Edison turns 30 this year! Each Friday through year end, we'll be giving you a little blast from the past. True to the Edison Ethos, this photo blog campaign emphasizes an important fact that here at Edison we are candid -- refreshingly and uncomfortably.
Edisonian of the Week: Kelly Ford Buckley - Then & Now
Q: Usually I begin these with the question of why you chose to work at Edison Partners? In your case, it seemed a little bit more like divine intervention - care to share?
A: A few years before joining Edison, I actually led marketing at an Edison portfolio company, Operative. Chris Sugden was on the board and Ryan Ziegler, an observer, so I had a feel for how they work with companies. During that time, Chris also tapped me to help assess a couple of potential investments, which gave me a bit more exposure to the team.
When I left Operative, Ryan and I stayed in touch; he would periodically introduce me to CEOs in the portfolio. He was a master networker and connector then (and still is now); I remember admiring that about him. Fast forward to 2014, I moved from NYC to the Princeton area and, one Saturday, ran into Chris Sugden on Witherspoon Street (the very street where our office is now).... Chris: "What are you doing here?" Me: "I live here!" Chris: "We should talk."
Timing is everything. Chris was looking to infuse more operating experience into the firm. I was looking to feel more connected to the community in which I was living and was drawn to Chris' vision for the next-generation of Edison; not to mention, there was a familiarity with the team, investment strategy, and certainly, the needs of growth-stage companies. So, running into Chris was serendipitous; but honestly, it's as if my entire career led me here.
Q: This month marks one year since Edison Partners moved to Princeton. What’s your favorite thing about the new office?
A: First, the environment is much more conducive to collaboration and connections with colleagues. Glass everywhere and the open layout takes the meaning of open-door policy to a new level. It's the type of environment where you want to come out of your office -- whether for impromptu meetings or a game of ping pong. It's the "water cooler" magnified.
Also, being in downtown Princeton is fantastic. It’s a small town with a city feel and plenty of good food, Small World coffee (the best) and shopping; it's a place where people like to visit.
Oh and we're dog friendly!
Q: Yes, we love having Buster & Maxwell in the office, and we all bear witness to their favorite activity of trashbin-diving! What about when you're not working, any fun activities with the dogs outside of the office?
A: My husband and I love to take the boys to the beach. Buster is a professional body-surfer and Maxwell is a champion digger.
Q: What is your best memory of the 80s? Rock any leg warmers and leotards?
A: Leg warmers, maybe. Leotards, certainly not. I was big into rollerskating in my Calvin Kleins and listening to Rick Springfield, Bryan Adams, The Smiths and, I'll admit it, 80's hair bands.
Q: What did you want to be as a child?
A: As a huge animal lover, I went through a phase of wanting to be a veterinarian, but when I learned what an obstacle pre-med could be to having a well-rounded Big 10 college experience, I went in another direction. After a stint volunteering for Bill Weld's campaign and interning in corporate public affairs, there was also a time when I thought I could be Governor of Massachusetts. Oh well.
Q: What motto do you live by and how did you hear it?
A: Put people first, and everything else follows. Great advice that sunk in while doing my first startup. If you got the right bums in seats, if intent is clearly communicated, and folks share in objectives, anything is possible. I live and aim to impart this every day in my work with our companies.
Q: What is your idea of “paradise”? Any favorite place to visit?
A: Nantucket – my happy place.
Q: Favorite thing about Autumn?
A: Three things:
1. College football
2. Big sweaters
3. That Q4, close-out-the-year-strong energy.... (something I thought I would miss about working inside a growth-stage tech company, but here, now, I feel this energy in spades working across a dozen or so companies throughout the quarter)
Q: What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: I have oddly high visual and auditory acuity.
On the left, Kelly sits happily along the Maine shoreline in the Spring of 1986 (sporting the Farrah Fawcett special). On the right, she's all smiles at our office, bookended by her two furry fellas.
We hope you'll join us on this #EdisonTurns30 campaign. Any and all contributions from our network are most welcome.