9 Chicago Tech Companies Adding to Their Rosters This Month

Employees share what drove them to join their companies and the work and perks that inspire them most, including projects they’re passionate about, supportive team cultures and remote flexibility.
Written by Kimberly Valentine
May 31, 2022Updated: May 31, 2022

At Wrigley Field, every seat in the house gives a different vantage point of the Chicago Cubs. The terrace, upper box and bleachers — even the Wrigley Rooftops across the street — offer individualized experiences. But when a Cubs player cracks the bat, connecting with the ball for a home run, the collective energy can be felt from any perch. 

Hitting a home run in the search for the right employee-company match sparks a similar energy. Joining a supportive culture and working with the right coach can elevate both the individual player and the collective team. 

In fact, it was direct mentorship as an intern that enabled Ramya Nagapudi to learn and evolve into her junior software developer position at tastytrade. “The culture is such that your contributions are valued and people genuinely want to help you grow and meet your goals,” she said. 

Traffic Tech VP of Sales Kevin Nelson identified a shared desire among his team members to support one another in their path to success. Blending his purpose and passion, the company recently became the global supply chain and transportation partner of the Chicago Cubs. Nelson described this as “one of the most rewarding experiences of my career to be able to do what I love alongside one of my lifelong favorite brands.” 

This team-player approach can be seen on and off the field at Chicago’s tech companies. As a single father, having a supportive, internally focused culture is personal for Brandon Parrott. “When it comes to having a little kiddo, unexpected things pop up,” he said. A senior software engineer at Fyllo, Parrott said the company “understands that life can throw people curveballs, and that a work-life balance is a must.” 

Built In Chicago recently spoke with several professionals to learn about the key drivers that led them to join their Chicago-based companies and the projects and perks that keep them thriving. (Plus: Each company is adding to its roster!) 

 

Szuyin Leow
VP Customer Success & Services

 

LogicGate offers customizable risk and compliance automation solutions. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company, and what’s the number one reason you’ve stayed?

I celebrated my four-year anniversary with LogicGate earlier this year. I joined as the second customer success manager for the unique opportunity to get involved with a technology company early and to learn how to build a SaaS business while utilizing my background and experience in consulting and cybersecurity. Over the years, the number one reason I’ve chosen to stay with LogicGate is because the company has continued to offer new ways to learn and grow. About every six months, my job changes or shifts in some way — even if my title doesn’t necessarily change. I’ve had the chance to take on new areas of responsibility, each one presenting new challenges and providing new professional and personal development opportunities.

I’ve had the chance to take on new areas of responsibility, each one presenting new challenges and opportunities.”

 

What’s your favorite benefit your company offers, and why?

LogicGate introduced summer and winter Fridays as a new perk for all employees last year. During a couple of months in the summer and winter, the whole company gets Friday afternoons off to focus on life outside of work. I have found this benefit to be incredibly meaningful to my health, both mentally and physically. Personally, I used my half-day Fridays this past winter to work with a personal trainer and registered dietitian on a prenatal exercise and nutrition program, as I am expecting my first child this summer. I’ve also been able to utilize summer and winter Fridays to prioritize spending more time with family and friends and give back to my community by volunteering at a local food bank. It is just one of the many ways in which LogicGate has embraced flexibility to allow each team member to bring their best self to work.

 

 

Traffic Tech team members on a boat
Traffic Tech

 

 

Traffic Tech is a third-party logistics company helping customers transport goods globally. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company? 

My main reason for joining the Traffic Tech team was the clear vision of innovation and growth emanating from the top down. It was evident to me that Traffic Tech invests in opportunities that allow employees to advance professionally and reach new heights in their careers. Our culture is one of passion, with individuals who support one another to achieve success, and everyone shares the same desire to succeed. The decision to join an organization becomes easy when you are part of a culture that takes care of one another and challenges you to become a better leader and colleague.

The decision to join an organization becomes easy when you are part of a culture that takes care of one another and challenges you.”

 

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally? 

One of the coolest projects that I have worked on at Traffic Tech is our Chicago Cubs partnership. As of May 2022, Traffic Tech was named the official global supply chain and transportation partner of the Chicago Cubs. For me, it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career to be able to do what I love alongside one of my lifelong favorite brands. For Traffic Tech, we are able to provide services that can significantly improve game-day operations and bring awareness to our global services.

