SPOTLIGHT: RATSAMY, MANAGER OF BIZ DEV & PARTNERSHIPS
The Ramp spotlight is on and we’re giving you a chance to get to know us better. Here’s what we found out about Ratsamy Pathammavong, our Manager of Business Development and Partnerships.
Meet Ratsamy Pathammavong:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Waterloo Ontario but I spent my early life in Vientiane, Lao.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The first job that I remember wanting to have was to be the first female Prime Minister. I was in the third grade at the time and I thought I’d have to be a judge first.
How did you get into marketing and advertising?
I got into advertising by accident. My entire career up to this point was focused on public health and health promotion for government and health charities. In my previous roles, I worked client-side with various large and small agencies on social marketing campaigns aimed at changing public behaviour. I had the opportunity to work with two smaller boutique specialty agencies (one was a multi-cultural agency and the other a social impact agency) and I loved the experience. I always said that I wanted to work for an agency at some point in my career, but I never thought I’d actually work in marketing. When I heard about the role at Ramp, I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Luckily, the team took a chance on me and although my experience was not that of a conventional business development candidate, I’m happy I landed here at Ramp.
What’s your favourite project that you’ve ever worked on?
My favourite project was one of the first I worked on here at Ramp. It involved marketing the Kid’s Health Links Foundation’s Upopolis platform. Upopolis is a social network that connects chronically ill youth who face hospitalization or activity restrictions with peers and medical professionals who understand what they are going through. As someone who lives with a rare genetic condition, I wish I had access to a platform like this when I was younger. The social isolation associated with living with a chronic condition or being hospitalized is so acute and intense at any age, let alone for children and youth. I’m thankful Upopolis exists for youth with conditions like mine.
You joined Ramp just over one year ago. What do you like about working here?
The team is caring, thoughtful, fun, and talented. It’s nice to work somewhere that has a true work-life balance. In the first few months of the job, I had to nicely be asked to leave at 5 pm. I love that about our company culture. I also really enjoy that we live our values as a B Corporation. We have an amazing roster of clients that I’m proud to work with across many different and important causes. I also love having strong female mentors and I’ve grown and learned so much from all of the women in the office. Each of them is a talented superwoman, in their own way.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love all things fibre including spinning yarn, dyeing yarn, knitting, embroidery, and quilting. If it’s got fibre involved, I’m in. I also love learning. I recently learned to punch needle (another fibre art). I try to read at least 3 books a month and I listen to a ton of podcasts.
What are some of your favourite books and podcasts?
One of my favourite podcasts is especially relevant in light of current events, it’s called Pod Save The People. It’s hosted by activists from Black and racialized communities. Another podcast I can’t get enough of is Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan. He’s a great reporter and interviewer. He’s candid, unrelenting, fearless and his guests are always interesting and honest. A book I’d recommend is Becoming Michelle Obama. I love her, she’s my hero in so many ways. She tells her backstory from growing up as a black woman from the south side of Chicago to becoming the former first lady. I haven’t watched her Netflix documentary yet but it’s next on my viewing list. Another book that I think everyone should read is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a well written, poignant book written as a letter to his teenage son. It covers topics such as racism and violence, as well as his past, heritage, and family history including his father’s role in the Black Panthers. Although the book was published in 2015 – it is a book that’s timely for this jarring but critical moment in our history.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I am a pretty talented baby wearer. Give me a baby or toddler and a long piece of cloth and I can get that child up on my back and asleep in 15 minutes.
What’s your favourite movie and why?
The Joy Luck Club. It was the first movie I vividly remembered with Asian women in it. It deeply spoke to me and my experiences as a refugee kid growing up in North America. I still watch it yearly and I always cry my eyes out.
Are you planning anything fun this summer?
Does sleeping count? There’s not a lot of fun to be had in the era of COVID. As a single mother to a 5-year-old, I also have a limited social life. Over the summer I’m really looking forward to spending lots of time with my son Ashwin. He’s gotten into BMX riding on his pushbike lately. He’s the youngest kid bombing down hills without pedals and I couldn’t be prouder.
What’s your favourite ad or campaign of all time?
The United Colours of Benetton ads from the late 80s and 90s have a special part in my heart. It was the first time that I remember seeing people who looked like me on billboards and in magazines, and the campaign paved the way for more diversity in advertising today.
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you?
I’m a huge introvert and often have intense social anxiety about meeting new people. This often surprises people about me, especially those who have known me for years. I present as highly sociable and have a very social, people-centric role. At the end of the day, I am very happy to go home to my very quiet house and only talk to my family after work and on weekends.
What’s your favourite hidden gem in Toronto?
I love food so my recommendations are all about food. I’m really looking forward to eating at restaurants again.
In the east end I’d recommend Rose Cafe in Chinatown East. She makes the yummiest and freshest Banh Mi in the city. It’s only $4, and you get a fantastic sandwich made fresh just for you.
In the west end I’d recommend Lao Thai Restaurant on Gladstone at Queen. Lao food is a mix of Thai and Vietnamese food that balances sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami (savoury tastes), with fresh herbs and chili for a kick. Lao Thai makes my comfort food; their cooking tastes exactly like my mom’s and madoo’s (grandma in Lao). Everything there is great but for $11 you can get a huge plate of Nam Khao which is a coconut rice dish. It’s has texture and crunch, comes with lettuce to make wraps, and you can order it with fermented pork. It’s my favourite dish in the entire world. You should definitely give it a try!
Thanks for taking the time to catch up.
Up next, we’ll be catching up with our new Social Media and Content Strategist Jennifer Paukman. Don’t miss it!