Category Archives: Announcements

Announcing the 5 RealSelf Fellowship Recipients for 2017

In October, we unveiled the first class of RealSelf Fellows to support reconstructive surgery efforts around the world. Now, we’re thrilled to announce the five 2017 RealSelf Fellowship recipients who will receive financial support to help fund life-changing humanitarian trips to underserved communities around the world.

The RealSelf Fellows deliver medical care and training in areas where surgical care was previously difficult to access. They work to make a meaningful impact that improves the quality of life and furthers the RealSelf mission of bringing confidence to people worldwide.

“We feel fortunate to be able to support medical humanitarians who are donating their time to better the lives of people across the globe,” said RealSelf Founder and CEO, Tom Seery. “From oculoplastic surgery training in Haiti, to advanced burn treatment training in Mozambique, to plastic and reconstructive surgery training in Tanzania and Mexico, this group of Fellows will have a lasting impact on the communities they visit, with their teachings continuing to give back long after their trips have ended.”

Here are the 2017 RealSelf Fellowship recipients (ordered by trip departure):

  • Dr. John F. Nigriny, Lebanon N.H., plastic surgeon traveling to Mozambique with ReSurge International on April 22, 2017.
  • Dr. Matthew Hansen, Perth, Australia, plastic surgeon traveling to Tanzania with Rafiki on May 12, 2017.
  • Dr. Jed H. Horowitz, Newport Beach, Calif., plastic surgeon traveling to Mexico with Plasticos Foundation on June 22, 2017.
  • Dr. Matheson A. Harris, Salt Lake City, oculoplastic surgeon traveling to Haiti with Charity Vision and LDS Charities on Aug. 27, 2017.
  • Dr. Oumar Coulibaly, Mali, physician traveling to Nepal with ReSurge International on Nov. 15, 2016.

The impact of these trips will be significant and long-lasting. The fellows will perform reconstructive surgeries, free of charge, for those who have suffered traumatic injuries or were born with correctable deformities. They will also pass along some of their expertise, and help create sustainable solutions, by providing training to local surgeons.

In addition to the five Fellow winners, more than 20 other applicants will also receive recognition. RealSelf will donate $250 to the nonprofit those applicants are working with, while Seery will make a matching $250 donation.

The RealSelf Fellowship is open to physicians and surgical care team members who volunteer their medical services or serve as volunteer educators to advance the skills of local doctors and staff in a range of medical needs.

RealSelf evaluates applications annually. The 2018 application deadline is Dec. 1, 2017. Award recipients will be notified Jan. 15, 2018. To learn more about the fellowship or apply online visit www.realself.com/giving/fellowship.

RealSelf ranked No. 29 for top company culture by ‘Entrepreneur’

The workplace accolades keep coming. Entrepreneur magazine ranked RealSelf No. 29 on a list of large companies exhibiting the qualities of top company culture.

‘Entrepreneur’ March issue

Partnering with Culture IQ, software that helps improve company culture, Entrepreneur features The 2017 Top Company Cultures list, a comprehensive ranking of 153 U.S.-based businesses exhibiting high-performance cultures. Companies earned a place on the list based on 10 areas that predict top cultures: agility, collaboration, innovation, communication, support, wellness, work environment, responsibility, performance, and mission alignment.

“A high-performance culture leads not only to employee engagement, but also to measurable business results,” says Greg Besner, founder and CEO of CultureIQ. “These organizations show us that great companies start with great culture.”

RealSelf was ranked among 50 large companies with at least 100 employees. Small companies of 25-49 employees and medium companies with 50-99 employees were also ranked. The rankings were determined by employee surveys measuring the aforementioned 10 core components.

Creating and maintaining a strong company culture has been a priority at RealSelf since the company was founded. CEO Tom Seery said the company has worked to establish a culture where employees can be themselves, and work in an environment that makes them want to come back every day.

This is the third honor we’ve received for company culture in recent months. RealSelf was ranked No. 5 on Seattle Business Magazine’s Top Midsize Companies list. It was ranked No. 17 on Glassdoor’s 2017 Employees’ Choice Best Place to Work list.

Want to join one of Seattle’s best companies? We’re hiring!

RealSelf Adds CFO and VP of Performance Marketing to Executive Roster

Jim Nida, Chief Financial Officer

At RealSelf, we’re proud to announce two new important hires to our executive team.

