bio
Diana may be the friendliest, most caring overachiever you will ever meet. She earned a 4.0 GPA in her Masters in Business Administration, spent 9 years on the equipment side of AT&T/Lucent, and co-owned a successful market research company for many years. Her experience as a small business owner, eagle-eyed attention to detail, and extensive knowledge of phones make her perfect to oversee Ruby Receptionists' day-to-day operations.
KATHARINE NESTER Vice President, ProductRead Bio
It's no accident Katharine found her way to Ruby. Her career has focused on working for companies that value and support human connections, including roles in product management at Ancestry.com and AAA. Her desire to restore the human connection in our increasingly technological world comes with a top-notch pedigree, including a degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Oxford University. She brings the perfect combination of passion and experience to lead the evolution of Ruby's product and service.
JACE THOMPSON Vice President, FinanceRead Bio
Jace is just as comfortable shaping business models into the future as he is at working on day-to-day tactical business execution. After 14 years of strategic finance work with Intel, Jace made the break to the startup scene as Finance Director for an e-commerce retail site, where his passion for mining data trends in unit economics and enabling growth scaling could be a focus. Joining Ruby as VP of Finance was a natural extension of this passion as he is now focused on developing enterprise business analytics that will enable new levels of growth while maintaining Ruby’s legendary client service level. As an avid endurance athlete and outdoor enthusiast, he spends at least a portion of every day running or biking around Portland.
KEVIN GILLAM Vice President, Business DevelopmentRead Bio
Surprisingly laidback for an ardent health devotee, Kevin has two passions: making Ruby a business-hold name and dynamic fitness. Having almost two decades of marketing and advertising experience under his belt, including owning a successful direct marketing company, Kevin has taken the helm of Ruby's public image. Leading a bi-weekly fitness class for Ruby's Wellness Program, Kevin incorporates his other strengths and keeps the Ruby team happy and healthy!
CHRISTINA BURNS Director of Customer HappinessRead Bio
A Ruby since 2009 (when she started as a receptionist), Christina brings over a decade of customer service experience to our Customer Happiness team. She believes that a grassroots culture of collaboration, support, and personal growth is the key to providing world-class customer service, and she strives to foster that culture within her department every day. Using her signature humor, humility, and compassion to guide her, she leads our Customer Happiness superheroes as they pioneer a new frontier of WOW-worthy service!
BRENDA BROWN Vice President, PeopleRead Bio
Shaping leaders is a longtime passion for Ruby’s VP of People, Brenda Brown. Not only has she devoted her career to helping others grow their professional skills, she also owned a training consulting business dedicated to teaching others to do the same for nearly a decade. Brenda comes to Ruby with a Master’s of Science degree in Human Resource Development from Seattle Pacific University, and more than 20 years of experience in the human resources field with primary work in corporate training, organizational development, and change management. Tech expertise provides the perfect complement to her extensive learning and development background: Brenda spent seven years in information technology management with a San Francisco financial services company. A self-starter who loves a challenge, Brenda thrives on inspiring and empowering her fellow Rubys to reach new heights professionally and personally.