On the final day of Women’s History Month, let’s introduce you to the women of SIS. They’re an integral part of all different areas of operation – from watching film to inventing stats, to building products, to making sure everything runs smoothly, and much more.
Lauren Baksa – Bath, PA, Accounting Associate, 6 months at SIS
What do you do in a typical day? I process invoices, reconcile bank statements, assist with payroll and various other accounting duties as needed.
What’s the best part of the job? Working with individuals with various backgrounds.
What’s the favorite thing you’ve worked on so far? I really do not have one favorite thing that I have worked on. I have enjoyed all things that I have worked on so far.
What’s the hardest part of your job? Reconciling payroll in ADP with Quickbooks.
Why SIS? I worked in the Healthcare field for over 20 years. Due to life-changing circumstances, I found Healthcare was no longer a good fit for me. I thought I would branch out and since I like sports, I thought SIS would be a good fit.
What’s a fun fact about you? When I was a kid I went to a lot of Phillies games. At one game my parents arranged for me to meet the Philly Phanatic. I got to sit on his lap and as a kid this meant the world to me.
Kelsea Benoit – Central Massachusetts, Marketing Specialist, 6 months at SIS
What do you do in a typical day? Each day is different in marketing! Typically, I’ll take a look at my project board and address any top priority projects first, then meet with various departments to determine their marketing needs. This could range from writing a press release, drafting a marketing plan for a product launch, creating graphics to support our social media efforts, and everything in-between!
What’s the best part of the job? Getting to connect with people from every department! It’s exciting to hear about how each team operates, the products they’re bringing to market, and their passion for sports. SIS and our products have grown so much since I started, so getting to witness that and connect with the people who make it possible is amazing.
What’s the favorite thing you’ve worked on so far? The SIS rebrand! The project was huge and is still ongoing. It’s been great to tie together exciting pieces with new ideas under the same umbrella with the new brand guidelines.
What’s the hardest part of your job? Prioritizing requests from different departments. There are so many exciting things happening from new partnerships to new products across each sport, it can be tough to determine which project to tackle first. I want to be sure to give each project the attention it deserves and deliver campaigns in a time that makes most sense.
Why SIS? Two major things: my love for sports and the start-up feel of the company. I’m a HUGE sports fan – football and basketball being my two favorites. So being able to tie my love for sports and love for marketing into one position has always been a dream. And, while SIS isn’t a start-up, with the rebrand and additional sports and products, it feels a bit like one. I love the challenge of wearing different hats that a start-up-feeling company brings.
What’s a fun fact about you? Outside of my job at SIS, I’m also a family photographer! I took a bit of a break after my baby was born in January, but I can’t wait to get back at it this Spring and Summer!
Barbara Jewell – from Belem, Brazil, currently resides in Timnath, CO, Product Designer, 5 months at SIS
What do you do in a typical day? In a typical day I go through any particular step in the product design process, whether it’s conducting an interview, reviewing product requirements, ideating a solution, wireframing, or testing a product that SIS will build.
What’s the best part of the job? The best part of the job is that I get to mix data and creativity to create something people will use.
What’s the favorite thing you’ve worked on so far? The NBA Data Collection Tool. The basketball folks were a pleasure to work with, and I can’t wait to see the final product.
What’s the hardest part of your job? The hardest part of my job is adjusting to constraints when designing a product. Constraints can range from a tight timeline, engineering resources, budget, prioritization…
Why SIS? The combination of a sports-focused company with a start-up feel are very appealing to me! Also, seeing how knowledgeable, collaborative, and passionate my coworkers are is inspiring.
What’s a fun fact about you? Born and raised in Brazil, make a mean brigadeiro, and a lifelong tennis player.
Rebecca MaWhinney – Midway, Utah, Basketball Operations Associate, 1 year at SIS
What do you do in a typical day? I ensure our basketball operations run smoothly. I mainly focus on the NBA side and making sure our data is the highest quality possible, which includes a lot of time spent watching basketball (a dream). I also work with our scouts to ensure we are constantly improving and pushing each other to be the best we can. I am also currently working internally on a new project within basketball that I’ve been quite passionate about.
What’s the best part of the job? The best part of the job is working so closely with people who know and think the game at such a high level. It has pushed me to understand the game more than I ever thought I would.
What’s the favorite thing you’ve worked on so far? The development of our NBA product. The public is just now starting to see some of the things we have been working on, but there are so many people that have been working towards this product for a while. It’s awesome to see some public recognition for that hard work.
What’s the hardest part of your job? SIS does a great job at encouraging the employees to think big picture and push the envelope. I am someone who gets very focused on what I am currently doing, so it’s been a challenge to push myself to pursue the “big picture” projects that might not see immediate gratification.
Why SIS? I’ve always enjoyed basketball and understood it to a certain point, so I applied for the Video Scout position. I really enjoyed the people I was working with and the work I was doing, so I jumped at the chance to come on full-time, and here I am!
What’s a fun fact about you? I got really into Survivor during the pandemic. I watched ~20 seasons during 2020 and have been watching the current seasons as they come out. Although I think I would be too trusting to make it far if I went on the show myself lol.
Danielle Moore – Lorton, Virginia, Basketball Video Scout, 5 Months at SIS
What do you do in a typical day? In a typical day, I watch 3+ hours of college basketball film and scout different draft prospects (current and old) using our tagging framework. My day typically starts around 12:00pm or 12:30pm and then I like to be done by 7:30pm, but that’s not always the case. If I’m scheduled to watch an NBA game that night, my day will end a little later.
What’s the best part of the job? The best part of the job is being paid to watch and scout basketball for majority of my day, and knowing that my work is valuable to the company. There are very few places where you’re offered the opportunity watch basketball as often as I do at SIS.
