About Us

The Standing on Giants story, our people, vision and values.

Our story begins, as many stories do, with two people meeting in the right place at the right time.

Robbie Hearn and Vincent Boon first met in 2009 on the startup team at disruptive telecoms company giffgaff. Together, they wanted to know what would happen if a company were to place its customers at the heart of everything they do. Through pursuing that question, they developed a revolutionary, community-driven business model.

In 2012, they founded Standing on Giants to take the transformative power of brand-owned online communities to other businesses around the world. We now work with businesses like Airbnb, O2, Tesco Bank and Lenovo to unlock the potential in their customers through community.


Meet the Team

Our team is assembled from over 14 countries around the world. We’re a cohort of community experts, with experience at some of the best community-led businesses on the planet like giffgaff, LEGO, Sony Playstation and Sega. Find out more about the team below!

Robbie Hearn, Co-Founder

Robbie is one of the world’s leading voices on online communities and customer experience. He was on the founding team at giffgaff where, together with co-founder Vincent Boon, he designed a groundbreaking community-led customer experience with no stores or call centres. An advocate for the ‘triple-bottom-line’ business model, Robbie is passionate about business as a force for good in society. Robbie’s focus is on strategic support for our clients, new areas of business growth and industry leadership.

Vincent Boon, Co-Founder

Our visionary co-founder, Vincent Boon, was instrumental in building out PlayStation’s first online community in 2006 with his work being regarded as pioneering in the field of online communities. As part of the start-up team at giffgaff, Vincent demonstrated what an online community could do and brought these learnings to community after community, pioneering a new methodology for community management. Today he uses his extensive knowledge to help advise companies when designing products, services and community-driven business models.

“Community is not a tactic or a weapon that you add to your arsenal. It is an upgrade to your business strategy.”

Vincent Boon

Zsuzsanna recsey, CEO

Zsuzsanna has led the Standing on Giants team as CEO since June 2020. Born and raised in Hungary, her career has taken her all across Europe in leadership roles, largely in the financial sector for Barclays and Citibank. Always described by her teams as a ‘coaching-style’ leader, Zsuzsanna went one step further and became a certified career coach in 2015, building a successful coaching business alongside her day job. After working with Standing on Giants in a coaching capacity, she came on board full time to lead the next phase of our agency’s growth.

Alejandra

Community Relationship Manager

Alejandra is one of our Community Relationship Managers and the baking maven with a passport itching for stamps! When she’s not whipping up delectable treats to spoil her nearest and dearest, you’ll find her charting her next adventure. She is determined to go across all 32 states of Colombia.

Alessandro

Community Manager

Alessandro is one of our expert community managers. Originally from Italy with a need for speed. He has been practicing athletics at national level for several years as a 100m sprinter. If he is not running he is test driving and reviewing sports cars for his YouTube channel.

Andreas

Front End Developer

Andreas is part of the tech team at Standing on Giants. He works on the front end of our platform, implementing new designs and making improvements to give it a clean and modern look. He enjoys travelling, especially to hot and sunny destinations where he can relax on the beach.

Anna

Community Manager

Anna is one of our wonderful colleagues on the Airbnb team. She speaks three languages fluently, which makes her the perfect fit for the multi-lingual community. She would describe herself as a travelholic and chocolate addict (we have witnessed whole chocolate bars vanish within minutes). Anna is a passionate tennis fan who loves swimming and exploring new destinations and cultures.

Beki

Community Manager

Beki is one of our Airbnb Community Managers and though she is originally from Cardiff, you’d never know with her accent! If she is not developing communities in both her work or personal life, she is a passionate environmentalist who likes to minimise her impact on the planet. She even volunteers litter picking and is a food waste hero in her local community.

Benedetta

Community Manager

Benedetta is one of our Community Managers. She is a seasoned navigator of online communities for four years, effortlessly weaves through diverse languages in her career journey. Passionate about social justice, she crusades for change, believing in the power of small everyday actions to make a big impact.

Bhumika

Senior Community Manager

Bhumika is one of our community managers. Born and raised in India, she is open to new ideas and perspectives, truly believes in the phrase ‘’born to be global’’, and loves exploring the world through a lens of curiosity. Yet, she is a winter baby at heart, so she recently moved to Canada and fell in love with the snow season.

 

Cierra

Host Workshop Manager

Born in North Carolina, Cierra graduated from Appalachian State University. She is a huge advocate for B-Corps, ‘triple-bottom-line’, and is a sustainability specialist. If she is not working Cierra loves spending time with two pups and her pet duck, probably with a can of Dr Pepper in hand.

