In 2012, when I first started with SADA, we had just over 50 employees, most living within 50 miles of our headquarters in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Now, as the VP of People Operations, I’m proud to announce that we just welcomed our 500th SADAian with our employee network spanning across the US, Canada, and Armenia! Wow, we’ve certainly come a long way from our humble beginnings! This is a huge milestone in our 21-year history, and while it’s incredible to witness how we’ve grown 10x in size in just 9 years, this feat will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with SADA’s bold, dynamic, and nonstop culture—we’ve been thinking big, pushing the limits, and putting our people first since Day 1.
“Starting from my first day at SADA, I knew I had found the best place to work. The culture of warmth and inclusion combined with the never-ending pursuit of perfection gave me a place that I knew I could call home. I’m proud to say that nearly 8 years later, despite our explosive growth, SADA remains true to what it was when I first joined this amazing company.”Edmond Youash, Vice President of Sales, Google Cloud at SADA
People first, always
Of course, we couldn’t welcome our 500th employee without also celebrating all SADAians and all SADA alumni who’ve been a part of this exciting journey. Put simply, SADA wouldn’t be where it is right now if it weren’t for our people, the heart and soul of our organization.
SADA may be growing fast, but our small-business culture remains. From our robust and welcoming onboarding experience (it includes a meet and greet with CEO Tony Safoian and other members of our executive management team at orientation) to introducing our “OG SADAians” and shouting out new employees and special achievements at our weekly virtual town halls, SADA keeps our focus on our people. SADAians are truly exceptional, and we celebrate them! Even with our tremendous growth, our executive team makes a point to remain accessible—we want to know everyone!
Over the years, we’ve been recognized in a number of ways, including being named Google Cloud Reseller Partner of the Year 3 years running, but personally, I’m most proud to be recognized by the likes of Inc. (Best Workplaces), Timmy Awards (Best Tech Workplace for Diversity), Los Angeles Business Journal (Best Places to Work in Los Angeles), and the Business Intelligence Group (Best Places to Work). These awards are a testament to the culture we’ve built here at SADA. In fact, our culture is so revered that it’s not uncommon for SADA alumni to find their way back.
“I’m what our CEO Tony likes to call a ‘boomerang.’ I started at SADA nearly 10 years ago and left to pursue my MBA. But I just couldn’t stay away and came back this January. The culture and the people are truly something special here. Everyone is constantly innovating and making things better! It’s an environment that pushes you to make an impact and keep leveling up with your team.”Meredith Mitnick, Learning and Development Consultant, People Operations, SADA
Each and every new team member is warmly welcomed (even welcomed back) and empowered to make a meaningful impact from their first day at SADA!
Growing through diversity
SADAians are unique and we like it that way! We believe deeply that our diverse and passionate team members bring their new ideas, perspectives, and experiences to shape and grow our organization. As a company founded by immigrants, SADA has always been committed to diversity, and in the spirit of our core tenet, “Together, we’re all in,” we’re continually looking for opportunities to foster an inclusive, diverse, and supportive environment for our employees. From using machine learning technology to screen our job descriptions for bias to providing training and resources that encourage a deeper awareness, we make sure that everyone who interacts with SADA feels welcomed.
One of the initiatives we’re most proud of is SADA University, an 8-week training program designed to develop cloud infrastructure and data engineering talent from within our organization. With an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, the program’s mission is to onboard and upskill new and existing members of our team to make an incredible impact on the performance of the customers we serve, while also continually improving, refocusing, and expanding that process as we learn more.
“Diversity for SADA means creating a safe environment of belonging for our team members, regardless of how they choose to identify, fostering a culture that reflects the burgeoning global workforce.”Leilani Alvarez, Program Manager, SADA University
Some of our other diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives include:
- Investing in DEI training workshops
- Sponsorship of Women Impact Tech Summit and the Society of Women Engineers Conference to network with hundreds of female engineers
- Partnering with alternative coding schools to help non-traditional engineering students become successful cloud engineers
- Partnering with WE and Google to offer an Inclusive Leadership Series to enhance our culture of belonging and allyship
- Working with organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers to ensure we are reaching talent from all communities
- Making financial contributions to organizations that are driving systematic change in society (for example, Black Girls Code, the Equal Justice Initiative, Nomi Network, National Black Women’s Justice institute, and Race Forward)
Growing with remote work
SADA’s commitment to Google Cloud and its Google Workspace collaboration suite of tools were pivotal when it came to quickly transitioning our workforce to remote work when the COVID-19 pandemic began. As we embrace the ability to have fully remote team members, our talent searches are no longer limited to our Los Angeles headquarters. We can seek out the best and brightest talents regardless of where they’re located, which has enabled us to be more diverse than ever and grow faster. Today, SADA’s employees are spread throughout 2 continents, 3 countries, and 38 U.S. states!
This transition wasn’t always easy, but SADAians have never shied away from a challenge! We leaned on our own experiences as we helped our clients empower their newly remote workforces and scale their businesses. In the end, SADA didn’t just survive as a fully remote company; we thrived. While many companies reduced staff over the past year and a half, we grew by nearly 50%! Over 300 new SADAians have come on board since March 2020.
With the pandemic and the shift to remote work, we really had to get creative to maintain the exceptional work environment that we’ve built for our growing and talented employee base. Weekly coffee breaks (virtually, of course) give our employees an opportunity to let their hair down, celebrate wins, and share experiences, hobbies, and expertise. Virtual cooking demonstrations, immersive cultural activities, and special guest speakers serve to foster connection in a time of social distancing, while morning meditation sessions and mental wellness challenges help SADAians practice mindfulness.
Regardless of the changes we’ve had to adjust to throughout the past 18 months, our commitment to putting our team members first remains a priority. With encouraged flexibility, new developmental opportunities, and remote team building and wellness activities, the people of SADA continue to grow nonstop!
Bold. Dynamic. Nonstop. SADA.
As SADA grows, we’re determined to maintain the close-knit internal culture that we’ve all come to know and love. I can’t wait to see what’s next! Join us for an incredible ride.