Deanna Ulrich Employee Spotlight

Liftoff Employee Spotlight: Deanna Ulrich – Team Lead, Ad Creative Team

By Nathalie Figueroa | May 1, 2020

Deanna joined Liftoff’s Ad Creative Team four years ago as one of two designers at the time. Since then, the team has grown tremendously to 17 members globally. Deanna provides stellar creative expertise to Liftoff’s customers, but her talent doesn’t stop there – she is also known for her well-planned seltzer tasting events and for her stunning designs of our company swag. Outside the job, Deanna enjoys gardening, playing Animal Crossing, and watching Chef on Netflix from the comfort of her brand-new couch.

What inspires you to succeed every day?
My success belongs to my parents. My dad grew up as one of seven children on a farm in rural Pennsylvania and my mother is a Vietnamese refugee who survived war, violence, and poverty. While my parents and I have had very different life experiences, by continuing to work hard, better myself, and create a comfortable lifestyle that they can be proud of, I found a way to honor them and the opportunities that their hard work created for me.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you ended up at Liftoff?
I joined Liftoff after Phil Crosby, one of our three co-founders, cold-emailed me one evening when I was actively searching for jobs online. I can be superstitious sometimes, and living in the Mission District of San Francisco, I had easy access to a santeria candle shop. I had just bought a “trabajo” candle that is meant to bring good luck when looking for employment. I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom with this candle lit and my computer in my lap when I got Phil’s five-paragraph pitch asking me to interview at Liftoff. And the rest is history.

What is your biggest accomplishment at Liftoff?
I am really proud of my tenure and growth with the company. I started at Liftoff as the 40th hire and as one of only two designers. Liftoff now has about 240 employees, and the design team has expanded to 17 globally.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?
Creative at Liftoff is not just about being on a production team. Our creative services are truly a pillar of performance for our customers. Through Liftoff’s Creative Tech and A/B Testing, the quantifiable impact of our work as designers is quite unique.

What do you like most about the Liftoff culture?
The culture here has allowed me to work with many personalities and meet many people with diverse perspectives. I love interacting with people and developing personal connections, and through Liftoff I have been able to build a close-knit community.

What can new members joining the ACP Team expect?
Culturally, our new ACP Team members can expect to be immersed in a strange obsession with tiki and alligator themed products. Professionally, they can expect a supportive environment, creative-science mashups, and high impact work.

Can you share what self-care habits help you be the best version of yourself?
Exercise and therapy. I love my routine with exercise, I allow myself the frequent stress relief of a HIIT class or, more lately, a run. This is great for physical and mental health, but let’s not forget about emotional health! Therapy helps me grow and manage my emotional intelligence. It is hard work. I am challenged to confront my truths and boundaries, but ultimately it’s growth. For example, it can help me break down why I might have such a strong emotional reaction to an event that, objectively, is not a big deal. Beneath the surface are reasons that are very real and very valid even if not obvious immediately. Understanding this and learning how to navigate it has absolutely allowed me to better myself.

What has been helping you through shelter-in-place so far?
The game Animal Crossing, ice cream, Facetime with my siblings, the new couch my partner and I just purchased, and oh yes, the massive support of my partner who cooks breakfast and lunch for me every day.

What books, websites or resources would you recommend to working professionals?
A good friend and colleague recently recommended the podcast You Are Not So Smart, and I am obsessed with it. It delves into social sciences, human behavior, and psychology that is intriguing and humbling.

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