Roomie Roundup: Alexa Parisella’s 8 Years at SevenRooms
Seven is our lucky number, so when a Roomie reaches their 7th anniversary at SevenRooms we help them celebrate their milestone with a 7-day, 6-night vacation to anywhere in the world, otherwise known as the 7 Wonders of the World experience.
Alexa Parisella, VP of Strategic Sales, just reached her 8th anniversary at SevenRooms, but is commemorating her 7th year with the company and going on her 7 Wonders of the World experience this year.
We sat down with her to learn more about her journey at SevenRooms, the lessons she learned, and more.
Justin Stevens (JS): Alexa, I’m excited to be chatting with you today. We actually just celebrated your 8th year at SevenRooms, so let’s start by taking it back and talking about your journey at SevenRooms.
Alexa Parisela (AP): Let me go back to the beginning, before I even started working here. In 2014, I worked for a company that sold online menu services to restaurants. Around that time, I started thinking about what would be my next move. The CEO of my previous company actually met Joel at an event and said to me “there’s this really interesting up-and-coming company called SevenRooms, you should look into it.” I did just that – I interviewed with SevenRooms shortly after and I got the job. When I started in January 2015, I sold to the nightlife industry. That soon progressed into the dining and restaurant space, and as the product scaled, I grew with it and eventually made my way to where I am today!
JS: Wow, what a journey! So, you might not know this, one of my first projects was to tell Paris’ 7 Wonders of the World Story. I had no clue who Paris was, but I quickly learned it’s your nickname! What’s the story behind it?
AP: Ever since I was a child I was always called Paris. Although, people at SevenRooms didn’t start calling me that until around six years ago, when Alexa Detzi (Sr. Director, Enterprise Success) started. At the time, we were a small team of just 15 or so people. We were in a small office, and it was too confusing for there to be two Alexas…I proposed that she go by her last name, which is how her nickname, “Deetz,” came to be. But then someone said, “well if she’s Deetz, then you’re Paris,” and that’s how it was born.
JS: That’s awesome. All right. So looking back, what’s been your favorite memory?
AP: Oh, my gosh, there’s so many to choose from, but if I had to pick one, it would be our seven-year anniversary party. The company rented a really big house in upstate NY for the day and chartered a bus so we could all get there. We spent the day barbecuing, listening to music, swimming in the pool, and relaxing. We also wrote letters to each other about some of our memories. It was such a fun and unique way to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished and it’s something I’ll remember forever.
JS: With the number of Roomies we have now, there’s no way we could fit everyone into one house! You mentioned that there are so many different memories to choose from. With that in mind, what makes SevenRooms special?
AP: We established our principles and our philosophies early on and stuck to them. Our mindset since day one has always been to put restaurant operators first. We’ve pivoted at times, but the core of our product has always been the same. On top of that, we’ve always had a really strong leadership team. We’re still founder-led after 11 years and that’s partially why our culture is so strong. Whether you’ve been with the company for many years like me, or you’re a new Roomie, you feel connected to one another.
JS: That’s true! Speaking of Roomies, which Roomies have had the biggest impact on you?
AP: I could be here for hours answering that question but I’ll narrow it down to two people. First is Joel (CEO). In the early days of SevenRooms, I had the opportunity to work so closely with him when we really didn’t have a sales team. He really opened up my mind and allowed me to think outside of the box. He prioritized creativity and gave me so much autonomy. I’m so grateful to him for taking a chance on me. He allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them. Without that, I wouldn’t be the salesperson that I am today. Second is Bianca Esmond (Director, Brand Marketing). She introduced me to my soon-to-be-husband!
JS: You never know who you’re going to meet! So we’ve talked about some of the Roomies that have made an impact on you, but what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned so far?
AP: One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to think outside of the box. I don’t know where I read this, but some of the most expensive words in business are “I’ve always done it this way” or “we’ve tried that already.” I’ve seen things work now, that didn’t work five years ago. It’s important to make sure that you’re not stuck in your ways and that you’re willing to be an agent of change. It’s a lesson that’s important for any company, no matter its size.
JS: Creativity is key! Looking back on your time at SevenRooms, what’s kept you at the company for so long?
AP: There are three main reasons. One, I’m constantly learning. I truly learn something new everyday. I think that’s a testament to all the different leaders and team members that we’ve brought in along the way. We’re constantly building our knowledge foundation thanks to all of the great talent we have.
Two, I’ve also stayed here for so long because I’m very passionate about what we’re selling. I’ve always been obsessed with hospitality and dining out. I got really lucky because I believe in the product and it’s an industry that I care deeply about, I couldn’t ask for a better job.
Lastly, it’s the journey. When I took this role, we only had seed funding and we were still building the product. I really had to buy into the vision of our founders and I fell in love with their work ethic. It’s amazing that they’ve been able to grow their dream for so long and turn it into what it is today. We’re on a rocket ship and I want to be here for the ride!
Interested in a career at SevenRooms? Learn more about our open roles.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.