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By Martin Srb | 10/15/2020

Veronika a Martin: New blood in the Council of Elders

Design - 6 min read

At the end of September, elections were held in Applifting to the Council of Elders, the only governing body we have. We interviewed the two latest additions — Veronika Zvěřinová and Martin Hanzík. Why did they decide to stand for the election and what are their plans for their term? Find out in the interview.

The Council of Elders deals with essential matters related to day-to-day operations, the company’s mission and investments, and it decides on other important things that affect the entire company operation. Council members are elected periodically by Applifters from among themselves. As the last elections showed, any of us can become members.

Are you interested in how the Council of Elders works and what the election process looks like? You can read the details in one of the previous articles here.

Can you introduce yourselves? What do you do in Applifting?
V:
I work in the back office. I mainly focus on finance — hard data. I really enjoy our whole culture. I would devote myself to it, even if I were not a member of the Council. It’s nice to be able to share it.

M: I am primarily a developer and a DevOps engineer. I take care of a lot of things “behind the scenes” of infrastructure, applications, internal networks, etc.

How long have you worked here?
V:
A year and a month.

M: A year and nine months.

(Both without hesitation.)

Why did you choose Applifting?
M:
Probably almost by accident. It was the first opportunity after leaving my previous job. I’m happy that it worked out because it’s a great environment for living and working.

V: It was a coincidence for me too. I wanted to do something beneficial and meaningful after five years spent in a corporate environment. I was looking for companies with focus on eco and bio, for example. Then I saw an Applifting advertisement on the Startupjobs server and Monča (a team colleague) and Vráťa (Applifting co-founder) convinced me that even the IT sphere can be meaningful.

You have been elected to the Council of Elders; what does this mean for you?
V:
For me, it shows that the Council has set on a new course. I assume based on my election program that people are inclined to changes. So far, mainly programmers have been elected, and I am the first non-programmer on the board, anda woman, too. This is a big change in thinking.

M: For me, it mainly means responsibility. And that Applifters believe that I do my job well. And that I can help the company and push it forward.

What does it mean for you to be a member of the Council of Elders?
V:
I see the Council as a very valued body and it is an honor to be part of it. It has a very deep personal meaning for me. I also see it as a responsibility, as Martin mentioned. People give you a vote and expect you to speak for them.

M: For me, it’s a lot about the Council acting as an advisory body, not necessarily just in business matters, but in the functioning of the company in general. I think it is important to deepen a council member’s relationship with those around — they should listen more to the needs of others and then mainly act and change something.

What are your goals? What do you want to achieve during your term in office?
V:
Broadly speaking, I would like to bring more hard data to our meetings, because it will allow us to make qualified decisions.Improving the Christmas reward system is yet another point. And I would like to focus on an area that is not so pressing yet, but one should address it right from the beginning, and that is “minorities” — women, for example. I also think that the role of a non-programmer in the Council is very important.

M: I want to focus mainly on cleaning up and organizing information in Notion (company’s intranet) so that everything is where it should be, understandable and clear. Another area is data security and access, having a clear concept in this regard. I would like to start integrating DevOps into the rest of the company and other teams. In short, it is about them understanding each other and cooperating.

Why did you decide to run for the Council?
V:
I originally didn’t even mean to, because I think — and now I’m actually going against myself — that the candidates should run for office upon being nominated by other Applifters. People should propose them based on how they know them. But in the end, my teammates convinced me to enroll on my own. That a lot of people wouldn’t even have to think of my name, but when I’m there, I can get a vote. And they were right.

M: I accepted the challenge from Applifters who nominated me.

What would you say to those who are only considering candidacy?
V:
I would like to encourage them to do so, especially when they earn the trust of others and get nominated. You can always resign. So my advice is to try it when there is a chance.

M: The first two weeks in office have definitely been an interesting experience, but I would like to wait a little longer before I can recommend candidacy or discourage others from it..

V: I wanted to show that anyone can try, not just the few nominees. I would like to encourage those who would not even think of it.

Having now some experience with it, is there anything about the election system you would change?
V:
The election system suits me. However, the Council should consider why so many nominees refuse to take part in the elections.

M: Not everyone is sure how the electoral system works, how it is calculated and why, for example, the order of candidates is given. It would definitely be helpful to shed more light on that.

V: Up until this election, it was not very clear to me how it works. That one can actually enroll on their own. I felt that candidates coming from Applifters’ nominations had priority and that it was audacious to nominate myself.

What do you enjoy in your free time?
V:
I have about a trillion things, reading, movies, nature, flowers, photography — I mainly enjoy hobbies for introverts. And I like to combine them.

M: Work is often my hobby, but I like to play computer games. And to spend time with my fiancée, of course :-)

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