Quarantine Q&A Part 12: How Lindsey Acheson & Kelly Pepall Are Adapting

Quarantine Q&A Part 12: How Lindsey Acheson & Kelly Pepall Are Adapting

June 26, 2020
By Rubicon Project

While Telaria and Rubicon Project continue to integrate after our merger, we’re checking in with our colleagues from around the world to see how they are doing during quarantine.  

We spoke with Lindsey Acheson on our business intelligence team and Kelly Pepall on our demand operations team, to find out how they are doing, what’s keeping them sane, and to discover any tips they have for getting through this challenging time.  

LINSEY ACHESON

What do you do?

  • I am on the Business Intelligence team. Our team utilizes data and analysis to make smart business decisions and build tools to help others do the same. This can range from forecasting and sales goals to viewership insights driven by COVID19 to tools for package curation and pricing. A couple of my current projects are around operationalizing and driving revenue for Addressable Audience targeting in CTV (and now omnichannel!) and how we can classify our OTT supply for buyers in a way that aligns with traditional linear plans. The latter becomes particular fun when we get to start mobilizing around TV show/series level bundling across supply sources. (shameless plug for Content Meta Data adoption!)

How are you doing with the quarantine?

  • I’m surviving. Over the last year, I quickly learned that having a child means your weekends and holidays and vacations are not “breaks”. In many ways, with a toddler, going to work IS my break. So now that I have every day, all day with my 15 month old… it’s a lot. It’s kind of wonderful… but a lot.

What adjustments have you made to your work life?

  • My days are for conference calls or connecting directly with teammates. My nights are for hands-on-keyboard work. I’ve never had a longer list of things I want to do, but will need to set them in the backlog to focus on what will impact TODAY.

What gets you going in the morning?

  • My son. If he didn’t wake up at 6AM, I would surely sleep until noon with no alarm. But as it stands, I am now someone who can be somewhat functional at 6AM.

Do you have some productivity tips for working from home?

  • I often work from our closet to hide from a whiny toddler. I am not the person to give out productivity tips.

What are the best things you’ve experienced during this situation?

  • Finn and I go on a walk every morning before all the calls and emails start funneling in. We wave at the same dog walker each morning, know the mail person by name (she brought Finn bubbles last week), and we’ve watched a gaggle of goslings grow day over day the last few weeks. It’s my only slow, screenless time and it’s pretty great.

How are you keeping in touch with friends and family?

  • Marco Polo has been a fun way to connect. I talk to friends far away more now than we did before all of this.

What is your favorite recipe you’ve concocted out of things lying around the house?

  • Does adding frozen dark cherries to bourbon count as a recipe?

What are you doing to stay occupied outside of work hours?

  • We hike when we can and I enjoy a good coloring book.

How are you staying active during this situation? Are there any exercise videos or tips you recommend?

  • We ordered a jogging stroller the first week of lockdown. We go out two to three times a week and that’s been a fun new challenge to tackle. I’m also up to 15 full pushups! (yes, it’s taken me a couple of months to get here. I’ll take the wins where I can get them.)

What TV shows, movies, or books do you recommend?

  • The Great (Hulu) – a fun, fictional history on the rise of Catherine the Great
  • Working Moms – I laughed, I cried, I related
  • I’m Sorry – best kept secret, you won’t regret it
  • The Last Kingdom – because Vikings of course
  • Ozark – obviously
  • I also saw Back to the Future for the first time last weekend..
  • And I’m currently rereading Blink by Malcom Gladwell
  • Waco – Trying to decide if I should invest time in this one, David Koresh did go to my high school in Dallas after all.

When all this is over, how will you celebrate?

  • I would love to see my family in Texas and watch my brother get married. And probably with more bourbon with dark cherries.

KELLY PEPALL

What do you do?

  • I lead the Demand Operations team for Canada out of the Toronto office.

How are you doing with the quarantine?

  • Doing well! I found quarantine a bit tough at the beginning, but now that it has been a couple months I’ve definitely gotten into a groove and am starting to enjoy the slow-paced lifestyle. It has given me lots of time to do things I likely wouldn’t normally have time for, like gardening, biking and cooking!

What adjustments have you made to your work life?

  • I’ve tried to structure my days as much as I can. I tell myself when I’m going to take a break for lunch or a quick walk just to get outside. If I don’t block off time, the day will escape me and next thing I know it’s 5:30PM and I haven’t left my chair!

What gets you going in the morning?

  • Those of you who know me will be shocked to hear this, but coffee! I have never been a coffee drinker, but have discovered a new love for cold brew throughout quarantine. I have my drink (ice, cold brew and vanilla milk cold foam) down to a science and it definitely gets me going in the morning.

Do you have some productivity tips for working from home?

  • I think it’s so important to have a dedicated workspace that is separate from your living space, if you have the ability to do so! I’ve found that it really helps me stay focused and productive throughout the day.

What are the best things you’ve experienced during this situation?

  • Finding new hobbies! I’ve gotten really into cooking, which is something I’ve always enjoyed but never had much time for. Not having to commute to and from the office anymore has freed up a lot of time around breakfast and dinner, and I’ve had the chance to try out so many new recipes.

How are you keeping in touch with friends and family?

  • A lot of zoom calls and FaceTimes. As restrictions are starting to loosen in Toronto, I’ve also started going on walks with a few friends and family which has been really nice!

What is your favorite recipe you’ve concocted out of things lying around the house?

  • Okay, it’s not a recipe I came up with, but the Creamy Tuscan Chicken recipe from Delish.com has been one of my best finds throughout quarantine. It’s so good, highly recommend!

What are you doing to stay occupied outside of work hours?

  • I actually moved into a new place the weekend quarantine began, which has been crazy, but a great distraction. I’ve had tons of time to get my home situated and explore my new neighbourhood.

How are you staying active during this situation? Are there any exercise videos or tips you recommend?

  •  The gym I usually go to has been livestreaming my favourite classes, so I’ve loved being able to still attend those. Anytime I can’t make them, YouTube has been my go-to. There are so many great workouts on there, and the best part is they’re free!

What TV shows, movies, or books do you recommend?

  • I’ve been powering through a ton of TV shows and docuseries lately, and have loved Little Fires Everywhere, Formula 1: Drive to Survive and McMillions.

When all this is over, how will you celebrate?

  • I’ll probably have a housewarming party! It’s hard to believe I’ve lived in my new place now for close to three months and no one has been able to visit. I can’t wait to see everyone and have people over!