After a long search, we recently added marketing wiz Christie Clemens to our team. She joined Torsh in October as Manager, Marketing and Public Relations. She brings years of lead generation, analytics, storytelling, company branding, and communication experience. Christie recently moved back to her hometown of New Orleans after several years in Austin, Texas. She is happy to be home and excited to embark on this new adventure in Education Technology. I sat down with her for an introductory chat.
How did you hear about Torsh, and what convinced you to join our company?
I heard about the position from a neighbor. She said, “There is this really great company that I placed interns with, and you need to check them out.” Torsh had one of the most rigorous interview processes I have experienced -- extremely thoughtful inquiries, intelligent discussions and company involvement. Not “What kind of a tree do you consider yourself?” but rather legit, real interview questions. We spend so much time with our co-workers, so it’s super cool when the founder invites everyone to participate in the process. I know as the company grows this may not be sustainable, but walking into a tight-knit group is a joy. I look forward to Mondays. Seriously. Well, a lot more than historically.
Is working in education and/or tech new to you? If so, what drew you to it?
Edtech is new space for me, although my mom is a 40-year retired teaching veteran. I have several friends who are teachers and I hear their constant hurdles of more students, less funding, changes in curriculum, sometimes low community or parental involvement. Teaching is a very hard and often thankless career path. I have always paid attention to the space and I like to have spirited conversations on “how to right the ship,” so to speak. It was a perfect time, especially being back home in New Orleans, to make a transition to edtech in this amazing city.
Now that you’ve joined Torsh, what do you like about it so far?
I love that this is a startup with a founder and CEO who is very passionate about responsible reform. The startup environment is so unique in that it’s fast-moving, drinking from the firehose, everyone’s on board and everyone wears many hats. Often times more established organizations lend themselves to “Here is your very specific job description. Stay in this box” versus “We need your experience, we want a different vantage point, let’s put our minds together to solve “x” problem or issue.”
You lived in Austin and moved to NOLA a few years ago. What brought you here?
My heart has always been here. My parents are here. The drive back to Austin on the Bonnet Carré Spillway leaving from an LSU and Saints’ football weekend, or a family all-week eating extravaganza, was always a quiet, teary time. When you are more sad about where you are leaving than happy about where you are going, it’s time to make a change. NOLA author and journalist Chris Rose said it perfectly: “She is a New Orleans girl, and New Orleans girls never live anywhere else and even if they do, they always come back. That's just the way it is. This is where she belongs. End of discussion." I’m that New Orleans girl, and this is where I belong.
Life isn't all work and no play. What keeps you busy and brings you joy outside of work?
We are smack dab in the middle of football season and I am the crazy, weirdo, tiger ear-wearing, face painting, yell at the TV type of fan. We are exactly 76 days until Mardi Gras. Celebration in the Oaks has opened. It’s New Orleans. There is always something to do, somewhere to eat, somewhere to go. And of course if the weather is right, I can be found with a book on my porch with my English Bulldog, Riley. Or as my neighbors call him, “The Mayor.”