CCC’s RightsDirect team is headquartered in the historic city of Amsterdam, focused on sales and licensing in the European region. It is an interesting, challenging, and dynamic place to work – a truly 21st century European environment.
We recently caught up with Kate Alzapiedi, Director of Sales. In our conversation, we learned more about her unique experience and the culture of working in the larger environment of an old-yet-young cosmopolitan European city.
Hi, Kate. We hope all is well with you and yours during what have been difficult months all over the globe! Please tell us a little bit about your background. Also, when did you start with CCC/RightsDirect?
KA: My educational background is in communications and I have a master’s degree in journalism from Emerson College in Boston. After waiting tables in Faneuil Hall during graduate school, my first real job was at Excerpta Medica Medical Communications (part of Elsevier Science) in the center of Amsterdam. At the time, the cutting-edge technology for sharing content was on CD-ROMs. I worked with a team responsible for distributing conference abstracts as part of journal proceedings on CDs at medical conferences. This was a great time for me because I had the opportunity to travel around the world to international conferences, with the chance to visit Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Melbourne as well as many trips to the US which I could combine with visits to my family. I later went to work at the Elsevier headquarters in the Corporate Licensing team, just as ScienceDirect was launched to the market. With the internet just taking off, I made the jump to online publishing. My entire Elsevier career spanned 16 years with various roles across corporate sales, society publishing and rights and permissions. Which, eventually, led me to join CCC in 2010, when RightsDirect started as a CCC subsidiary based in Amsterdam.
What is it like working for CCC in the Amsterdam office? What is the corporate culture like in your part of the organization?
KA: It was a very entrepreneurial experience switching from a large publisher to a small company, where we spent our first weeks getting the company established in the Netherlands, finding offices and introducing ourselves to the market. It wasn’t quite a startup since we had the full support of our CCC colleagues in the US, but very fun to be working on something new and different every day. Ten years later, I’m proud that we’re providing licensing and software solutions to nearly 250 customers across Europe. Over the course of my time at CCC, there have been three corporate acquisitions that have allowed us to bring new software and professional services to the European market in addition to our copyright licenses.
We all work remotely at RightsDirect, which makes our corporate culture quite international. I work with a group of fantastic colleagues around the world and specifically on the RightsDirect team from Germany, UK and Japan, as well as here in Amsterdam. We were already adept at remote meetings for some time before the COVID-19 lockdown.
Last June, your team participated in the company-wide We Not Me day…
KA: CCC is a very charitable company to work for and we are all encouraged to participate in volunteer work in our communities throughout the year. Some of the Dutch initiatives have ranged from cooking a meal for 90 people at a local shelter to renovating the Cathedral St. Bavo in Haarlem. This was an amazing experience to share with my colleagues. CCC also has a community matching donation program for employees to match some of our charitable donations where we have a special interest, which gives me a good feeling as the company is looking after both employees and the local communities where we live.
If you had one thing to share with a prospective employee, to encourage them to come work with CCC at the Amsterdam office – or anywhere around the globe – what would that be?
KA: We have a very good work/life balance here in Amsterdam. Family life is considered a priority, especially now with everyone working from home. It seems like such a cliché to say that a company’s greatest value is its employees, but I genuinely believe this to be true. There’s an encouraging atmosphere across the organization, which makes me feel supported by my colleagues. We celebrate our successes together but also know where to find each other when we need to be picked up. CCC’s London office is near a wonderful place to go for a drink after work with colleagues. But to encourage those to come work here in Amsterdam: We have a beautiful historic city, centrally located in Europe, with a super team of colleagues.