Darren

Community Consultant 

Darren has been in the community management space for over 15 years. As the first Community Manager for Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert.com, he helped grow to 1.8 million members from a standing start and has since worked with some of the largest community brands in the world. He can speak fluent Portsmouth and can be booked for Cricket/Strictly guest appearances. Just check the small print.

Ella

Business & HR Operations Coordinator

Ella makes sure the business is running smoothly behind the scenes and is one of the most easy going and relaxed people you’ll ever meet. Ella is strangely into colour-coded calendars, the first person to pat a dog or suggest a picnic in the park. She brings positive energy wherever she goes – and often a bottle of Prosecco, too.

Emilie

Head of Community

Emilie has worked on many projects not only using her language skills but also contributing through her creative content ideas.  She is appreciated by the team as a solid rock on stressful days and has often proven her resilience in difficult situations with members. Emilie loves to experiment with vegan bakes and cooking, is an avid runner, and leaves lazy days to her two guinea pigs, Cookie and Brownie.

Emily

Head of Operations & HR

Emily is our Head of Operations and HR. She works her magic behind the scenes and ensures that the business is running smoothly. She keeps an eye on all processes, projects, and the nitty-gritty that could potentially cause chaos, helping our teams to work as efficiently as possible. In her spare time, Emily likes to paint, read, and cook.

Gaby

Community Consultant

Gaby started her community journey as an educator for giffgaff when she was able to join Standing on Giants from the start. After managing various communities through the years she became a consultant, specialised in training and mentoring community managers. When she’s not exploring London museums and playgrounds with her little boy, she loves learning a new craft and is  a passionate gardener and yogini.

Jenny

Community Manager

Born and raised in the south of Scotland, Jenny spent over a decade in the Energy industry, before discovering her true passion in Community Management. She loves the sea, the hills, reading, cooking, and music. Occasionally you’ll find her playing video games, as she tries to navigate her way through “new fangled technology”. She likes to meet new people, and hear their story, preferably over a nice cuppa.

Jerry

Community Relationship Manager

Having grown up in 6 countries and being of mixed nationalities, it is no shock that she always had an interest in different cultures and communities. When she’s not out dancing or in the gym, you can find Jerry in an evening class learning film production or furniture restoration. Even though she’s always got a smile on her face, dog-watching in a park with a matcha latte is one of the most joyous activities you could invite her to.

Jules

Community Manager

Born in Germany Jules is one of our talented Community Managers and naturally takes care of our German Airbnb community. As a citizen of the world, she loves Japanese food, the history of Chinese writing and the all-American Pepsi Max. Although she has not been to Germany since 2000 she still kept her national virtues – (dark) humour, the use of sarcasm and being brutally honest.

Katie

Head of Community Operations

Katie is our Head of Community Operations. She thrives on the hard-working, fun-loving team dynamic. She’s an avid reader, a keen traveler, and a big baking fan (her signature is a gingerbread cupcake with lime cream-cheese icing). She is also a Spanish speaker and loves a creative project – from brush lettering to crafting.

Kirstie

Head of Product & Business Management

Kirstie is part of the Professional Services team and an expert in all things Community Management. She has been with Standing on Giants for a long time, supporting our communities in three different languages! Kirstie loves music, testing the team’s trivia knowledge with quizzes and games, cycling around London, cooking, and dogs.

Klaus

Head of Community

Klaus is part of our Lenovo Legion family and has worked in the games industry for more than a decade, as well as various creative agencies. When he’s not immersed in pixels, you catch him mastering the art of historical fencing and dancing his way through as many live music events as possible.

Laura

Community Manager

Born and raised in sunny Rio de Janeiro, Laura felt in love with London 11 years ago and has never looked back. She is a Community Manager with previous experience in customer service and engaging with other people is what makes her feel alive. When she is not experimenting on new exotic cuisines, she’s trying to master a few yoga poses, travelling and spending time with her loved ones. 

Lindy

Community Lead

Lindy is our Asia-Pacific community expert here at Standing on Giants. She not only enjoys community planning, but also executing engaging events that help create memorable experiences and foster meaningful connections. Lindy loves to travel for food, exploring different cuisines and cultures. A way to someones heart is through the belly they say after all.

Lisa

Community Manager

Lisa is one of our Community Managers, and works in the French Airbnb Community Center. She has a background in social media management and customer service, and even a little bit in project management. She loves animals, knitting, going out and being creative, and as stereotypical as that may sound, she has some African Dwarf Frogs as pets (no, not for eating).

Lukas

Marketing and Design Executive

Lukas joined Standing on Giants from the world of fashion. He recently became part of the marketing team and is our man for anything Adobe. If you need visuals Lukas is the guy to talk to. As our biggest Diet Coke fan there is no other drink that revitalises him like, what he calls: “canned ambrosia”. Lukas is a passionate dog whisperer with a big fear of squirrels.

