Meet Our Incredibles

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 Teddy Ritter, an implementation consultant at CyberGrants. From the call center to account management, Teddy has been an integral part of nearly five different departments throughout his 9-year tenure with the company. As a long-time member of the CyberGrants community, Teddy cites the people, the mission, and the never-ending ability to learn as the three factors that have kept him here. In fact, he’s grown so close with his CyberGrant family that he’s even officiated a team member’s wedding! 

We sat down with Teddy to learn about his career journey from pizza to software, personal challenges he’s overcome, and his (not so secret) party trick. 

Meet Our Incredible Teddy Ritter

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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. 

My name is Teddy Ritter, I’m an implementation consultant, and I’ve been with CyberGrants for about 9 years. As an implementation consultant, I function as a middle-man between the sales team and the account management team to make the client’s ideas and visions come to life. This involves a lot of configuration, custom solutioning, and building what the customer wants. A lot of my days consist of meetings to better understand exactly what our clients are in need of. 

What has been your favorite project at CyberGrants thus far? 

It’s really difficult to pick just one since I have been almost everywhere within CyberGrants, but I would say my favorite thing is making sure the client’s vision is coming to life, making sure people feel confident, and that they’re happy with the product we’re delivering to them. I like to make sure that my kind of work style is very engaging. Typically, implementation consultants go back and forth a lot with documents and emails to make changes, but the way that I prefer to work is on calls. I prefer to do them live, make the change, refresh the page, and have the client say “yes, that’s what I want” or “no, let’s make these changes.” So I would definitely say creative problem-solving is probably my favorite part of my role right now. 

Since you’ve been with CyberGrants for so long, I’m curious to know what led you to your current role within the company? 

I’m probably one of the people who has some of the most experience all around the company. I started out in the call center answering phone calls and emails for the employee engagement side of the platform. Next, I moved into the implementation team, but when I first began there it didn’t exist as it does now. Back then, it was really just a couple of people putting things together. After we got acquired by Waud Capital, that turned into more of a payment team role where I was mostly involved in printing checks. Then, there was a need in the call center again so they pulled me from that role and moved me back into the call center. After that, I got moved to account management and stayed there for probably three and a half years. Finally, there was another great need within the implementation department, and with my vast knowledge of the system, and my ability to communicate well with people, that led to my transition to the new version of an implementation consultant. So, in total, I’ve really been across 5 different departments. 

What drew you to CyberGrants? And what has kept you here? 

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When I came to CyberGrants I was working in pizza. I was working in-house, I was delivering, and basically doing everything that I could to make money. At that point, I was an aspiring DJ trying to make it in a music industry that very few people actually “make it” in. I worked in restaurants, hospitality, and pizza from the age of 18 until I was 28 or so. But the long, hot summers in the kitchen and the freezing winters making deliveries were so brutal—I just couldn’t do it anymore. As much as I like pizza, I didn’t want to be a pizza man for the rest of my life. So, one of my best friends (who is still currently at CyberGrants) said “Hey, we need help in the call center, do you think this is something you’d like to try?” and I said “Hell yeah!” I started at CyberGrants just two weeks after that conversation. I would consider myself a relatively fast learner, I don’t ask a lot of questions, and if I do ask a question, I’ll only ask it once. Those qualities sort of made me the perfect call center employee because I’m able to understand software, I’m able to learn about the various systems quickly, and I knew that my role was just to help the people who were calling in. So that’s what drove me in— just wanting to be in air conditioning. 

What has kept me here? That’s a really great question because there are a lot of little things that made me stay with CyberGrants. Probably the biggest thing is the relationships I developed with the people that I work with—I have gained some incredible friends at CyberGrants. I’m an ordained minister and I’ve actually facilitated a marriage for one of my co-workers and presided over the wedding. So I would say the people first, the mission second, and the intellectual curiosity I would say third—those are the three things that have really kept me here. I’m a very intellectual, curious person who’s always trying to navigate problems, find solutions, and gain a better understanding. With CyberGrants, there’s a lot to learn so that curiosity has kept me here and kept that fire alive! 

What is a challenge you’ve had to overcome? 

When I was working in pizza, I really wanted out of that and needed something different. But coming into a world of technology at CyberGrants where we’re discussing process and improvement was a big shift from discussing pepperoni and sausage pizza—it’s a completely different world! I would say learning the configuration points while trying to manage accounts and client relationships has probably been one of the biggest challenges at CyberGrants. 

One of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had to overcome personally is myself. I am this weird force who enjoys getting reactions from others. I used to do and say things just to get a rise out of someone, even if it wasn’t appropriate. I had to overcome my own self in order to be a good CyberGrants employee. Maturity is absolutely something that I had to work on and overcome.  

What are some causes or organizations that you like to give back to? 

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I have been very involved with a dog rescue organization called One Tail At A Time, which is how I got my dog, Lala, about 11 years ago. Since then, I have done fostering, transportation, and pretty much anything else I can to support that rescue organization. I’ve also been really involved in the Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day parade because one of my best friends is the chair of the event. So some of the things I’m involved in are fundraising and day-of operations. In regard to fundraising, I actually leverage a lot of the knowledge I gained at CyberGrants to help navigate who we should reach out to and how. For day-of operations, I function as a gate person where I help participants get lined up and keep the parade moving along smoothly. One of the best parts about the parade is that after it’s over, the entire event staff gets to ride around the city of Lawrence with a police escort in golf carts. 
 

What is your secret talent/party trick? 

Image from iOS (17)I don’t know if it’s much of a secret, but I am a DJ. I have played sets as far north as Toronto, as far south as Miami, and as far west as Cleveland. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a headliner, but I would say I’m a regional act and am relatively well-known in the New England area for my style. I play drum and bass, utilize turn-tables, and do a lot of scratching, which is pretty uncommon. Today, most DJs do a lot of button-pushing, but I prefer to use turntables which is a very different method and style. I have already opened for some of the largest names in the world, and there is no stopping me! This year, I played four festivals throughout the summer, I have a show coming up in Rhode Island in November, and I’m playing New York City in December. 

How did you become a DJ? 

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When I was in High School, I was a freshman for 3 years in a row and the last year that I was there, I ran for class president and won. Unfortunately, the school said that I wasn’t fit to be the president because I had been a freshman for multiple years. So instead, I decided to go get my GED and began living an adult life. When I turned 18, I started going to parties and I was amazed by the music and the DJs— I was in awe! I realized that I wanted to be the person who controls the massive seas of people with their music like King Triton. I decided to purchase turn-tables and began teaching myself how to DJ by watching VHS tapes and reading a bunch of books. For those first two years, I focused mainly on scratching because I couldn’t help but think “Oh my god, this is crazy! How are they making these sounds?” After that, I continued to practice and refine my skills until someone approached me and asked “you know you can put two records together?” And I was like “What...what are you talking about?” They taught me how to beat-match and about a month later I was playing shows. 

If you were famous, what would it be for? 

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I told myself that I wanted to come out of the pandemic with a new skill and I decided to take up glass blowing. I began by watching a bunch of videos to try to understand what I needed to do and what equipment was necessary. To get started, I bought myself a kiln, a torch, several different kinds of glass to use, and then I just started watching YouTube videos and tried to make different things on my own. Right now, I am working to create glass ornaments for holiday gifts. I also do a lot of fuming which basically entails taking silver and gold and heating them up to a certain temperature. Those fumes cling onto the glass and allow it to change into different colors. So if I was famous for anything, it would be my unique style of glass blowing. 

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