25 Mar Becca Ruffin: WithersRavenel product manager targets innovation, asset management
As WithersRavenel continues to grow its asset management services, a new employee on our innovation team has the right blend of experience, enthusiasm, and curiosity to propel the company forward.
Becca Ruffin is WithersRavenel’s first Product Manager. Her mission is to make our asset management program more successful by not only cultivating and nurturing ideas, but also helping solve and prevent client problems while working collaboratively with WithersRavenel team members across all disciplines. Becca will also work with our technology partners such as Brightly (formerly Dude Solutions), while helping clients maximize the value of their assets.
Her interest in joining the company was sparked by Chuck Wright, WithersRavenel’s Director of Innovation and a former co-worker of Becca’s at Brightly. “Chuck is an incredible mentor and friend,” she said. “And then I started to fall in love with the opportunity that he presented, taking asset management and helping WithersRavenel become a national leader in that space.”
Becca’s professional background contains a variety of experiences blending technology, sales, project management, and customer service which prepare her well for this role. From her time at Apple, Becca learned the importance of truly investing in the client experience – making a potential transactional experience into a transformational one. At Brightly, she worked as a Manager for Project Managers, Consultants, Implementation Specialists and GIS Specialists – and was a key player in helping implement software solutions for municipal clients.
She then worked at a late-stage startup called Policygenius. While manager of the sales team there, Becca developed a greater understanding of the customer experience from a different stage in the product process. Her experience with both sales and post-sales implementation across her previous jobs will allow her to better understand and empathize with the clients during their asset management journey at WithersRavcenel.
“I intentionally sat in different seats to better understand the business, better understand how all these different key parts of an organization work together to serve clients,” she said. “All of that has led me to where I am now, where I am going to be a Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to what WithersRavenel needs to do in asset management. That may mean today I’m going to focus on client acquisitions and marketing plans. Maybe tomorrow I’m looking at what tools we need to better implement what we’re offering to our clients. Another day it might be partner management, where I’m working directly with a software company we team with.
“I will run the gamut – I’ll get to work with a lot of incredible people. Collaborate, be creative, be curious. I’m excited to help WithersRavenel be successful with our asset management goals.”
That time she was on television
Uniquely, Becca’s background also includes … reality television? Becca was part of the 2015 Great Food Truck Race, as seen on The Food Network.
Two of Becca’s best friends from high school, Sunny Lin and Sophia Woo, started a food truck serving Asian cuisine called Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck. Sunny and Sophia were not your typical food truck entrepreneurs – Sophia got her master’s from UNC in accounting and had a corporate gig. Sunny was a biomedical engineering graduate from N.C. State and had a full-time job as well. But in their early 20s, the pair decided that those weren’t the right jobs for them at that point in their lives.
“They decided they wanted to open up this food truck and really connect with the community,” Becca said. “They are both first generation Taiwanese-Americans and wanted to take something that was important to them, the cuisine and their culture, and share that.”
The Food Network approached Sunny and Sophia for the opportunity to compete in the Food Truck Race in 2015, and this is where Becca comes in. “I helped them at different events like food truck rodeos and with local breweries. They needed a third person and asked me to join them.
“It was a pretty easy ‘yes.’ I get to travel with my best friends across the country to cool cities, meet people and feed people, that sounds awesome.”
The two staples on the truck were pho and dumplings, and Becca said the team struggled in the early weeks of the competition. But the trio persevered, and became the first all-female and first East Coast food truck to win that show during its then sixth season. “It was definitely one of the coolest experiences I’ve had, the people we met along the way, the other food truck teams, the crew with The Food Network. So rejuvenating, getting exposed to so many different communities in different places and different ways.”
Today, the food truck lives on in an Asian fusion restaurant opened by Sunny and Sophia called MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh, though the pair are no longer involved in day-to-day operations. Becca likes to call herself the restaurant’s biggest fan. She goes there often to enjoy the food and the company.
Becca’s curiosity and STEM subject love started early, and led her to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She later studied Construction Engineering at N.C. State University. She has two children, an 8-year-old daughter, Sky, and a 5-year-old son, Blaise.
Are you interested in putting WithersRavenel’s innovation and asset management services to work for you? You can reach Becca Ruffin at (919) 535-5232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.