Lydia

Community Relationship Manager

Lydia is one of our Airbnb Community Relationship Managers. She is Greek-American and has a background in digital marketing and international student recruitment. Lydia is based in Athens, where you may often find her having coffee with friends or going on hikes with her beloved dog, Oliver. She also loves to travel and cook healthy meals.

Marc

Senior Community Manager

Marc is our senior community manager in our delivery team. He works with some of our clients building internal-facing communities, as well as public ones. Marc has a background in journalism and, though originally from London, now lives near the historic city of Bath. Outside of work, he is interested in photography and spending time with friends, usually in hipster coffee shops.

Marian

Community Manager

Marian is one of our lovely community managers. She is a migratory bird that flies South as soon as the winter months approach. After a new nest is built, she enjoys working on her CM tasks from home. She loves drawing to music, crows, plants and sea slugs.

Marjo

Head of Community

Marjo is one of our Grand Masters of Community Management and has held the position of Head of Community at several telco and gaming communities. She likes to spend her spare time playing games, tinkering on websites, and graphic design. She is also a coffee enthusiast and loves her two cats, Arthur & Drake.

Mark

Community Manager

Meet Mark, one of our community managers. He’s been supporting communities since 2015, and when he’s not whipping up culinary masterpieces for the whole fam, he loves engineering Lego marvels with his little apprentice.

Martin

Head of Community

Martin has over 15 years of community management and customer service experience. He has been with SoG for quite a few years now and is appreciated as the quiet, hard-working community management expert. He spends his spare time playing video games, watching movies, keeping fit, and spending time with friends.

Matthieu

Community Manager

Matthieu is one of our lovely community managers on the Lenovo Legion Gaming team. Originally from France he not only loves cooking French recipes (and some Italian ones) but has also been a hardcore video gamer since he was 15, which makes him the perfect fit. But if you think Matthieu is just a gamer behind screens, be prepared to be tackled – he also has been playing rugby for the past 25 years. 

May

Head of Tech

May is head of our amazing tech team. She would describe herself as a travelholic, film buff, and lover of all things pink. We would also describe her as a wonderful colleague who loves to give, share, and support her team in any way possible.

Melanie

Senior Community Manager (Projects & Insights)

A California native, Melanie has traded in the sunshine and flip flops for tea and rain in London. With over 7 years of experience in the hospitality industry, she works as a Community Manager for the Airbnb team. She loves grumpy dogs, experimenting in the kitchen, and working on mastering her pizza dough recipe.

Mohamad

FullStack Developer

Mohamad is part of the tech team at Standing on Giants, serving as a FullStack Developer. In this role, he is responsible for implementing new features, designs, and making improvements to our community platform. He is highly skilled in problem-solving with a natural aptitude for troubleshooting. In addition to his passion for technology, Mohamad enjoys travelling.

Nick

Senior Community Relationship Manager

Journalist turned editor-in-chief in print, TV and online media, Nick got a passion for our online communities. He fluently speaks two languages, and can-probably-maybe (?) understand a third. An Apple-geek, who loves consuming media and food, preferably at the same time; total cookie-monster (but somewhat less blue). He thrives on coffee and content.

Omar

Community Relationship Manager

Omar is one of our community relationship managers. He is originally from Venezuela and grew up surrounded by oil workers which made him excited to graduate as a Mechanical Engineer. But when he emigrated in 2017 he started working with and for people and discovered that this is what he loves. If Omar is not doing good for the people he is probably with his family watching any sport under the sun on TV. 

Patricia

Community Manager

Before joining Standing on Giants, Patricia used her language skills – she speaks three languages – in a variety of roles, that included teaching, translating, and social media marketing, but she has found her true love working with communities. She loves the beach, coffee, dogs and everything nerdy

Paty
Paula

Community Manager 

Paula joined the team to support the Spanish and English Airbnb Community. She was born in Colombia and moved to Canada around a year ago. She is passionate about Latin culture, loves to dance and play instruments. Paula is also an outdoor person and a nature lover. If you are ever looking for recommendations about hiking, mountain biking, landscapes, lakes (among others), she is the perfect person to have a conversation with. 

Quincy

Senior Community Manager

Quincy is one of our great Senior CMs and has been with SoG for a number of years. He is an entrepreneurial football enthusiast who doesn’t think physical fitness and good food have to be in juxtaposition with each other. He also regularly amazes with his sleek fashion choices.

Rafa

Technical Account Manager

Lover of outdoor activities, from cycling to hiking and back, Rafa is part of the tech team. Interested in most things creative, he is a music producer and photographer himself, with a soft spot for films, tea and travelling.

