Get to know Wheel Chief Marketing Officer, Shoshana Deutschkron
What’s your personal story?
I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and moved to the West Coast to attend Stanford, graduating just in time for the first dot com boom. Landing in Silicon Valley for school at such a remarkable time in the tech industry’s history indelibly shaped my career path.
I’m first generation American on my dad’s side. He was born in Berlin right after WWII ended to parents who hid underground during the war. My family on that side is very resourceful and raised me to be hard working. My mother’s side raised me to be warm and humorous. I strive to be a combination of these two sides -- driven and people-centric.
My family on both sides owned small businesses – my great grandparents had a general store in a tiny Wisconsin town and my grandparents on both sides had clothing stores – I became a different type of entrepreneur by joining startups. We recently discovered that every member of Wheel’s executive team has an entrepreneurial / small business background.
What's your professional story?
I started out in at a PR agency representing major brands in Silicon Valley, then became head of comms at Tealeaf (now part of IBM). After that, I joined a market research firm called Penn, Schoen, Berland (PSB). My time at PSB made me uniquely data-driven by training me on research methodologies and demonstrating the power of data to boost a company’s awareness efforts. This led me to a company called Upwork which has valuable job market data (it is the largest online marketplace for independent work). In my eight years there, I built a globally distributed team that drove the company’s awareness and positioning through a merger, a relaunch and its 2018 IPO.
Upwork was also my first mission-driven company and showed me how powerful it is when the hours you put in on conquering challenges are for the good of humankind. Since starting there a decade ago, the 3 companies I’ve joined have all been mission-driven. The next one was Olive, which is a health tech company working to connect the siloed backend systems in healthcare through automation. I joined Olive as CMO when the company was valued at approximately $750M and had 12 Marketing team members and in just 1.5 years worked with its leadership team to scale it to a $4B valuation and 70 Marketing team members. At Wheel, I’m lucky to get to combine my industry experience in both online work marketplace and healthcare technology and apply my efforts towards another critical mission!
Why did you join Wheel?
I joined Wheel last May so, as I approach a year here, I can truly say that Wheel is an exceptional place to work and that it has all of the ingredients I was looking for:
Mission driven: I’ve spent the last decade working for companies that have a positive impact on humanity and there’s no more critical need currently than fixing healthcare. I am so grateful I get to spend my working hours on a mission that matters.
Value alignment: The values of supporting diversity, fostering team work to build something enduring, and exhibiting empathy are important to me and I hold them in common with our team.
Well run: Every startup has challenges. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of whether the company has the right people to address the right types of challenges, which we very much do.
Wonderful people: Speaking of which, our team exceeded all my expectations and is made up of people I truly enjoy working with as we build Wheel together.
What’s your favorite Wheel moment?
One of my favorite things about Wheel is that the people here are humbly heroic. Every individual works extremely thoughtfully and pushes hard to make an impact, and the same is true for the clinicians in our network. We don’t have big splashy moments so much as awe-inspiring reflections when we realize how far we’ve come in how little time. We’ve delivered millions of patient consults and we’re only a few years into this journey, so the biggest moments are yet to come. I’m looking ahead rather than reflecting back. I’ve seen this journey at other companies in other industries, so I have a sense of the enormousness of what’s to come. I can’t wait until we look back from a distance on today and remember how weird it was that people didn’t simply see “virtual care” as “care” and view online consults as a normal, easy way of receiving care.
What does the future of healthcare look like?
I'm excited about how consumer-centric healthcare has become. It's easier than ever to find care and with virtual options expanding, it’s easier to access too. What's so great about the trend toward virtual-first care is that it benefits both patients and clinicians. Not only is access to care getting easier, but so is delivering it!
Do you have a fun fact?
Cooking - I love cooking and went to a cooking program that trains people to be personal chefs for those with food allergies or illnesses. My fiancé Joshua is a former chef who worked for Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio. I could talk food and wine for hours.
Dogs - We have a 150 lb. St Bernard, Apollo, who loves to join video meetings.
Portland - After many years in the SF Bay Area I moved to Portland, Oregon about 7 years ago.
Interested in joining our team? Check out the latest career opportunities with Wheel!
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