We’d like to introduce you to some of the people from around the world who make us who we are at Progress. In this post, meet Matt Lyman, Director of Demand Generation at Progress.
A career on the creative side of things can come with some change in direction, and Matt Lyman knows that firsthand. Matt has held positions at a range of companies, honing his skills in marketing and writing before joining Chef in 2015.
As the director of demand generation, Matt gets to do what he loves alongside some amazing people—while still making time to volunteer for the causes he’s passionate about. Find out more about Matt in his own words below.
It has been kind of a strange path, hasn’t it? I’ve always loved being creative and learning, and the companies I have worked for or the nonprofits I have worked with gave me that opportunity. The craft beer site was great because it allowed me to meet a ton of people in the industry. I got to hear about the culture, learn about the family that is the beer community, and to work with a bunch of smart writers.
The path to today has been fun. A lot of twists and turns, but it all led me here: demand generation.
It was a unicorn. It was a leading-edge tool that had an amazing community and an amazing culture amongst employees. I hadn’t really heard of Chef, other than that the company I was at used it for a few things, but the job sounded exciting. My first role was to help run DG but to also solve a pipeline problem. Those are two of the things I love, so I applied. And then I met the people, learned about the product, and saw how I would get a chance to work amongst a ton of teams. I knew I made the right decision when I told one of the people at my previous company that I was coming to Chef, and they swore at me they were so jealous.
The last year has been kind of a whirlwind! Obviously, going through an acquisition can be difficult, so I think that one of the biggest accomplishments is that we have been able to continue the work that we have been doing, and we have been able to continue to grow the business.
We also put together an amazing launch for Chef Infra Server 17, expanded our webinar program, and held a very successful ChefConf ‘21: Online.
Continuous growth of our product capabilities. The product and engineering teams have put together a great roadmap and are executing on it. As a marketer, a good product, with great functionality, that helps make someone’s job easier, makes my team’s job easier. And that is really exciting.
I would love to! I work closely with the Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound (DSC), a nonprofit organization in the Seattle area that aims to drive inclusion for people with Down Syndrome. This is important for so many reasons, but it is important for my family because my 7-year-old daughter was born with DS. We were able to become a part of this community and make some long-term friendships.
This year, I started a fundraising bike ride through the DSC called 321 for 3/21. We rode 321 miles in March, from Bellingham to Portland, completing the three-day, self-supported ride on March 21. March 21 (3/21) is World Down Syndrome Day, and it was an amazing opportunity to raise awareness for inclusion of all people. Huge thanks to the Progress team for being one of our first sponsors! We are currently in the planning (and training) stages for the 2022 edition!
Find what you love and go for it. Learn it, read about it, try it out, network with people, and then do it. There is currently a toxic culture of “grind it out” or “side hustle” that I think is leading to a lot of burnout, so please know that is not what I am saying.
What I think you need to do is take that next step. Take that class. Read that book. Try out some other projects at work. I got into marketing because they opened the role at the company I had worked for, and because I had taken some of those side projects (presentation building, project management) I was able to beat out the other applicants.
You may not know what you want to do, but if you have a passion for something, try it out!
This is going to sound sappy, I know, but it has been focusing on mental health and being more present with my family. My daughters are 7½ and almost 5. The last year has been amazing seeing them learn and grow, watching them get into board and card games, and just plain getting to play with them.
To get to know other Progressers like Matt, read more of our employee interviews here.
Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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