Jim Nida, our VP of Finance, has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer. We’ve also added Thomas Hickey as our Vice President of Performance Marketing.

Jim will continue to lead the company’s financial performance, focusing on growth, a role he’s held for three years. Prior to joining RealSelf, he was the CFO of EnergySavvy and held financial leadership positions at Microsoft and aQuantive.

Thomas comes to RealSelf from Amazon, where he led consumer and business marketing teams with the Amazon Local division. While at Amazon, he created several programs that helped the online retailer attract and retain new vendors and customers. At RealSelf, Thomas will be responsible for building the company’s performance and direct marketing program.

Thomas Hickey, VP of Performance Marketing

“I did consulting work for RealSelf and was impressed by both the company culture and the breadth of opportunity open to RealSelf in the expanding aesthetic market,” Thomas said.

“I recommended RealSelf to many of my former colleagues, and finally realized that I should take my own advice.”

As the world’s largest online aesthetic marketplace that helps people research, find, and engage with cosmetic and aesthetic professionals around the world, Founder and CEO Tom Seery is happy to announce the additions to our fast-growing company, a Glassdoor Best Place to Work for 2017. 

“I’m thrilled that Jim Nida is expanding his role as CFO and look forward to continuing to work closely with him to build a valuable, high growth, global business,” Tom said. “Jim’s leadership, dedication, and focus has been instrumental in helping us achieve and sustain profitability over the past five years, and he will continue to play an integral role here at RealSelf.”

“I’m also very happy to welcome Tom Hickey to the team,” he continued. “Thomas brings a fantastic blend of performance marketing and business development expertise to RealSelf that will serve us well as we expand into new channels in 2017.” 

Ready to work for one of the best companies on Glassdoor? See our open positions and apply today. 

RealSelf Makes Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work List for 2017

We made it!

Every year, Glassdoor announces the best places to work based on employee reviews, and we’re thrilled that we made the list for the first time ever!

RealSelf landed the No. 17 spot out of 50 on Glassdoor’s 2017 Employees’ Choice Best Place to Work list in the small to midsize category (under 1,000 employees). We also have the honor of being the top-rated company in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

This win is especially important to us because it is based on reviews. As we provide a safe platform for people to share transparent, honest feedback on aesthetic procedures, this honor reinforces our strong belief that reviews matter–whether coming from your community or your employees.

“A fulfilling moment for a team-oriented CEO like myself is to get feedback that your people feel connected to the mission and engaged with one another,” CEO Tom Seery said about the Glassdoor nod.

“The team has grown significantly over the past decade, and we have worked very intentionally to keep RealSelf a place where people can be themselves and create a culture that they want to come back to day after day,” he added. “To me, this award is an acknowledgment that this work has been and will continue to be worth the investment.”

To celebrate the Glassdoor Best Places to Work announcement, enjoy our latest video capturing a day in the life at RealSelf, and find out what unlimited beef jerky, office chihuahuas, and Flat Tom have in common.

We’re hiring! Please visit our Careers page to see what we have open for 2017.

RealSelf Adds Former TripAdvisor Executive Christine Petersen to Board of Directors

Christine PetersenRealSelf has gained an important new team member with the addition of Christine Petersen to our board of directors.

“When I first conceived RealSelf, I often expressed my vision as building TripAdvisor for the face, body, and smile,” said RealSelf CEO Tom Seery. “Ten years later, and with a thriving online community, I am delighted to bring Christine and her unique marketing and consumer insights to our board.”

Petersen was a key member of the early leadership team at TripAdvisor for nearly a decade. At TripAdvisor, she served as Chief Marketing Officer from 2004 to 2010, and then launched and served as President of the company’s TripAdvisor for Business group from 2010 to 2013.

Petersen also serves on the boards of London-based digital and print publisher Time Out Group, and Bankrate, Inc, a consumer financial services company based in New York City.

“As we continue to establish a category-leading lifestyle brand and expand globally, Christine will provide key feedback and guidance in a number of strategic areas,” Seery added.

Petersen will serve alongside current board members Seery, RealSelf Founder/CEO; Rich Barton, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Zillow Group and founder of Expedia; and Mike Slade, founding partner of Second Avenue Partners.

8 RealSelf Fellows to Support Reconstructive Surgery Efforts Around the World

This summer we announced our new RealSelf Fellowship to help fund trips for medical providers who deliver care and training in highly underserved communities worldwide.

