Decent Team Spotlight: Suzanne
Name: Suzanne Scharlock
What is your role at Decent?
I am the product manager at Decent. I conduct user research, write user stories, and collaborate with the development team to make our digital product delightful. In classic startup style, I wear many different hats and pick up any needed tasks from planning team events to creating strategy plans.
What is your background?
I joined the startup world in 2012 to be early on the team at Nick and Richard’s (CEO and COO of Decent) first startup, Likebright. I helped to pivot Likebright to Reveal Chat in 2014 and worked to grow Reveal Chat to over 2 million users in under 9 months. When Reveal Chat sold to Napster in 2015, I became the main product manager for a new music streaming project at Napster. I led a product team and worked with a team of ~20 mobile developers. I enjoy product management because I am always learning something new through user research results or making product and development team process improvements. I love working in the startup arena because I see my work directly impacting the company. Having the autonomy to build creative solutions, run experiments, and see results is very fulfilling for me.
Why were you motivated to join Decent?
I was motivated to join Decent for two reasons: improving healthcare and working with this team. I worked with Nick Soman, Richard Luck, and Sean Leonard at Reveal Chat. Going to work at Reveal Chat was often so fun it didn’t feel like work. The team was encouraging and collaborative. I never felt limited in what I could do to improve the company and was supported to take on large projects to build my skills. I’ve found my new co-workers at Decent are just as collaborative, smart, hardworking, and kind. I’m excited to work with the Decent team and further our mission for affordable health care.
Why is improving healthcare important to you?
Growing up I was a gymnast. When I was 17, I broke my L5 vertebrae from overuse in gymnastics and had spinal surgery to fuse the broken disk. The recovery process was over a month long, and the first time I stood up after having surgery I fainted from the pain. The surgery was upwards of $100,000. Three years later, I had second spinal surgery to remove the hardware from the fusion in an attempt to alleviate the daily low back pain I had as a result of the first surgery. The second surgery was similarly expensive. Without our health insurance, my family would have encountered significant medical debt. Insurance afforded me the surgery I needed to continue to live an active life. It is absurd to me that quality affordable healthcare is out of reach for many families in the US and I want to be part of the solution.
Describe something unrelated to work you are passionate about.
I’m passionate about volunteer work. I am donor with Bloodworks Northwest and I try to donate blood every 8 weeks. Donated blood saves lives of patients who need blood transfusions for cancer treatment, organ transplants, bleeding disorders, and blood disease. Bloodworks Northwest helps over 55,000 patients per year at more than 90 hospitals throughout the northwest. Donating blood takes less than an hour to complete and is an easy way to make a positive impact others. If you are eligible to donate, I recommend you try it at least once because it directly helps people. If donating blood isn’t something you are interested in, I encourage you to find a volunteer organization with a cause you are passionate about. I think doing works of service for others is important in connecting to your community and spreading kindness.