 

 

Inside of the Tastytrade office with team members working at desks
tastytrade

 

Ramya Nagapudi
Junior Software Developer

 

Tastytrade is a financial network platform providing investment strategies and trading insights through online video content. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company? 

The key drivers in my decision to join tastytrade were ultimately the people and company culture. Regardless of how fast-paced the industry is, people will still take the time and effort to help you learn and grow professionally. This has helped me find a great interest for what I do and make an impact in a short amount of time.

During my internship at tastytrade I was directly mentored by a lead engineer, who gave me valuable feedback and a better understanding of the codebase, frameworks and high code-quality standards I was working with. Thanks to this type of environment, I was able to get my work into production as an intern. The culture is such that your contributions are valued and people genuinely want to help you grow and meet your goals.

The culture is such that your contributions are valued and people genuinely want to help you grow and meet your goals.”

 

What’s your favorite perk your company offers, and why?

The free catered lunch is one of my favorite perks. The daily meals are delicious, are accommodating to any diet, and have allowed me to make great connections and bond with those inside and outside of my team. We eat at a big table, share some awesome stories and have some great laughs, energizing me for the rest of the day.

 

 

Brandon Parrott
Senior Software Engineer

 

Fyllo offers software and services to help clients in the cannabis industry navigate the regulatory and compliance landscape. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company?

Back in January, I had the opportunity to join Fyllo and be part of a team of talented engineers. I was unfamiliar with the cannabis space and a bit naive about the challenges that companies face in navigating the regulatory environment and unlocking the full potential of their customer data while destigmatizing cannabis. Once I understood those challenges and what Fyllo was doing to mitigate them, I saw the ultimate potential of what we were building. But most importantly, I saw the technical challenges that needed to be solved, which led me to join the retail engineering team at Fyllo. Every day, we solve problems and build a platform that allows our customers to leverage their data in unique ways.

Every day, we solve problems and build a platform that allows our customers to leverage their data in unique ways.”

What’s your favorite perk your company offers, and why?

As a single father, I find the family-first nature of Fyllo is a huge perk. It’s great to know that the company you are working for is understanding and flexible. For example, I was recently in a meeting when my daughter’s school called to tell me that she had been hurt and needed to go to the doctor. Everyone understood that I needed to take the rest of the day off to care for her. It’s a great feeling when colleagues are looking out for you and even willing to lend a hand while you are away handling personal issues. Fyllo, as a whole, understands that life can throw people curveballs and that a work-life balance is a must.

 

 

Jordyn Migdal
Senior Marketing Manager

 

Kin Insurance is a home insurance technology company serving Florida, Louisiana and California. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company? 

Starting with the first interview, it was clear that Kin would provide endless opportunities to contribute to projects that have a quantifiable impact on the organization. I was excited about joining an adaptable, transparent, data-driven team with a hunger to tackle difficult problems together, and I was quickly given the opportunity to voice my opinions and build out a team of high-performing marketers.

It was clear that Kin would provide endless opportunities to contribute to projects that have a quantifiable impact on the organization.”

 

What’s your favorite perk your company offers, and why?

My favorite Kin perk is that we are a remote-first company. Since joining the company, I’ve started building a team. The option to extend an offer to candidates anywhere in the United States gives hiring managers more flexibility when it comes to finding the best candidate. I was able to find new teammates who are a strong culture fit and bring unique experiences to the table.

 

 

PatientIQ logo on a glass door at the office
PatientIQ

 

Michael Casey
VP, Operations & Strategy

 

PatientIQ is a health tech company that provides patient outcome data to healthcare providers. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company?

I’ve always found the most fulfillment in my career when I’m working on something that is far-reaching while also impactful to end users on a personal level. At PatientIQ, I’m able to help improve the lives of patients when they are going through major life events. Simultaneously, I’m able to help leading health systems around the country leverage the power of big data to continuously improve the quality of care they deliver so the next patient who walks in the door has a better outcome than the one who preceded them.

At PatientIQ, I’m able to help improve the lives of patients when they are going through major life events.”

 

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally?

If you were to ask a doctor, “How many of the patients you treat get better?” they wouldn’t be able to tell you. They may cite some national average for complication or readmission rates, but just because a patient doesn’t come back doesn’t necessarily mean they got better as a result of the treatment. Most doctors do not have data at their fingertips to answer that question, which is so fundamental to healthcare. 

