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Jun 1, 2023

Morning Coffee: Leslie Wheeler, EMCEE

Welcome to Morning Coffee, a series from Bamboo Crowd in which we showcase the brilliant people we’ve had the opportunity to work with. So brew yourself a cup and cozy in to hear stories from people who’ve landed their dream roles, from the exceptional folks who support our clients, and from our own mighty staff here at Bamboo Crowd. We’ll talk about everything from how they take their coffee (yes, we ask this) to what they’re seeing and doing in their new roles and the industry at large.


By Alex Pavlou

Founder - I help organizations and startups scale their teams.


For most busy professionals, time seems to fly by with zero consideration for our lengthy to-do lists. With careers, job applications, side hustles, social lives, and more constantly juggled, it feels like a race from Monday to Sunday with little time to slow down the pace. Our chat with Leslie Wheeler, Chief of Staff at Emcee Studios, reminded us how important it is to hit the breaks. 

We asked, as we always do, about Leslie’s morning coffee habit. Her immediate answer? “I take it slowly.” She laughed and continued, “I love taking time to have morning tea. I rarely drink coffee. I occasionally drink caffeine, but I'm always drinking tea. it's a nice way to stay hydrated throughout the day and slow down.”

These slow moments throughout Leslie’s day create time for herself - to breathe, nourish, and refocus. It is likely what has kept her level-headed as she takes on several new projects in her new role with Emcee. 

“Some of the specific projects I've been working on since starting have been around team bonding and culture. That means getting to know the people that I'm working with and breaking down any communication barriers.”

Creating the team culture at a young startup company is a challenging feat. Leslie’s role with Emcee began at an exciting time as the company experiences major growth and expansion. We dive into her journey with the CEO and their new team as they build and discover new operations, processes, and opportunities for an exciting future. 


It’s Only the Beginning… 

Part of the magic of startup companies is the idea of building something completely new. It’s a stack of empty pages waiting for the right people to come in and pen true innovation. Since opening its doors in 2019, Emcee has worked toward creating a new space for content creators, empowering them to monetize as they create, and Leslie couldn’t help but get swept up in the passion and excitement driving the team.

“I decided to officially join EMCEE because throughout the interview process, I really fell in love with the people and the product, and ultimately the mission behind the product,” Leslie shares.

“I was captured by the supportiveness of the team. Everyone I spoke to wanted you to thrive and truly wanted you to be a part of what Emcee is building, and the conversations were so different than any I’ve had in other job interviews.”

- Leslie Wheeler, Chief of Staff at EMCEE


It takes passion and genuine excitement for the product to grow a company, and it’s clear that the team at Emcee has both. Their rapid growth and expanding team is proof that the organization is onto something, and Leslie was thrown in at the perfect time. 

“I’ve been really focused around helping pinpoint gaps and strategizing on how to fill them and bridge them, and facilitate that solution, whatever it may be. It's been a lot of fun but ultimately, learning has been what I've been doing the most.”

This culture of both contributing and growing as a professional is ultimately set by leadership. CEO John Aghayan has set the tone for Emcee well,  ensuring all executive leaders create supportive energy that the company honed at its inception.

“He does one-on-ones with every single person in the company,” Leslie shares. “At least once a quarter. He tries to work closely with everyone he can. He's very involved and present at all of our team meetings. There's a strong trickle-down effect, but there's also an impact small or big that he makes on each individual by just being present in meetings and taking the time to do one-on-ones regularly.”

With every team member supported and uplifted by not only leadership but the CEO himself, it’s no surprise the team at Emcee is so passionate about their work. Leslie has enjoyed continuing to build out this company culture, creating operations and systems that ensure it remains an integral part of their foundation.

“I have been proud of the culture building and team bonding that I've done certainly, but most importantly, I would say I'm proud of the team I've built in a short amount of time.”

- Leslie Wheeler, Chief of Staff at EMCEE


With a team of 49 and growing, Emcee is hitting major milestones as a young business. They’re hyper-focused on creating a positive work environment and doing their best to think outside the box, discovering new ways to make social media profitable for their clients.

“A big part of my role is increasing our research and strategy perspective so we can always be making informed decisions,” Leslie shares, “which again can be difficult in startups. Especially in startups that are truly doing things differently, because we have so many conversations that are like, ‘It's never been done before, but here's how we think we can do it, and it's gonna be great. We're gonna try our best.’ It's truly a different environment, so it's important to have that research-backed, decision-making database whenever we're having those conversations”


Taking Back Time

From job hunting to team building, we have all experienced the difficulty of managing time when it comes to the hiring process. As a company, filtering through hundreds of applications can seem endless. On the other end, spending valuable time between work and life to submit job applications can be taxing for applicants. 

Leslie has experienced this on both ends of the hiring process as she searched for her new role and now builds the growing team at Emcee.

“This has been the biggest pain point with seeking a new job, even when I'm ready, has really just been time. And not only the time spent but also saving time that's been wasted."


"The time that Bamboo recruiters have taken to understand what I was looking for myself, as well as what I'm looking for in a new candidate, helps to save a lot of time.”

- Leslie Wheeler, Chief of Staff at EMCEE


It is not only crucial for the applicant to understand what their needs are, but for the company to clearly articulate the right fit for the position they’re hiring for as well.

“​​I initially was speaking with Alex at Bamboo Crowd, and it felt like the conversations we were having were really about trying to find the best fit for EMCEE, the best fit for me, and it was informal in a professional way. 

I felt like he was taking care of me throughout the process, but it also felt informal enough for me to voice my concerns, excitement, doubt, certainty, and anything that I was feeling, and I think it helped make the perfect fit. So it was a really refreshing experience.”


If you are ready to take back time in the hiring process, as a job seeker or company hiring, let’s connect! Our passion is finding those perfect matches in record time - be sure to reach out to Alex to learn more.

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