Now we’re excited to present our first class of RealSelf Fellows, eight physicians dedicated to humanitarianism and bringing their knowledge of reconstructive surgical care and sustainable solutions to improve the overall quality of life in these locales.

Here are the RealSelf Fellowship recipients (in order of their trip’s departure date):

The impact of these trips will be far-reaching, primarily focused on providing reconstructive surgery free of charge for children and adults with traumatic injuries and correctable deformities. In addition, the teams will work to educate host-country doctors and medical staff to perform these complex procedures, as well as providing additional training in anesthesia, pediatrics, speech therapy, and nutrition.

The RealSelf Fellowship is an ongoing program open to physicians and surgical-care team members who will volunteer medical services or serve as volunteer educators to advance the skills of local doctors and staff. Fellowships can cover a wide range of needs, including hand surgery, burn reconstruction, microsurgery, and advanced cleft techniques, as well as anesthesia, nursing, orthodontics, and physical and hand therapy.

Giving back is at the heart of culture at RealSelf, and as we continue to grow, we are determined to find ways to use our scale for good, so our impact grows with us.

RealSelf evaluates applications twice per year. The next phase of applications for trips taking place after April 1 is open now, with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2017. Medical professionals interested in participating are invited to view eligibility requirements and complete the online application.

How We Choose to Give Back: CEO Tom Seery Talks About the New RealSelf Fellowship

At RealSelf, we view giving back as our social responsibility, core to our beliefs and culture. A guiding principle to our support of local charities and international medical volunteers is to seek out meaningful ways to make a difference in restoring hope, confidence, and a positive future for those who are most vulnerable and underserved.

We’re excited about the next step in our global giving efforts: the RealSelf Fellowship. This new program expands on our ongoing commitment to support physicians and other medical providers who donate their time and expertise in developing countries.

The origination of the RealSelf Fellowship concept

Particularly in India, we saw firsthand that when a person has terrible body or facial burns, it’s an incredibly challenging injury.

Contractures and injuries resulting from a severe burn are certainly improved after undergoing treatment by a visiting volunteer team of reconstructive surgery experts. But a single surgery does not restore a person to a normal path of life. Burn victims require numerous surgical procedures, often dozens, over long periods of time, plus physical therapy.

The need for reconstructive surgery in the world is vast, and the impact from our annual medical trip sponsorship is subscale with respect to the global problem. Billions of people in the world suffer from reparable conditions like cleft palates and hand injuries. This led us to ask, how can we have a broader, sustained impact in these communities?

Our fellowship concept arose from the fact that every day thousands of doctors engage directly with our online community. The fellowship is a vehicle by which we can help, encourage, and share stories about the humanitarian work these caregivers are doing and planning to do.

The RealSelf Fellowship program goal

Beyond increasing the capacity for medical care in the developing world, we want to raise awareness by telling more stories, like we’ve done in Vietnam and India. It’s not to campaign or raise money with our patient audience. We hope this opens people’s minds and hearts.

As we kick off the RealSelf Fellowship program, our goal is to award six grants, at minimum. In 2017, we hope to double this commitment.

Why the RealSelf Fellowship targets needs in developing nations

The most dramatic lack of care exists in developing countries. Zambia is a country the size of Texas, with about 14.5 million people and only one reconstructive plastic surgeon available to help people with injuries, congenital disorders, you name it.

Compounding these challenges are the disparities that exist among the most vulnerable populations of the world, people who have no resources, no money — they are really living on life’s edge. They have to cook meals over open fires with dangerous equipment. The injury rates and types of injuries are something we haven’t seen here for generations. That combination of factors makes the fellowship incredibly needed.

However, if a fellowship application came in from a place like Appalachia, and we became aware that there was an equivalently dire situation happening, we’d consider it. We’re not going to be close-minded, but generally we’re looking to help where there’s the most severe lack of access and quality of care.

Living our values  

One of our core values is to be continuously accelerating our rate of learning. Our fellowship program will, by design, offer us a unique window into the world of giving, humanitarianism, and the medical needs of people all over the globe. I can only imagine we’ll be humbled by what we learn.

Learn more about the RealSelf Fellowship and how to apply here.

RealSelf is No. 5 on Seattle Business Magazine’s Top Midsize Companies List

Seattle Business magazine revealed its “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, and we made a huge leap to snag the No. 5 spot on the midsize companies list, up from No. 24 in 2015.

