Women are born leaders. You’re following one."
This is what a bumper sticker on the back of spunky 13-year-old Holly Brunk’s dirt bike said.
It was put there by her dad, who wanted all the guys she rode with to know that her scrappiness and focus shouldn’t be underestimated. And to this day, that saying holds true as she leads the customer success team here at Matterport.
Armed with values that include empathy, humor, individualism and environmental sustainability — just to name a few — Holly has never let any of life’s challenges deter her from reaching her goals.
Her experiences have been global: one of her first jobs was working at a refugee reception centre in England, one of her two children was born in the U.K. and she and her husband spent several years doing business in Japan.
The formative years
Raised in sunny Santa Cruz County on the California coast, Holly describes her personality as a mix of introvert and extrovert. She explains that she relies on a good sense of humor and a sense of adventure to get her through life’s ups and downs. When she was 11, her mother died in a car accident. She attributes her bravery to being able to step back, and combine strength with vulnerability. Opening herself up allowed her to mourn and move on with her life. But that isn’t to say that it didn’t affect her. Growing up had its own challenges — a bout of teenage rebellion in high school taught her a lot about herself and ultimately led her to Chico State, where she studied social work and met her husband, Larry.
After graduating from Chico, Holly started doing social work in the area. First, working at a shelter for victims of domestic violence and then in a group home for severely emotionally disturbed youth.
After working in Chico for a bit, Holly moved out to meet her husband in England, where she started work at a refugee reception center. The day she landed from the U.S. in England was the first day that evacuation flights were landing from Kosovo, with victims of genocide and displacement from the war.
By helping reunify families torn apart by war, this job shaped the way I looked at immigration as well as my role as a global citizen."
A decade focused on environmental sustainability
After living abroad, Holly and Larry moved back to the U.S., living out of Oregon now. She went back to school at Northwestern University for her master’s degree in organizational change management and began work at a nonprofit called The Natural Step, where she was able to combine her passions for environmental sustainability and corporate consulting. After a move to Ecova (now Engie Impact) leading customer engagement initiatives, she teamed up with Fortune 500s, using deep energy, water, and waste consumption data to help them significantly drive down both their costs and environmental impacts. She described it as an invaluable opportunity to use big data to drive targeted action for massive results.
Holly did this work for about 10 years. Highlights included designing and leading a team to deliver the training for an Environmental Defense Fund fellowship program, and doing work for companies like Apple, Pepsi and Facebook. With two of her most talented colleagues, she taught a course at Portland State business school where they have a focus on Sustainable Business Management. Many of the graduate students she taught are now leaders in the industry.
My greatest career satisfaction has always come from empowering others to do great things."
Bringing it all together
That brings us to today, with Matterport. Holly Brunk leads the customer success team, which she describes as being about “helping our customers get the most value out of their Matterport experience through the application of strategic communications and education, consulting, project and change management, and strong relationship building.”
She explains that customer success is all about leveraging deep and strategic data management with a whole lot of process and soft skills combined to create a personal and meaningful relationship with customers at scale.
Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that all of our customers are experiencing Matterport in a way that brings them great value and most importantly, opportunities for innovation, growth, and leadership in their industries or personal pursuits.
Stay tuned to learn more about the hardworking and talented women of Matterport in our next installment. In the meantime, enjoy Holly’s favorite Matterport space - a 3D capture of the limestone caves near Lake Shasta in California. “I love how ambitious it is.”