Growing up in Hilo Hawaii, Amber maintained her love of tropics and unrealistic expectations for what is considered a beach. She moved to Portland, Oregon to attend university, and stayed in the beautiful Pacific Northwest for the amazing food, culture and (summer) weather. Amber has been a Digital Project Manager for over a decade in Portland and has delivered a wide range of projects both technical and strategic. As the Director of Production at Solid Digital, Amber enjoys leveraging her experience to help her team in tackling new projects, platforms, and technologies while creating long-lasting relationships along the way.
Q&A w/ Amber Stansfield
Q: What is your favorite quote?
It helps keep me grounded and focused. I don’t need to solve the world’s problems or be the best at everything. I just need to focus on one thing at a time and realize that even a small improvement is still a win.
Q: What inspired you to become a Project Manager?
I honestly kind of fell into it. I had started in event planning and marketing roles planning and organizing a wide variety of things but was still looking for something more. I was volunteering for a Hood To Coast team and spent an hour and a half in line to pick up t-shirts and paperwork and was chatting about looking for a new job to the gal next to me. After about an hour, the guy behind us (my soon to be future boss) mentioned he had a position open at his agency. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me to alter my career path.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about being Director of Production at Solid Digital?
I love being able to take all of the experience (aka ‘all the mistakes’) I’ve learned from over the years and share this with our team so that; 1. they can learn from my mistakes and hopefully not repeat them, and 2. so we can continually work toward being better than we were yesterday.
Q: As the Director of Production, What expertise do you bring to your clients?
Over the years I’ve worked on a very wide variety of projects with an even wider range of personalities on both internal and client teams. While I still learn new things every day it’s given me a great deal of experience and a pile of tips, tricks and strategies to implement to plan out projects, keep them on track, actively seek out and avoid risks and to work together toward a successful set of goals for each project.
Q: What is your approach to providing great customer service?
Be kind. When we can connect on a human level it makes work fun and creates a collaborative environment where people work together toward a common goal instead of individually in different directions.
Q: What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on during your time at Solid Digital?
My favorite project I’ve gotten to work on at Solid Digital would be for ¡Salud!. We created a web and mobile app to register and manage their winery auction. I loved that it benefitted a good cause, it was a unique project that we were able to solve with an interesting technical solution and we included our entire Portland team in a mock auction complete with wine tasting to QA the work we were doing. Truly a unique and fun experience with a wonderful client.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love spending time in the kitchen making food for friends and family. I also love getting outside and spending time in the yard gardening. Weeding isn’t my favorite, but it gives me a sense of satisfaction when I can look around and see the work that’s been done. And being able to walk out to the yard to bring herbs, fruit, and vegetables in for dinner is definitely a plus!
Q: What volunteering or passion projects do you do outside of work?
I have been volunteering at my son’s school for art and other activities since he was in kindergarten. My mom did this for my sister and I and it always made me feel special. I wanted to give him that same time and attention that I appreciated. I also love getting an inside peek into my son’s day to day life at school and seeing the kids as they have grown over the years.
Q: What is your favorite museum?
Sad to say they’re not really my jam. I did a whirlwind tour of Europe and visited so many museums in a few months I got burned out. I’d much rather get hands-on at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) or out in nature then wandering around staring at things you can’t touch.
Q: Your top 3 favorite Podcasts/Books?
Favorite books are the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read the whole series from start to finish. Hello From The Magic Tavern podcast has entertained me on a number of daily commutes and was a great recommendation from a Solid team member. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins is always on the top of my recommended reading list.
Q: What is one of your favorite things about Solid Digital’s Culture?
Our Solid Dailies channel in Slack where we’ll post a topic each day for the team to respond to. With offices in Portland and Chicago, it has really helped to get to know the whole team on a personal level and provides space to be a little silly and have fun each day.
Q: What is your favorite Solid Tradition?
It’s got to be Hawaii day. Being from Hawaii, when Travis our COO went on vacation to Hawaii one summer, it really made me want to go back. Instead, Diana and I whipped up some fun activities for the rest of us still in the office to dress up in our aloha attire and celebrate Hawaiian style.
Q: What do you like on your pizza?
Ricotta, fennel with Oregon blackberries and hazelnuts, drizzle some honey or balsamic vinegar on top and it’s out of this world.
Q: What’s your most-used mobile application and why?
Pinterest for saving recipes and fun projects I’d like to get around to doing someday.
Q: What are three things still left on your bucket list?
- Live in a foreign country and learn the language (fluently)
- Start a side hustle (and figure out what it should be)
- Family trip to Thailand
Q: What is the 1 piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to have a career in your field?
Connect with a network of other Project Managers. Having a support network to bounce ideas off and learn from is a huge help.
Q: What would you like to be known for?
If I had to pick I’d say a ‘solution finder’. I truly believe that if we work together we can solve anything.