What’s the favorite thing you’ve worked on so far? So far, my favorite thing would have to be working on the 2022 draft class. It’s fun to see the different skills each prospect has and trying to figure out if or how their game will translate to the next level.
What’s the hardest part of your job? I would say the hardest part is finding the balance between being very detailed when I’m 2nd-passing games and making sure I’m not overdoing it with some of the labels. Also, making sure that while I’m watching a clip of a prospect, that I’m not just trying to find something because I feel like something should be there.
What’s a fun fact about you? I can play 2 very different instruments: the euphonium and saxophone. I’ve been reading music since the 4th grade, and I’ll probably never forget. I can read music in treble and bass clef.
Carol Olsen – Whitehall Twp., PA, Office Manager, 8 years at SIS
What do you do in a typical day? The position “Office Manager” covers a lot of ground. The day starts with E-mails and any communication sent to me by staff. The tasks completed in a day range from building maintenance issues, like snow removal or the cleaning crew to helping an employee with his/her medical benefits or their pay to administrative tasks like payroll item, a visit to the office retrieving mail, banking, budgeting and maintaining office supplies. On any given day, I will take care of some or all of these items and everything in-between.
What’s the best part of the job? I love to help the staff, answer questions and resolve issues they run into. Sometimes we’re busy with other things, but I usually will take the time out to help right away with their concerns. I want to eliminate the frustration. This is very satisfying to me.
What’s the favorite thing you’ve worked on so far? I have always loved coordinating employee engagements; birthday celebrations, cooking contests, trivia nights, picnics, the holiday party, etc. With COVID this area has been challenging, but luckily, our new HR director, Matt Bergey is killing it, kicking off some virtual contests and events and I get to assist!
What’s the hardest part of your job? Adapting to the remote work environment has been challenging. Dealing with multiple state with business registrations & taxes is testing my patience, for sure and the lack of in-person staff interaction is difficult, but being able to use apps like Teams to make a virtual call really helps.
Why SIS? I have been doing office administration for a long time. When I moved to PA, I looked for something closer than my long commute to NJ. SIS was close to home and I was fascinated by what SIS was doing with sports analytics. The people were talented and passionate and I loved the family-like atmosphere. The job grew from answering phones and opening mail part time to a full-time position. I’ve enjoyed watching the company grow up over the years!
What’s a fun fact about you? My love of musicals began when I was 4-5 years old, when my dad took my family to see the movie, “The Sound of Music”. NYC was just 30 miles away from my NJ home, but was not affordable with 6 kids. In the 60’s, musicals were aired on network TV and my family would watch them together (the reason that we can sing the entire score of them, word for word). This past Christmas, the remake of “West Side Story” was released in theaters, and there we were, glued to the screen. A trip down memory lane.
Cassie Sosnovich – From New Jersey, currently lives in Scottsdale, AZ, Product Owner, 7 Months at SIS
What do you do in a typical day? Plan, Communicate, Organize is my 3-word summary. I am the gatekeeper for ideas and requests that come from those outside of Engineering/Product to create a short and long future Roadmap. With that comes meeting regularly with our Engineering teams (OG and Kraken), ensuring what we have planned is on pace and review any tasks they made need some re-prioritizing.
What’s the best part of the job? The Planning…I tend to be an overplanner outside of work, so getting to build Roadmaps and help prioritize the future of SIS is fun to me.
What’s the favorite thing you’ve worked on so far? I’m a part of a lot of overarching things, so I can’t say if there is one specific item that is my favorite. But I am very excited for the future and potential of our ‘Consumption Platform’ that we are starting with the NFL Draft, I think will be a game changer.
What’s the hardest part of your job? Maintaining a communication with those outside of Engineering, my job is heavily involved with making sure our backlog and roadmaps are going to be worked through, that it can be a challenge to keep open communication with those on the outside who potentially would get bad news on delays, etc.
Why SIS? I’m a very very competitive person, and I always want to be the best or 1st at something. I think SIS has the opportunity to be at the forefront of the sports data world. It’s exciting to be a part of a Company that can do a lot of firsts or even perfect some of the things already out there.
What’s a fun fact about you? I was a swimmer in College (go UMass) but that immediately means I hated running. So after I graduated, I needed some athletic challenge, and I went to the extreme and decided to run a Half Marathon or 10k in every state. I have done 12 states so far and have my 13th planned for April.
Sarah Thompson – Suburbadelphia, PA, Research Associate, 1 year, 4 months at SIS
What do you do in a typical day? In short, I take our baseball data and turn it into actionable analysis. This can range from improving existing calculations of our proprietary metrics to building applications that streamline intake of our college baseball data.
What’s the best part of the job? Solving problems, but specifically baseball problems.
What’s the favorite thing you’ve worked on so far? I’ve worked on both of our public- and client-facing Defensive Runs Saved metrics, which is always a lot of fun. Defense is a complex aspect of the game and I savor the challenge of breaking it down to just a couple of numbers and improving the accuracy of those numbers whenever we can.
What’s the hardest part of your job? Any time a number doesn’t line up with video warrants a deep dive of why. Those deep dives can be tough, but they’re worthwhile.
Why SIS? SIS has been at the forefront of baseball analytics since the early 2000s, which certainly has a coolness factor, but I especially like the fact that some model I built somewhere along the way could be helping a team draft a difference-maker or win a few more games than expected.
What’s a fun fact about you? I like to play golf and have played some of the oldest golf courses in the world in Scotland. A couple of years ago I made an albatross (2 on a par 5), which is harder to accomplish than a hole-in-one (Million-to-one odds or so. But mine was no luck, all talent 😉)