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Meet the team: Liz Russell!

April 14, 2022
Susanna Pho, CFM

Today we celebrate Liz Russell who joins the Forerunner team from Cazenovia, New York as the newest member of our Customer Success team. Since starting, she has been working every day to onboard new partner communities and ensure that our software is operating smoothly for our current users.

Hi Liz! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in upstate New York where I also attended college, getting a Master’s in Management with a concentration in emergency management and disaster preparedness. For the last 11-12 years, I’ve been working in the disaster recovery and mitigation world, focusing on recovery grant programs and the NFIP. In the last 4-5 years, I’ve specifically been focused on software and training in this arena.

More personally, I love food, Harry Potter, and composition notebooks. I can’t function without coffee and a GPS, and I forget my phone charger on almost every trip.

What brought you to Forerunner? What is the best thing about your work?

I met Susanna at a conference a few years ago. When I learned about Forerunner, I was really interested in what Susanna and JT were working on, and I was excited to keep in touch with them throughout the years. Once I decided to dedicate myself more fully to the GovTech sphere, I reached out to them and here we are!

The best thing about my work is on the strategy side of things. I’ve really loved getting to know our customers and how they want to be supported, and then taking that and applying it to the development of a customer success program. Every new customer is a new opportunity for me to learn something. My goal here is to create a seamless experience for our customers, where they feel seen and heard, and can ultimately get the most out of our product each and every day.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have so many hobbies - it’s ridiculous! We have a homestead here that keeps us incredibly busy. Think chickens, gardens, apple trees and grape vines, plus maple syrup when the season is right. I love to knit, sew, and do DIY projects around the property. I also love to cook, read, and hike. Very randomly, my spouse and I also canoe race together in the summer. Like I said - ridiculous!

We know that you have done a lot of farming—what would be the ideal animal to add to your farm?

I really want Babydoll Southdown sheep! They’re smaller sheep that are known for their happy dispositions. They also produce a decent amount of fiber. Plus — free lawn mowing and they’re so, so cute!

What is your current favorite fun fact?

Chickens have dreams! Scientists found that birds go through REM sleep, and there is evidence that, during this sleep state, a bird’s brain activity spikes in a similar fashion as human brain activity when we’re dreaming.

What do you hope to accomplish for yourself as you grow at Forerunner?

I will be so proud of my work here if, at the end of the day, I can say we created a dynamic customer success program that adapts to our customers, their needs, and our changing business needs over time. To me, this means:

Taking a systematic and predictive approach to meeting customer needs;

Developing a more robust program to engage customers as promoters, genuinely;

Establishing an excellent working relationship with the product and development teams to ensure that customer feedback is regularly available (and used, if appropriate!);

Creating a regular cadence for updating our success program so that we don’t get out of touch, go stale, or miss an opportunity.

If you would like to learn more about our team or have any questions about our software, feel free to reach out at!

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