Thanks to your support and the hard work of our team, SquadUP is growing and we’re excited to introduce you to our newest addition!
Mike Pliha is our Director of Sales and Business Development and he comes with a lot of experience under his belt.
Get to know him and say hi!
Mike, who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Newport Beach, CA. I’m the youngest of three – My brother is nine years older and my sister is six years older. Everyone in my family is extremely competitive and sports were and still are a huge part of my life. During my youth, team sports were the focus (volleyball and soccer) and now it’s mainly individual sports (golf and surfing). My dad’s an engineer and worked for Hughes Aircraft in the 60’s. My mom has a master’s degree in education and her business today focuses on autistic kids, which I have a passion for supporting through a few charities.
I went to San Francisco State University and graduated with a BS in Political Science. San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the world but Southern Cal is home.
So far, what does your typical workday look like?
Currently, my day is filled with learning the current product and processes, while building out a sales plan for the rest of 2015 and beyond. I’ll be hitting the phones shortly as well. It’s very easy to miss the mark when creating a ticketing software sales plan. You have to be disciplined and make sure that you’re entering the right verticals for the right reasons – That’s what I’m currently focusing on, matching the vision to the sales plan. There are thousands of tasks that need to be completed at once at a start-up and prioritizing is critical. On a typical day, the first time I look up from the computer is 2pm.
Prior to joining SquadUP, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I created and managed the Concert and Music Festivals team at another ticketing software company and it was the most interesting job I’ve ever had. A year into the team’s existence, we acquired another SaaS company to increase our product offering. The interesting part about the experience was having another group come onto the team, with a different set of skills and knowledge, and meshing the two groups ideas into one offering. Mergers are always very challenging and I learned to love that challenge. I’m still close with my old team and at the end of the day it’s all about turning those experiences into life long relationships.
What are you looking forward to doing in your role at SquadUP?
I’m psyched about my role at SquadUP! Everyone on the team is incredibly smart and the vision is resonating with the market which is exciting – It makes getting up and out the door to work easy when your industry is changing so rapidly and in such cool ways… and you get to be a part of that. I’m really looking forward to using my understanding of the ticketing market, different verticals and products, and watching what the SquadUP guys do with it.
With so much experience and passion for events, can you describe your perfect event?
I really like the Wine/Beer, Food and Music Vertical. Plus, getting outside is always a plus. Bottlerock Napa Valley and Wine Amplified in Las Vegas are my two favorite events in the space and I also love all the professional surfing events. It blows my mind at how great they are produced these days since they are located in remote corners of the world, in the ocean.
Everyone’s got an event bucket list so tell us, what’s on yours?
That’s easy. Electric Forest, Boots and Hearts, and Tough Mudder are on my festival bucket list and a Grateful Dead Show and LCD Soundsystem are on my “not going to happen” concert bucket list… But they’d be awesome.
If you could throw a party for anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?
Richard Branson, hands-down. I loved his book and what he had to overcome to achieve what has so far. He’s an inspirational guy and I admire that he isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
What event that’s happening in the next year are you looking forward to most?
The first 10,000 person event that uses SquadUP! I don’t know who it is yet.
Besides being an “event whisperer”, what’s your hidden talent?
Haha! Hmmm, besides “event whisperer”… Believe it or not, I’ve got a little talent on the ping pong table.
What can’t you live without?
SurfLine and headphones, in that order.
Leave a comment below to say hello, ask a question, or suggest an event for SquadUP‘s resident ping pong champ to add to our calendar and thanks again for making it possible to bring on brilliant new additions like Mike!