Rebecca

Senior Community Relationship Manager

Rebecca is one of our Community Relationship Managers, overseeing Airbnb Host Leaders across the UK and Ireland. Her background consists of over 10 years in the Hotel industry. She is a big lover of food, wine and testing out new recipes in her kitchen. To balance this, yoga or running is her go to!

Rob

Head of Sales & Marketing

Rob joined Standing on Giants from the world of social media. He built one of the most engaged social media communities in the alcohol industry at challenger gin brand Sipsmith. He followed this with launching the world’s first restaurant born from social media at Jungle Creations. He is a CIM qualified marketer, passionate vegan and can sing you any song from ‘Les Mis’.

Scott

Full Stack Developer

Scott is developer in our tech team. Outside of work, he likes to cook and learn new recipes from different cuisines across the world (he can whip up a mean chilli). He also loves mountain biking, video games (particularly From Software games) and painting.

Sergi

Head of Community 

Born in Barcelona (this is a statement). For years, Sergi has worked as a journalist in the television, radio, and press before devoting himself to managing communities. As a lover of sport in general, particularly of running and diving, he enjoys open spaces and being close to the sea, as well as spending a relaxed afternoon with good old friends.

Sheila

Senior Community Relationship Manager

Sheila is our Senior Airbnb Regional Manager in Canada. She has a healthy sense of humour and bountiful energy. Sheila is a proud mom of 3 teenagers and loves yoga to keep the stress of that in check. If she is not managing in the community she is probably spending time at her family cottage or skiing.

Sophia

Community Manager

Coming from the start up world, Sophia’s passion for people, cats and crisps has kept her in the community industry where she supports our English Airbnb Community. She has an unhealthy addiction to sweet treats— so you can usually find her sipping some bubble tea or inhaling a doughnut.

Stephanie

Senior Head of Community 

Stephanie came to Standing on Giants after spending over a decade working in marketing and community within the games industry. She uses this experience to mediate some of the more difficult situations in our communities, as well as translate some more social and platform-specific engagement techniques for community developments. She is a proud owner of most consoles and an alarming amount of survival horror games. Mother and reluctant cat owner.

Stephanie
Szilvia

Community Relationship Manager

Szilvia is one of our talented Airbnb Community Relationship Managers for CEE and CIS countries. Based in Hungary, she has a background in the banking sector as an accounts payable specialist and risk analyst. As a mother of three you would think she got enough on her plate but she still manages to travel, play volleyball, practise her Polish and watch her favourite crime shows. 

Teri

Community Analyst

Teri is our Community Analyst. She has a background in hospitality, tourism and digital marketing, and is quite content spending time with spreadsheets and reports. She’s a huge theatre fan and serial attender of shows. She also loves travelling, reading and old movie musicals (Singin’ in the Rain, of course, is her favourite).

Teri
Toby

Head of Community Services

Toby has worked at Standing on Giants since its creation. He has helped teams at many of our clients through the community planning process in many different capacities, and doing so brings him joy. Outside of work, he’s your typical nerdy guy from the Chilterns, and is very popular as a trainer and mentor.

Victor

Junior Community Analyst

Born in Brazil, Victor came to the UK when I was 15. He has a background in computer science and IT. He joined SoG as a Junior Community Analyst, helping with data categorisation and reporting. Outside of work he loves playing niche strategy multiplayer games or binge watching all sorts of anime.

Walter

Community Manager

Walter is one of our Community Managers. Born and raised in Italy, he devoted his skills and expertise as a lawyer to consumer advocacy and customer service. He is passionate about facilitating interactions between individuals by creating a safe and stimulating environment. Walter is environmentally conscious and tries to preserve nature with an eco-friendly lifestyle.  He spends his spare time on “extreme” gardening on his small balcony, long walks, pixelated video games and his beloved cats.

Walter
Yuri

Community Manager

Yuri is one of our Community Managers on the Lenovo Legion team. It helps that he has been a hardcore video gamer since he was 12, but he also comes from academic background and has a research interest in tourism and consumer behaviour. In his free time, apart from video games, he likes to travel, learn languages and read/watch anything fantasy and sci-fi.

Zeina

Community Manager

Zeina is one of our community managers. A perfect mix of Palestinian zest and Egyptian charm. She rides the waves of community with the same enthusiasm she rides her motorbike – fast, fearless, and with a touch of elegance. Off-duty, she is either exploring the world or the kitchen. Combining business and fun—all in a day’s work.

For People & Planet

We are incredibly proud to be the first online community company in the world to achieve B Corp certification. This means that we sign up to the highest standards of financial, social and environmental responsibility in everything we do.

Standing on Giants is a certified B Corp

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