At BIA, our company culture is a source of pride among our team members and leaders. One example of our people-focus is our WOW! Awards program, which celebrates individual team members who demonstrate our Guiding Principles.
We chatted with our 2017 award winners, asking them about their roles, advice for colleagues, hobbies and how they will use (or have already used) their winnings. Check out part one of our blog here. Part two of our WOW! Award winner Q&A features Mike McCouch, Danny Rivera, Scott Hammer, Stephen Perih, Demetrius Salas and Tianna Zeimen.
Mike McCouch, IT Administrator
Nominated in the Service Excellence, Team Collaboration and Continuous Education categories for solving IT issues in an extremely efficient and thoughtful manner.
With BIA since: 2016
On his background and role: I have been in computers since 1994. I started out just building and selling computers. From there I went into networking then into system administration. At BIA, my main role is to keep the day-to-day operations of my co-workers running smoothly.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: I have found that just taking the time to listen to others and treat them with the same respect that I would want to be treated with goes a long way!
On the culture at BIA: The culture here is great! With so many backgrounds and skill sets on board, I don’t think there is anything we have to sub out. We also get along very well as a team; my co-workers are awesome. BIA also has it nailed in the perks department whether it’s free soda, a weekly office lunch or working from home when needed.
On his hobbies: Computers! I love playing with new technology. Aside from that, I also do repairs on cars and houses.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: The reward turned into new hard drives for my network area storage at home.
Danny Rivera, VP of Tech Services
Nominated in the Service Excellence and Team Collaboration categories for his contributions to close a huge business deal, including understanding the new client’s needs workflow and IT infrastructure.
With BIA since: 2007
On his background and role: I have been part of the industry for 14 years. I had worked at DOAR, Sullivan and Cromwell and Milberg Weiss before joining BIA. I am a senior project manager and manage both client projects and individuals inside of BIA. In short, I am Adam’s right hand man in managing the NYC team and clients.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: The advice I would give others is to not just be owners of a task but a stakeholder in the success of the project, company and teammates. That will bring true success at BIA.
On the culture at BIA: Repetition is key. We see the culture – our Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles – lived out each day at our desks and talked about at our lunch-and-learns. It's not just a piece of paper but something we all believe in.
On his hobbies: Sports, reading and traveling with family.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: Vacation!
Scott Hammer, Vice President of Technology
Nominated in the Service Excellence and Transformative Solutions categories for developing a legal hold implementation process from scratch under a tight go-live deadline date.
With BIA since: 2005
On his background and role: I actually started my career with BIA as a forensic tech, then became a developer. I left for another position for about 5 years but came back to BIA in 2016. There were better opportunities here, and I love the people. My main duties are handling technology for BIA, both internally and for our clients, advising what tech to use and how to implement those systems. I also lead our development team, which creates new technologies and modifies existing ones to streamline the eDiscovery process both internally and for our clients.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: Take pride in your work, and know that the company has your back. Try to do something better each day!
On the culture at BIA: I’ll say this about the culture at BIA… everyone that was here before I left is still here now. That reflects well on our culture and illustrates the close-knit bond that every team member shares here. Although technology is changing and the company continues to grow, BIA still fosters a family-style environment with a friendly feel.
On his hobbies: Sports, fishing and working on my house.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: My award winnings went toward house furniture.
Stephen Perih, National Account Director
Nominated in the Service Excellence, Client Protection, Team Collaboration, Transformative Solutions, Industry Leadership and Continuous Education categories for exemplifying BIA’s guiding principles, his off-hours work on a large document review project and his industry leadership.
With BIA since: 2016
On his background and role: I went to law school and graduated in 2012. I knew that I didn't want to practice, but I still wanted to be around the camaraderie of attorneys and play a role within the legal industry. I was recruited by BIA from a large legal services company, and my current primary duties involve sourcing new customers and providing consultative assistance on litigation matters.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: I truly think everyone can benefit from shared knowledge and leveraging other people's success and experiences. In that vein, I think helping others in situations that may not financially benefit you is essential. It may not immediately provide a result, but going above and beyond on others’ projects may impart the knowledge you will need to close your own.
On the culture at BIA: The most important culture quality at BIA is the time availability, more aptly, time willingness that is provided by the executives. It is rare that you can knock on a CEO's door and get advice. That not only happens here, but it’s the norm. By living the guiding principles of excellence of service, specifically to employees, we are inspired to provide the same service and availability to our clients.
On his hobbies: Generally, I enjoy eating good food and drinking good wine. I am a die-hard New York Giants fan, although this is not the best season to state that aloud.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: Past tense. I immediately converted the WOW winnings into Euros (so I wouldn't spend it) and placed it into an envelope for a trip to Martinique.
Demetrius Salas, Senior Forensic Investigator
Nominated in the Team Collaboration category for filling in an extremely busy on-call weekend shift for a team member in need.
With BIA since: 2006
On his background and role: I have an extensive customer service background which I bring into play when working directly with our clients and data custodians. In addition, I have been working in the IT field for 25+ years. My day-to-day work involves assisting clients with any technical issues that they may experience while collecting data, as well as working on creative solutions for any issues that may arise in the course of work.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: Learn not just your own role, but the roles of others. By doing so, you can anticipate where bottlenecks may exist and preemptively push them through.
On the culture at BIA: BIA does not have a cookie-cutter company culture. People are encouraged to not just be unique, but to display it in their work ethics and day-to-day behavior. By having an eclectic group, it has helped to solve challenging issues, as multiple perspectives are able to be viewed and utilized.
On his hobbies: I love working with all sorts of technology on my spare time, whether it is putting together a computer or tinkering with emerging technologies like 3D printers and virtual reality units.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: I purchased a much-needed video card upgrade for my main computer, a Radeon RX 580.
Tianna Zeimen, eDiscovery Analyst
Nominated in the Team Collaboration category for stepping in to learn a brand new system and handle a major set of projects during the BIA and U.S. Legal Support acquisition.
With BIA since: 2017
On her background and role: I have been working in this industry for six years. I started off in the production office – “production” meaning scanning and copying of relevant documents from clients. I have since moved to eDiscovery and have been working as an analyst for the last year and a half. As an eDiscovery analyst, I work directly with my project managers to complete any tasks that they may need from document conversion to loading documents to review platforms.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: My advice would be to pay attention to your coworkers’ needs and offer help if you see someone struggling. This not only provides you with a chance to help, but also may provide you with an opportunity to learn something new. Putting this into practice has helped me grow, not only in my career, but on a personal level as well. Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
On the culture at BIA: I’ve only been a part of BIA since November of 2017, so I’m still getting to know the company culture. So far I can tell that BIA has a very team-based culture, which is refreshing. I feel as if everyone is respected. I can also tell that the company values their clients and has a very honest approach with everything it does.
On her hobbies: I enjoy painting, playing board games with my family, reading and binge-watching my favorite Netflix shows.
On how she used/will use her WOW Award: I received it around Christmas time! So I used my reward to take some of the stress off of purchasing gifts and for my family and me to experience some of the fun Christmas-time activities that Denver offers.
We are grateful for the whole team at BIA. We have an excellent group of people who are always willing to do whatever it takes to make things happen. Because of our people – whether or not they received a WOW! Award this year – BIA was able to continue exceeding our clients’ expectations, to never stop learning and innovating and to keep our guiding principles central to everything we do.
Learn more about BIA’s Mission, Vision & Guiding Principles, Company Culture and Leadership Team.