As our customer base continues to grow, so does the need for us to take on more awesome people. The newest member of the team is Chris, joining our UK office all the way from sunny California as an Account Manager. We caught up with him in his first week on all the important things: civic tech, bands and biscuits.
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Chris Neil. I was born in Orange County, California and lived in Southern California on and off my entire life. I spent the last 4 years in Los Angeles but recently relocated to Bristol in March to live with my wife, a lifelong Bristolian.
2. Favourite band and/or artist?
My all-time favourite band is Bright Eyes. I think they are the only artist I have consistently listened to weekly for over a decade. Other favourites include The Smiths, Radiohead and Elliott Smith. If its slow and sad, I usually like it.
3. Creature of habit or maverick thinker?
A little of both I’d have to say. I am a creature of habit when it comes to structure and routine in day-to-day life; I love the process of hand writing lists and cathartically crossing out items. But I have been known to shake things up quite frequently and have always been hesitant to conform to societal norms and expectations.
4. You (and, for the sake of keeping it interesting, any spouses/partners/kids/significant others) get mysteriously transported to a desert island, with only time to grab a couple of precious things to take with you. What makes the ‘keep’ list?
I would definitely have to grab a surfboard in hope that there are waves on this hypothetical island. Also, lots of books to read while the waves are flat. Though if I had to only pick one book, I’d have to choose Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac; I think I could re-read that continuously for the rest of my life.
5. Biscuits – dunk or leave unsullied?
Usually leave unsullied but I have recently been introduced to the concept of biting off both ends of a Kit Kat Chunky and using it to suck up tea or coffee. It gets caught in the middle melting the chocolate making in warm and gooey.
6. Before joining Delib, how did you put bread on the table?
My last position was with a community engagement and relations agency called Consensus as an account manager, specializing in land use and transport projects and policy in the greater Los Angeles region. A few clients included WeWork, Westfield and the City of Los Angeles. Prior to this, I was introduced to the world of civic tech as an intern turned digital specialist at NationBuilder, one of the first community organizing software companies.
7. Why did you want to join Delib?
I have always been interested in the world of civic tech and have been following Delib’s work ever since I knew Bristol was a potential new home for me. I have worked in and with government for most of my professional life and have experienced first-hand the slowness and sometimes disconnecting nature between government and those who are governed. I believe it is crucial to give citizens the knowledge and power to shape the community they live in and believe Delib is doing a massive part to achieve this aim.
8. Any shout outs, comments or other musings?
A big shout out to the team for being so welcoming and nice. Also, a huge shout out to Bristol as a whole for being an awesome place to land after my relocation across the pond.
It’s great to have Chris on board and we’ll be throwing him in at the deep end with various events, company away days and training opportunities in his first few weeks! If you’d like to chat more about Chris’s interesting use of a KitKat Chunky as a tea straw or perhaps about civic tech and democracy, you can always catch him on Twitter.