Christine Tuccelli on opening a new office and bringing people together
In the past three years, Formlabs has grown from one building with less than 100 people to an 83,000 sq. foot campus with over 400 across three buildings (plus offices around the globe!). Our newest office in Somerville, MA opened this spring and Christine Tuccelli joined to manage the space which houses our sales and services teams. We sat down to learn about how she tackled coming into a new role in the middle of an expansion and how operations works at a fast-growing tech company.
You came to Formlabs in the middle of opening a new office. Why did you join?
Whenever I choose a company to work for, I want to make the right next step in my career and find an ethos that resonates. I want to achieve big goals, make my mark, help myself grow, and help the company grow. I saw that Formlabs was constantly progressing and making strides in industries like healthcare, audiology and jewelry. This role lets me combine my creative maker soul as a metalsmith and leathersmith and my love for processes and operations.
What is your role on the operations team?
I work on the resilient, resourceful, and can-do operations team. We basically put out fires and we get shit done. Some days, I’m getting my hands dirty on top of a ladder fixing something, having an intense meeting with legal, finance, or general contractors, leading construction meetings, or delving into spreadsheets. Every day is different.
We are the wheels on a well-oiled machine. We keep the office running and progressing.
What does it mean to be a Formling?
A Formling is curious by nature, a creative thinker, passionate, caring, and believes they can accomplish the unthinkable. It is that can-do attitude that makes the heart and soul of this company. They ask: “what is the next goal that seems unattainable and what can we do to accomplish it?”
You talked about your team. What part of the greater community speaks to you?
As we grow bigger, we have this little (okay, maybe big) campus now. We care so much about our own community and the community outside of Formlabs. There is something for everyone.
In our new space, we will be hosting more events and extending our great internal community to the outside. We just hosted our first HeyGirl event at Twin City. HeyGirl is a monthly event where we invite women leaders from tech, science, and business to share their journey or career path in an informal interview (link to register if you are interested in attending the next event). My heart was soaring to see these powerful, intelligent women share their stories.
What was the moment you knew you made the right decision to work here?
When I started working here, my dad called me with bad news one morning. My mom had been sick for months and we had finally got the answers we had been waiting for. Unfortunately, my mom was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and a high percentage of people don’t make it past the first 6 months.
I needed someone to talk to. Luckily, there are instant connections made here. I had heart-to-heart conversations with Virginia, Jacki, and Jill on my team. The next day, there was a handwritten note and a book about cancer on my desk from Jacki. Not only did they sit, listen, and make me feel better, but they all went the extra step. I got hugs. I felt supported.
“This isn’t just a job. These are people who care about their people.”
My mom just finished her last radiation treatment and she is in the clear.
We spend so much time at work and we also have lives outside. People say “yes, we’ll support you,” but it’s completely different to live that every day. Formlabs actually lives that every day.
How is working at Formlabs different from other companies?
Failure is one of the biggest things that people are afraid of. Formlabs harnesses the idea that you can learn from failure. Formlings are more apt to take chances with engineering, printing and materials because we are constantly breaking new grounds. We may not figure it out the first time around, but we persist. We learn from our customer’s failures. We learn from each other’s failures. And we are able to make our printers and materials better because of it.
You’ve worked in operations for a few years. What does it take to be successful?
You have to be open to change, determined, energetic, and constantly learning, otherwise you’re stagnant. Working well under stress, keeping organized and prioritizing helps a lot when there are so many details especially in ops. If you need help, ask.
What are you most proud of?
Working on opening the new Twin City office is one of the proudest things I’ve done so far at Formlabs. There were a lot of challenges. Three different tenants occupied the space before us. One of the largest spaces hadn’t been occupied for 10 years and the HVAC and sprinkler system had been gutted. I met with team leads to find out what they needed in this space to be successful and made that happen within a budget. There were some stressful late nights, but those moments also came with team building, creating memories and lots of laughter. The Ops team and other Formlings even helped over the weekend before our opening day!
“I felt like I was creating this home for everyone to move into, got to show it off, and see people enjoy it. All the hard work was worth it.
At the end of each week, the Sales team goes around a circle and shares their highs and lows of the week. Many people included the new office in their “highs’ of the week. At the end of the meeting, they do a little cheer and they cheered my name. It’s little things like that making this a special place. My mental photo album keeps growing and growing.
Operations is known for being a really fun team. What is your best memory?
Our teammate Franko often wears coveralls. For his one year “form-iversary” (what we call anniversaries here), we invited him to a meeting and the whole team wore coveralls with name tags and we celebrated his hard work with storytelling over donuts. I wish we captured his face when he saw us in his favorite uniform.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have a passion for antiques and vintage clothing. I have an off-and-on again vintage booth/online store where I sell vintage clothing and jewelry. I feel like old things have a story to tell and I want to contribute to that story. I actually got into metalsmithing because I loved the jewelry pieces that I would find, but wanted to take it apart and redesign it. I like figuring out how things work.
I also love being outdoors: finding plants, insects, reptiles and amphibians that I haven’t seen before. And I’m always looking for someone to go mountain biking or rock climbing with. You will certainly find your soul buddy here.
Formlabs is growing fast. Join us.