Employee Spotlights

Getting to know Persefoni: Meet Jani McConnell

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April 14, 2023
October 2, 2022
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Jani McConnell Canoeing
Jani McConnell / Persefoni

1. And you may ask yourself, "Well... how did I get here?" (Tell us your journey?)

Being born in Shanghai and immigrating to the US gave me a deep curiosity for the vastness of our world at a young age. What I missed in growing up alongside all my cousins and relatives back overseas, my parents filled with the most vibrant of childhoods, which comprised of weekend road trips and adventures to experience the beauty of America together. The moment I could read, I became obsessed with books about nature and how many species of animals existed out there, and could sit for hours in the library daydreaming about how I could one day experience it all.

Fast forward to graduating from UCLA - I had a traditional career start in Advisory at KPMG, where I worked with Fortune 500 companies to understand their internal controls and processes. However, my exploratory longing remained, and my career path took quite a deviation. I seized every opportunity I could find to see the world - ran an AirBNB, won a pageant, acted in global commercial campaigns and film/TV, and built an international supply chain business and sales team to transact with commercial greenhouses, distributors, and big box retailers. Through it all, I was able to build a deeper connection with family overseas, contract with businesses around the world, and fill my childhood bucket list of landscapes. The most bittersweet part of experiencing this beauty of our planet is feeling its impermanence and the degradation that we have caused.

My favorite experience to date - visiting a rescue and rehabilitation elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai

This clicked last summer, during a career sabbatical where I read a book called "The Three-Body Problem". In it - all the world's major economies are challenged to come together to save our planet from an impending existential disaster. Whilst it is a sci-fi premise (thankfully no alien invasions happening yet!), it resonated that we are in the midst of the most critical battle today to save our planet, and the only chance we have relies on immense collaboration and shared responsibility, individually but especially at a government and corporate level. Shortly after, I read about a company called Persefoni which had just raised their Series B...

2. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. (What do you do at Persefoni?)

I am the Director of Sales Operations, and my team and I enable our revenue teams' success at scale through systems, processes, and tools! On a day-to-day basis, I dabble in everything from implementing a new tech stack addition to CRM data analysis and hygiene to breaking through organizational silos for necessary collaboration. When I first started at Persefoni, we had just begun growing our sales team so it truly felt like building the engine together from the ground up. Now that I'm in the Revenue Operations group, the goal is to align our teams to drive a consistent customer journey in this rapidly evolving carbon accounting industry, which can already feel complex. One of my favorite parts is collaborating cross-functionally with our global teams to solve these gaps and challenges as we continue to grow!

3. And you may ask yourself, "Where does that highway go to?" (What are your hopes for your time at Persefoni?)

One of the aspects that excited me the most when I joined was having the opportunity to learn about sustainability and the SaaS startup world. The subject matter expertise that exists, along with our world-class leadership and advisory board at Persefoni is incredible, and there is fervent energy for growth through shared knowledge and collaboration.

The reason Persefonites are on this mission together seems to be consistent - to create positive change in the world. With looming regulatory changes and companies' desires to mobilize, there is a gap today in reporting transparency, automation, and subject matter knowledge to support that demand. I'm excited to be on this journey alongside our teams to help enable as many customers as possible and grateful to be in a business that measures its success by doing good.

Climbing the famous Yellow Mountains in China that I grew up seeing in watercolor paintings (real life Avatar inspiration)

4. And you may say to yourself, "My God! What have I done?" (Why is Persefoni a great home for you?)

I feel very fortunate that although my journey has been quite the eclectic one, Persefoni was a perfect intersection of all of it. I was able to bring in my previous experiences - from working on a global startup and building teams, understanding operational internal controls, constructing systems and processes, and most importantly, combining my career with a purpose to help better the world. I get to learn from hyper-talented colleagues, and thankful to be surrounded by others who feel as passionate and are invested in collaboration and feedback on a daily basis.

5. And you may find yourself in another part of the world... (Tell us about your life/hobbies away from work?)

Family and community have always been paramount to me - which was made even more clear during the pandemic. I still love taking trips with my family, and feel very fulfilled by meaningful conversations over a delicious meal with the people I care about. Being in Los Angeles, I'm lucky to say the good food part is usually a given!

Cross-country roadtrip with our pup Toby to see the famous St. Louis arch!

Hobbies-wise, I love hiking with my husband and pup, practice martial arts, am a Disneyland fanatic, and lately have been obsessed with finding unique ingredients at farmer's markets and coming up with creative dishes. Of course, I travel when I can - next on the bucket list are the Inca Trail and Galapagos Islands!

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“Once in a Lifetime" is a series of articles designed to help our customers and partners learn more about Persefoni's truly passionate team. We're not just building award-winning software ... together, we're helping to decarbonize our planet.