Name: Jean Evans
Position: Chief Financial Officer
Tell me a little bit about your background:
I graduated from college in New England. During the time I worked for corporations, I would jump into the creation and implementation of accounting systems that were being developed at the time and I loved solving the challenges and unknowns to set them up and organize their systems and processes. I am an entrepreneur at heart and love the puzzle of working together with the team to create and/or grow a business. I have owned my own businesses, I’ve worked as an outsourced CFO/COO and have been a CEO for existing businesses. I love a challenge! I believe that “numbers tell the story” and if you can measure it, you can manage it. I love to make sense of the chaos and the more organized and standardized the processes the more effective! Also I have a HUGE passion for creating technology startups - I currently mentor start-up companies with the Innovation Hub at Texas Tech. I offer my time as the Director of Mentors as well. One of the reasons I moved to Lubbock was because of the amazing opportunities that are available here and the terrific and supportive business environment.
I moved to Lubbock a year and a half ago from South Florida in the evacuation for Hurricane Irma. I fell in love with Lubbock and the people here are so friendly and great!
Tell me more about The Innovation Hub at Texas Tech:
The Innovation Hub at Texas Tech supports the creation of technology startups. So when people have ideas, they can present it to them and turn it into a business. It is supported by LEDA and is part of TTU. There are a variety of programs: including Red Raider Startup, YEA, the Accelerator as well as iCorps, to name a few. There is grant money available and ongoing support from a team of experienced entrepreneur/industry mentors to help those companies begin to grow.
What got you interested in finance?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. Had businesses and run businesses. I love puzzles and straightening out messes. Also, I was always drawn to the challenge of making sense of numbers. The numbers tell the story! My dad always told me, “Go get a degree in accounting and you’ll always have a job.” So it opened that door for me, as well.
How did you feel your background aligned with what Primitive Social was looking for?
Actually, Kade found me. He has a gift for mapping out the right people for the team and going out and finding them. He is not afraid to search. I bring an outside perspective and varied experience and financial structure that will help make Primitive Social even better! Great owners, great team, great product!
What drew you to Primitive Social initially?
Firstly, I knew Primitive Social had a great reputation and I loved what they were about. But now working here, I love the culture of Primitive Social. I’m always challenged and learning new things especially when I am working with younger teams.
How do you like working with a team of creatives coming from your previous background?
Throughout my career, I have worked with well over 500 hundred businesses. There were some days where I was actively driving to and working with 4 or 5 different companies every day. Whether that was accountants or architects, I’ve always had to adapt. I try to clear my mind and go in objectively and go with the flow. It’s just different and you have to gauge how to connect with your team to get things done.
What are your favorite parts of your job?
The variety of the things that I am doing and the projects that I get to be a part of. There is a lot of positivity in the workplace. I honestly haven’t met anybody in Lubbock that hasn’t been super down to earth and great people all around, and that translates into the people I work with at Primitive Social.
What are some challenges you’ve faced since starting with Primitive Social?
The technology difference has been a big challenge. I’m used to being in the office with others and have always relied heavily on face to face communication. The online applications are a challenge for me and getting used to the new modes of communication... it’s just different. But, I love it because I’m learning more. That is how the younger generation communicates, that’s how my son communicates and I love getting to grow in that area.
Why are you committed to Primitive Social?
I just see it as a huge opportunity and a lot of potential here. When I see a company that is passionate and has so much talent, I want to be a part of it. I’m excited about how they are going to continue to grow.
Because of the personalities of Kade and Jerred and how they compliment each other and the rest of the team like, Annie and Liz - the components are there for great success. I really am impressed with how they love their employees and how committed they are to us. Working at Primitive Social is great because when they say they want to give more and do more for their employees, they really mean it.
Okay, now let’s talk more about you. What’s your daily routine?
I begin with getting clear on my intention and goals for the day with prayer and meditation. I work from my home office but I spend a lot of time between the FastPay and Primitive Social offices. Always working on all aspects of the financial details and getting things prepared for Kade and Jerred to best manage the business. I typically work hard on a daily basis and like to get into both offices often to connect and get work done.
What do you like to do outside of the office?
I usually love to travel all over. I haven’t really been over to this side of the country, being from Florida and having lived up in New England for a bit, so it’s been really cool for me to explore it. Colorado is my next destination. I’m also taking up barrel racing again. I used to do it as a kid and moving to Lubbock has inspired me to get back into it. Water sports were a big part of my life, because up until now I have always lived by the coast. I’m excited to get into new hobbies here in West Texas, and it’ll be fun because I’m really up for anything.
Tell us about your family.
I have a 29-year-old son who owns a large CrossFit gym in South Florida. He also started an addiction recovery foundation. He was inspired to start it because a couple of his coaches were in recovery. It’s basically a program where recovering addicts can workout at his gym for free and meet goals together. It’s gotten really big and he has over a hundred people at those classes sometimes. He really is an entrepreneur in progress. I also have my dog, just got him about a year ago. And a sister who lives in North Carolina.
What is something not everyone knows about you?
Oh, I’m not sure, really, I’m an open book. I’m not much of a mystery - just ask and I’ll tell you. One thing that’s pretty neat is I recently drove a race car in Las Vegas in October. But if you know me, you know I drive fast so that’s probably not much of a shock.
Who do you admire?
There are so many people that I’ve met over time that I’ve taken a lot of experience and knowledge from. First person I admired was my dad. He was a phenomenal business person and cared and passionately supported his family and friends. Also I admire all of the business owners I have worked with over the years - the perseverance and dedication and unique ways they approach the challenges of starting and growing a thriving business is always inspirational - Kade and Jerred included.
How do you stay motivated?
I do a lot of meditation and I always reflect on trying to determine what my true purpose is and if it brings me joy. And I’ve learned through the years that if something doesn’t bring me joy it isn’t worth it. I wanna make other people happy and that gives me energy. I coach so many young people now. I was just talking to a young man the other day who was having a hard time and my advice to him was that if something brings you joy, do it. In my generation, it was all about making a living and not so much about finding your true purpose and joy.
What is your secret to success?
Heather joined Primitive Social in December 2016 as Inbound Marketing Manager, bringing with her over 10 years of experience. Heather holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Arts and a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. Heather resides in Colorado and uses her spare time to hike with her dog, spend time with family, or travel to new places.