Company culture is important to us at BIA. We’re constantly striving to be a workplace where our team members enjoy coming and are inspired to give their best.
With our monthly WOW! Awards, we shine a spotlight on individual team members who demonstrate our Guiding Principles through inspired service, going above and beyond to make sure that important work gets done, showing outstanding teamwork or doing some part of their job with an exceptionally high level of quality or creativity. Any team member can nominate one of their colleagues, with winners receiving a note of gratitude, company-wide recognition, two days of extra PTO and, last but not least, a $1,000 bonus.
As we near the midpoint of 2018, we wanted to call out our WOW! Award winners from the past few months for a job well done. Each of them took a few minutes to answer several questions about their work, their feelings about BIA’s culture and their advice to other employees about going the extra mile.
Here are our conversations with award-winning team members Richard Laguerre, Pablo Cherrez, Mike McCouch, Tim Winslow and Mel Evans:
Richard Laguerre, Senior Project Manager
Nominated for his “excellent” and “nonstop” work managing “hundreds of requests and expectations” and making sure to meet or exceed client expectations wherever possible.
With BIA since: 2016
On his background and role: I have over 15 years of legal experience in supporting law firms and corporations in litigation. I have served as project manager for several key corporate clients including major financial institutions, and I have served as a litigation paralegal at various large law firms in New York City. Before rejoining BIA in 2016, I served as manager of project management teams and as senior project manager at litigation consulting firms and electronic discovery service providers. My day-to-day duties include serving as client relationship manager for a portfolio of global corporate clients across varied disciplines, leading complex eDiscovery issue resolution and serving as an architect of resolution workflow.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: I would say that you should always give 100 percent in every aspect of the work that you are performing. Think outside of the box, and when possible, identify better/easier ways to perform the task that you are performing.
On the ways BIA succeeds in promoting its guiding principles, mission and vision: The Lunch & Learns are a great example. They're 30-minute meetings that BIA typically has every Thursday. Each company-wide event highlights a specific topic in our industry or a specific department, software or workflow within our organization. It is an opportunity for all employees to better understand our industry and to better appreciate the roles of other individuals in our organization.
On BIA's company culture: BIA has a culture of “family.” It is rare to work somewhere where the people you work with become your close friends.
On his favorite part of working at BIA: The culture.
On his hobbies: Basketball, reading and comedy.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: Just bought a new house, so paying bills ... LOL!
Pablo Cherrez, System Engineer
Nominated along with Mike McCouch for getting a special pop-up document review facility deployed in a single day and helping get the entire effort off to a smooth start. Pablo was also singled out for his “tremendous” help in migrating a large, complex system successfully following a recent acquisition.
With BIA since: 2007
On his background and role: I was born in Ecuador, and I migrated to the U.S. when I was 18 — that’s almost 20 years ago. I served in the U.S. Army for six years, including two tours to Iraq. I received an AAS and BS degree in networking and communication management from DeVry University, and I have been working at BIA for the last 11 years. I am a systems engineer, and my main role is to oversee the entire BIA IT infrastructure. My duties vary by day, but on a regular basis I am constantly implementing, maintaining and making sure our systems work correctly.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." I always advise others to use their imagination and keep a great spirit because the combination of both will make a person always go beyond their own limits.
On the ways BIA succeeds in promoting its guiding principles, mission and vision: Open communication with its president.
On BIA's company culture: One that is difficult to explain — unpredictable at times but always enjoyable.
On his favorite part of working at BIA: Its flexibility and its open communication with others.
On his hobbies: I love to play soccer and I also like gardening.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: My wife needed a new iPad because hers was five years old and heavy, so I bought her a new one.
Mike McCouch, IT Administrator
Nominated along with Pablo Cherrez for getting a special pop-up document review facility deployed in a single day and helping get the entire effort off to a smooth start. Mike was singled out for his above-and-beyond efforts — including working 20 hours over one weekend — to set up our new BIA team members quickly and effectively following a recent acquisition.
With BIA since: 2016
On his background and role: I have been in the IT field since 1995, and am an IT administrator here at BIA. I ensure that the day-to-day operations with our employees run smoothly.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: Treat others with the same respect that you would like to receive and try to smile at every situation.
On the ways BIA succeeds in promoting its guiding principles, mission and vision: They offer a lunch every week, and provide pop in the office.
On BIA's company culture: The culture is great. We treat and communicate with each other well.
On his favorite part of working at BIA: The flexibility of work schedules to accommodate for family.
On his hobbies: I build computers and work on cars and houses.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: I saved it to go toward a family vacation.
Tim Winslow, Document Review Manager
Nominated for his constant dedication, hard work and willingness to help others, as well as for his work on a large and complex review project in which he’s been “the go-to person for the client” working “12-15 hour days” at times to meet the client’s deadlines, all while overseeing other ongoing review projects.
With BIA since: 2008
On his background and role: I have been the document review manager since roughly September 2012. Before that I was the QC manager from 2011 to September 2012 and a document reviewer from December 2008 to January 2011. As document review manager, I manage all document review projects and ensure they are completed on time.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: Make sure that all of your clients’ needs are met. This sometimes involves addressing issues that your client doesn’t even bring up. Your client may not always know what is the best course of action for them. Sometimes you’ll need to ask questions to really figure out how best to help them.
On the ways BIA succeeds in promoting its guiding principles, mission and vision: Having our weekly conference calls as a company helps in this endeavor. Also, other employees often recognize your work in other ways by calling you or IM'ing you to thank you for helping them out. I think the overall atmosphere of BIA does a good job of recognizing what employees do.
On BIA's company culture: BIA is a good place to work. There are many little perks, such as weekly lunches, free dinners if you work late, etc., that help make you feel very valued working here. Additionally, most everyone is easy to get along with and nice. That helps, too.
On his favorite part of working at BIA: I’d say the easygoing atmosphere. Even though we work in a stressed-out field, the company does a good job of giving employees flexibility. This allows employees to not be as stressed when trying to meet client demands.
On his hobbies: I love the outdoors and am an avid hiker and birder. I try to get outdoors as much as I can any time of year to enjoy it.
On how he used/will use his WOW Award: Not sure yet, but I am probably purchasing a home soon, so this money will help go toward that, I think. I also bought a new laptop recently, since my old personal one was nearly 10 years old.
Mel Evans, Project Manager
Nominated for setting a great example of awesome customer service here and for her diligent efforts in the challenging process of moving one of our clients from Ringtail into our systems.
With BIA since: 2015
On her background and role: After working as a paralegal in asbestos litigation/comedian (no joke!) for 11 years in Chicago, I moved to Denver in 2015 and dove into eDiscovery. I am a project manager, so my day-to-day can consist of talking with clients about their potential projects and offering ongoing support as they review, running searches for clients, setting up and running productions, QC or training — usually all of the above.
On advice for others looking to go above and beyond in their own work: Much like Philadelphia’s 76ers, trust the process.
On the ways BIA succeeds in promoting its guiding principles, mission and vision: Continued learning and communication are encouraged, both internally and with clients.
On BIA's company culture: BIA is a company of very involved collaborators.
On her favorite part of working at BIA: The best part of BIA is the wonderful people!
On her hobbies: I still do the occasional comedy set, but mostly I read true crime or mystery novels and do yoga and cycling. I’m also active in political and social causes.
On how she used/will use her WOW Award: I’m going to Disneyland!