One project I’m working on is to systematically track the outcomes of every patient who walks through the door of leading health systems so that every doctor knows their batting average for each procedure they perform. More importantly, by using advanced analytics, we’re identifying population health trends and areas of opportunities for quality enhancement so doctors know how to improve.

 

 

Renovo Financial team members at a restaurant together
Renovo Financial

 

Ryan Donahue
Production Assistant

 

Renovo Financial is a private lender for single- and multifamily real estate investors. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company? 

When I first applied to Renovo, I was seeking a new challenge in a new industry. I wasn’t really sure if finance was right for me, but a couple of conversations with senior management got me excited about the opportunity. In my final interview, I hopped on a call with the chief operations officer and we really clicked. Moments after hanging up, he sent me a kind note, effectively sealing the deal. One thing that stuck out to me in the note was that Renovo could do a lot for my career trajectory. 

In a little over a year, I’ve worked with multiple loan officers across the country, helped coach the next generation of production assistants and stepped into a budding leadership role. All the while, Renovo has continued to challenge me and offer new opportunities to grow in ways that I haven’t experienced at previous companies. The company’s dedication to customer experience is second to none, and the teams I’ve worked with have been extremely supportive. On top of that, the company’s openness to feedback and new ideas is refreshing and deeply appreciated.

Renovo has continued to challenge me and offer new opportunities to grow in ways that I haven’t experienced at previous companies.”

 

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally? 

The coolest project I’ve been involved with since I joined is the onboarding pod, which is where new loan officers first land when they join Renovo and are able to grow and develop their business while they learn our company’s processes. Once they’re firmly established, we help them build out their own team and transition onto their own pod. I’ve now had the privilege of working with multiple loan officers across four different time zones. Each one has immensely contributed to my overall understanding of this business while their markets always seem to present new obstacles that force us both to evolve and come up with creative solutions together. At the end of the day, there’s something really satisfying about partnering with a new loan officer, helping them get started on the right foot, and watching them take flight and succeed from afar once they’re up and running.

 

 

Janice Matacic
Integrated Marketing Manager

 

Camelot Illinois is the operator for the Illinois Lottery. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company?

The key drivers in joining Camelot were the role fit and the people I was going to be working with. I had a really good impression of the company and marketing team based on my interviews and interactions with everyone. The people are the reason I continue to enjoy working at Camelot. It’s nice to have coworkers who are not only great to work with but also friends.

The people are the reason I continue to enjoy working at Camelot. It’s nice to have co-workers who are not only great to work with but also friends.”

 

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally? 

When I came to Camelot I was primarily focused on managing our sports partnerships and marketing events. However, as the pandemic unfolded I was given opportunities to work with different teams and on projects outside of what I’ve typically done during my career. One such project was a new product launch that allowed me to be a part of something really cool and learn about another side of the lottery business. I was able to expand my knowledge and build and refine certain skill sets. I really enjoyed being a part of something that felt impactful to the business.

 

 

New Era ADR team members cheering and celebrating
New Era ADR

 

Rebekah Lear
Program Manager, Operations

 

New Era ADR is a legal technology company that helps resolve legal disputes through virtual mediation and arbitration. 

 

What was the key driver in your decision to join your company?

At New Era ADR, I work with a motivated, hilarious, passionate and intelligent team, and together we are revolutionizing a $250 billion dispute resolution industry. I feel fortunate to be part of a larger movement that is using tech to make legal proceedings more cost-effective, efficient, accessible and fair. Shortly after I started, we closed our seed round of funding for an oversubscribed $4.6 million, which showed me that the market has extremely strong conviction in our idea.

We believe work-life harmony is key to being successful and staying motivated.”

 

What’s your favorite perk your company offers, and why?

My favorite perk of working at New Era ADR is the remote-first policy and flexibility to make my office anywhere. In addition, my company offers flexible paid time off and at least 17 company holidays each year to make sure we’re taking time to relax and recharge. We believe work-life harmony is key to being successful and staying motivated. Mental health and authenticity come first at New Era — making sure we’re taking care of ourselves and asking for help both at home and at work go a long way toward being our best selves everywhere.

 

 

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