Meet our Incredible Director of Disbursement Operations
Take a peek behind the curtain and get to know the diverse, passionate team of experts who help make incredible happen.
For this edition of Meet our Incredibles, we’d like to introduce Brittney DeVita, Director of Disbursement Operations at CyberGrants. Brittney has been a prominent member of the CyberGrants community for 10 years, where she’s had the opportunity for career advancement and personal growth through her experience in nearly 6 different departments. We sat down with Brittney to discuss being a self-proclaimed “QA Queen,” her involvement in products like CGDS, and spontaneously booking a trip around the globe.
Meet our Incredible Brittney DeVita
Introduce yourself! Tell us a little bit about you and your role at CyberGrants. Also, feel free to include how long you’ve been with the company and what your job entails.
I’m Brittney and I’ve been with the company for 10 years. I’m a legacy employee from JK Group, I’m based out of the New Jersey office, and am currently the Director of Disbursement Operations where I manage the payments team and the organization vetting team. I started my career with the JK Group right after college as an account manager and then transferred to the data and reporting team where I grew my understanding of the back end of the system. From there, I developed a role as an operations implementation specialist. I was responsible for connecting the pieces between onboarding and the account management service side of the house. I reviewed requirements and created specifications for website updates and customizations.
After that, I was the first person to become a Pod lead from the NJ office and learn the CyberGrants platform from the legacy company. Throughout the first month, I flew up to Andover each week where I learned the configuration and new processes. At first, being one of the only people in the NJ office supporting CyberGrants was quite challenging and I often felt like I was on my own island. Although it was an adjustment period, it helped me learn so much faster. In my next role, I was a solutions architect for the clients migrating from EasyMatch to CyberGrants. Since I have an understanding of both platforms, it was helpful in level setting expectations and explaining the differences in the services and product to clients. During that time, I would also help troubleshoot and test various components in the product and assist my colleagues with triaging issues they would run into. All of the various jobs I held led me to the current role that I have today. Because I’ve worn so many hats throughout my legacy, I was able to grow and develop tremendously and was exposed to so many aspects of the business. Without those experiences, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
In regard to my day-to-day, I’m currently working closely with our product team to come up with new products and processes for CGDS and am involved in the conversations regarding how these products should function. As the manager of the organization vetting department, my team reviews new organizations that gather into client accounts. This also involves working closely with CAF America to facilitate our partnership and to assist in creating some international programs. For the payments team, I’ve been involved in automating manual processes to create predictable outcomes. This also involves managing existing clients’ bank accounts — Generally, whenever anyone needs assistance or has a question I try to help where I can.
On a personal level, I try to spend as much time as I can with my cats—I love them! After work and on the weekends, I practice yoga to try to find my zen and decompress after a busy work schedule. I’m a nerd and I love playing board games, bowling, and love listening to live music—I’m actually seeing a cover band this weekend. I’m always listening to music and try to find the best playlists to match my mood because I love having music on whenever I’m doing anything. My parents always used to blast music throughout the house so I think it comes from that. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of ‘70s rock and I love Led Zeppelin, which is the cover band I’m seeing this weekend. I also love ‘90s alternative and grunge, but my cleaning music has to be much more upbeat like dance or hip hop music.
I also love to cook, which is something I learned from my dad because he’s a chef. I grew up in an Italian restaurant and since my parents owned a business, extracurricular activities weren’t that common for me. The understanding was always that when you were old enough, you’d start working so I’ve had jobs since I was 14. I think that instilled a mindset in me that you work for everything you accomplish and I’ve developed a strong work ethic. This mindset also helped me develop a sense of independence where I want to do things on my own and have my own success.
Another thing I love to do is travel. A big accomplishment I was able to achieve through my independence was going to Singapore by myself 3 years ago. I heard it was a really clean, safe place to travel, and I had this mindset of “I can do this!” I decided to book it and a month later I was there. That achievement helped solidify confidence in my independence. The next place I’d love to visit is Japan. I've always seen such amazing photos of picturesque landscapes with beautiful gardens and florals.
What has been your favorite project at CyberGrants thus far?
I have two favorite projects and one kind of evolved from the other. Melissa Sheetoo and I were tasked with creating the standardized grantmaker template. The goal for this was to make it so we weren’t starting from scratch each time. Instead, we worked to determine the logic for what our baseline should be. Together, we came up with those requirements and it was really rewarding for us to figure out what needed to be done, tell the product team, and overall come up with a consistent way to streamline implementations. It was really rewarding to be involved in such a significant feature that continues to make a difference for our customers and internal teams.
Over the past two years, I’ve gotten to be much more involved with the product side of things. By collaborating with development, we've streamlined new processes and continued to optimize CGDS. Having a seat at the table and having my voice heard throughout that process was something I really enjoyed.
What drew you to CyberGrants? What has kept you here?
After college, I worked one job before moving to the JK Group. I began looking for a new job as there wasn’t really much room for growth within my previous position. I had experience in customer-facing roles from working in hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores— I’ve always worked handling funds and working with customers. So, when the JK Group contacted me to interview for the account manager role, it seemed like the perfect career progression.
In regard to what has kept me at CyberGrants, it was the opportunity to grow. I was constantly challenged to do more and learn more; and to grow professionally.
What has your experience with remote work been like?
For me, I was 100% remote before the pandemic because I moved about an hour away from the office. I honestly love that I get to wake up and just start working right away. It’s easier for me as well because communication has become much clearer and more streamlined since we're all operating on the same methods for communication. Although I miss the social component of being in the office, I love working from home and I feel like I’m so much more productive.
What is a challenge you’ve had to overcome?
One of the biggest challenges was definitely starting as Pod lead from the New Jersey office because I was secluded from everyone else who I was working with. Simultaneously, I was trying to learn and understand the CyberGrants product from afar, and without much formalized training— it was extremely challenging. However, without having to work hard and overcome those challenges, I would not be where I am today. Being forced to learn and adapt on my own was difficult at times, but in the end it taught me incredible and crucial professional skills.
I also think I’ve had to overcome myself; learning to be independent was huge for me because a lot of my success came after I gained the confidence and knowledge that I’m capable of accomplishing things on my own and figuring out how things work on my own time and in my own way. That applies to both work and my personal life. Circling back to Singapore, that was something I would have never done prior to gaining that confidence in myself. Also, being a woman in this field can be especially challenging, but at CyberGrants I see strong and impactful women being empowered, their voices heard, and earning promotions regularly. It’s not a once in a blue moon type of situation like it is elsewhere in the software field. In nearly every job I had growing up, I felt like there were preconceived notions about what a woman in the workplace looks like and does, but I haven’t found that to be the case at CyberGrants. So that definitely made me feel more supported and allowed me to gain confidence in myself and a greater sense of independence. So I’d definitely say building up a Pod and overcoming myself were two of my biggest challenges.
What are some causes or organizations that you like to give back to?
The causes that I care most about are organizations working with animals, whether it’s supporting a local rescue shelter or animal rights. Another cause that I’m super passionate about is preventing domestic violence and emotional abuse and supporting survivors of that violence. Those are causes that are very personal to me, and broadly speaking, I really care about empowering women and ensuring that their voices are heard.
What is your favorite movie and why?
My favorite movie of all time has to be Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. We had our SILC conference in Chicago in 2017 and it was so much fun to see all of the different locations where they filmed for the movie—I also really loved seeing the architecture around the city. I don’t know why, but I have always been obsessed with it and can quote the entire thing— it's just so much fun to watch!