Employee Spotlight: 15 Years of LivePerson Memories
Edwin Rodriguez, facilities manager at LivePerson’s headquarters in New York City and one of LivePerson’s longest-tenured employees (we turn 20 this year!), has been with us through many ups and downs — both his own and the company’s. For the last 15 years, Edwin has been a friendly face for the NYC staff. We rely on him for everything, floor to the ceiling. He’s seen LivePerson through four office moves, one company-wide trip to Israel, and the very first FeedingNYC. As a thank you for for his decade and half with us, LivePerson sent Edwin and his family on the trip his choosing: a Disney cruise around Europe.
Fifteen years seems like an awfully long time to be at a company, but, for Edwin, this place is more than that. LivePerson is home. A lot can happen in 15 years, as he told me when we sat down to talk about his time at LivePerson and this milestone trip. You’ll find our conversation (and some vacation pics) below.
Q: What is a favorite memory from LivePerson?
A: The Israel trip in 2010, when the whole company was flown out there. We finally got to meet everyone from all the offices and had a chance to connect with them. At the time, a lot of the staff was nervous about going, though. There’s a stigma about that region: a lot of turmoil. But it was an amazing few days. When we left, we were family. We were all part of each other.
I met one colleague, an American, who was working in the Israel office at the time. She started talking to me in Spanish, and I was taken aback. Here we are in Israel, everyone is speaking really fast Hebrew, and she spoke to me in my language — I’m Latino. She was so nice and cool, we really connected. We’re still buddies.
Q: What’s different about being here compared to other companies?
A: The culture, our office space, but mostly the people. You visit the office, and you’re treated like family. Over the years, I’ve met some of the best people here. We’re all family. I come in, and I see smiles all over. I look at all the teams in the NYC office, and you can see how much they care about each other. Even though a lot of young people are here, the way they work and communicate is inspiring. There’s a mutual respect. Once you’re an LPer, even if you leave the company, you never leave the family.
Q: Fifteen years is a long time. What’s kept you here?
A: Before I came to LivePerson, work was just work. You went in, did what you had to, and then left. LivePerson is different, and it’s made a difference in my life, beyond just work. I go home satisfied.
LivePerson has been part of my life for a decade and half. It has given me the opportunity to work with a great company. During the 15 years I got married, had two wonderful boys, and bought a home. I've seen this company go through some tough times. But Rob is more than a CEO. He’s a leader, and he always had this strong belief that this company is not going down, even when the stock dropped. We are what we are because of him. I look up to him, his perseverance. He never gave up. I stayed, because I knew I could see it through, too.
Q: You were at LivePerson during September 11th. What was that like?
A: When LivePerson relocated to 330 34th Street from an office on Seventh Avenue to accommodate a bigger staff, I’d been with the company three years already. The new office had windows facing downtown Manhattan — a pretty amazing view by any standards. That’s where I watched the towers fall on September 11th. I know that day is stuck in all our minds, but watching it from the office...I’ll never forget the image of the second plane hitting that tower.
A lot of things changed that day — for all of us. For LivePerson, there were a lot of us who lost friends and family in the towers. We took some big financial hits, too, as a result. We had to let people go, cut down to 40 people. But there was some good that came from that day. It inspired us to start FeedingNYC. After all that destruction, we looked around and saw how hurt New York was; we wanted to do something to give back. That first year, we put all those dinners together in a conference room. To see it now, 14 years later, and all those families that we’ve made happy — there’s no feeling like that in the world!
Q: For your 15-year milestone trip, LivePerson sent you and your family on a Disney cruise around Europe. What were some highlights from your trip?
A: This was a dream come true — the trip of my lifetime! I grew up poor. I never imagined that I would've set foot in Europe — let alone travel around it for 10 days with my wife and kids. It was the most amazing experience.
I’m from New York, and we’ve got some good pizza here. But that first bite of pizza in Naples — I’ve never tasted pizza like that in my life! We got to visit so many places — Rome, the Vatican, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Monte Carlo, France, and Barcelona. The cruise itself: We had a room with a balcony. You could hear the sound of the ocean. I’ve never had a room on a boat like that before. I’ve always had an inside cabin without windows.
Q: What does it mean to you to be here this long and for the company to show it’s appreciation for you in this way?
A: I’m so thankful. I am grateful to be part of this wonderful company. One day, my time at LivePerson will come to an end. I’ll retire, maybe move down South or take my wife and drive around the country, but I will always keep this company and these people in my heart. Being here, now and all these years, means I get to continue working with wonderful people that I can call family.
Congratulations to Edwin on this amazing milestone, on behalf of the entire LivePerson family. We love you, Edwin!