Our ranking was based on employee surveys that covered 10 categories: benefits, communication, corporate culture, hiring/retention, executive leadership, performance standards, responsibility/decision making, rewards/recognition, training/education, and workplace environment.

While we have a lot of nice perks, like ample snacks and a dog-friendly office, Seattle Business magazine wrote this about why our workplace landed us on the list: “Employees are encouraged to innovate, even if that leads to failure.” They also noted our “no jerks allowed” policy: “We look for people who leave ego at the door,” our CEO Tom Seery told Seattle Business.

It’s our second year in a row making the top 100. This year, we made a big commitment to strengthening benefits and culture as our company grew to 100 employees, making us one of the fastest-growing companies in Seattle. We grew 100% year over year, from 50 employees in 2015 to around 100 now — and we’re still growing.

Winners were announced at the 100 Best Companies to Work For Awards on June 23 at the Washington State Convention Center.

Want to spend your days at one of the best places to work? Join our team.

We Made the PSBJ Washington’s Best Workplaces List

We keep getting nods for being an awesome place to work, the latest coming from the Puget Sound Business Journal.

PSBJ just announced its list of finalists for Washington’s Best Workplaces, and we made the cut! RealSelf landed among 21 other midsize companies in the 100-249 employees category.

RealSelfer Madison Philips rocking the red dress at last year's PSBJ Workplace awards.

RealSelfer Madison Philips rocking the red dress at last year’s PSBJ Workplace awards.

With 100 employees and growing we made PSBJ‘s Best Workplaces list for the second year in a row.

According to PSBJ, employee surveys determine the finalists. Workers rate their companies on “questions related to job satisfaction, relationships with their bosses, camaraderie with fellow employees, opportunity for advancement and more.”

The top three companies in each category for PSBJ‘s Washington Best Workplaces will be announced Aug. 11 at Safeco Field.

Building a Culture of Confidence: Why I Joined RealSelf as VP of People

Lauren
Starting in the fall of 2010, I helped build a company called
Year Up Puget Sound from three people to 50, with a focus on developing new leaders. It was my third startup, and I thought my favorite part of that experience was building something from scratch, taking a great idea and putting legs on it.

Five years later, I did it again with Canopy, where I was employee number 1. But a year in, I realized I really missed developing people, specifically new managers.

I had a bee in my bonnet about empowering people through access to information. And I wanted to develop new managers and support a company as it went from being pretty flat to having new layers of leaders.

When I first heard about RealSelf, it didn’t really resonate personally. After talking with CEO Tom Seery, I did more research and, frankly, I talked to my mom. I was looking for a moral compass, asking “Does this align with my values?”

My mom’s almost 60. She’s still in the workforce, competing with millennials. She said, “You know, I’m having to get on these video conferences, and the picture of me that comes up on the screen I don’t even recognize. I don’t know who that old lady is, but she doesn’t reflect who I am as a person and the energy I have. I know people judge me based on what they see, and I have been looking for permission to say ‘That’s not me.’ And I want to be able to make really informed, empowered decisions about how I show up.” That was a pivotal moment for me.

I thought too about my previous nonprofit life, and how so many young people I’d met were going through major gender identity transitions with such poor access to information, at a time when they were launching their careers and really needed to feel confident. It became abundantly clear to me how needed this is.

I realized that I had an opportunity to shape how this company—which helps millions of people make confident choices—instills confidence in its employees. I was sold.

I had really frank conversations with Tom about whether he wanted a traditional HR person. That’s a direction they could have gone. But someone with that background might freak out about the kinds of conversations that have to happen here and what’s on everybody’s computer screens. We came to mutual agreement that the company really needs a builder who can take a more nuanced approach.

In these first weeks, I’m doing a lot of learning. There’s a lot to be done, from jump-starting employer branding to creatively reinventing performance reviews. But the uniquely strong culture and talented people make these challenges so exciting.

A few years ago, I challenged myself to try out for the women’s professional soccer team here in Seattle. Even though I was one of the oldest on the pitch, I managed to survive all three rounds of cuts. They didn’t end up picking anybody up from the tryouts, but it was one of those moments when you push yourself past what you think is possible. You only really need one experience like that to discover a well of self-efficacy.

My goal at RealSelf is to give every employee the opportunity and support they need to push themselves and gain the confidence that comes from raising our collective bar.

Lauren Sato joined RealSelf as VP of People in April 2016. Find out more about our unique culture and see our open roles