Betty Korolyk’s 25-year Marketwired Journey
These days there aren’t many people who can say they’ve worked for the same company for 25 years. One who comes to mind is Marketwired’s Corporate Services Manager Betty Korolyk. She remembers her first day very well. It was a cold, dark day in December – December 8, 1988 to be precise. Betty’s previous employer was a charter accounting firm and she was looking for a change. Little did she know what lay in store for her as she stepped foot into the five-year-old company called CCNMatthews – a 17-person operation that began as an alternative to Canada’s single news distribution company.
The early years
From the beginning Betty sensed the close family feeling and exceptional work ethic. CCNMatthews had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. She said, “Everyone wanted the company to succeed, so no matter when you stopped in – even at night and on the weekend – there was always someone working away. And amazingly, some of those early employees are still with the company.” Betty recalls the excitement she and the others felt when the latest fax technology made it possible to distribute a client’s news release to a targeted audience of 15,000.
Betty’s career parallels Marketwired’s growth, so talking with Betty is like getting a first-hand account of the company’s milestones.
Professional and company growth
Over the years Betty witnessed the steady progression of CCNMatthews from a tiny startup to a formidable company that by 2005 distributed more public company press releases in Canada than any other newswire. All the while she had the responsibilities of the Canadian and UK payrolls, benefits administration, talent acquisition, budgeting, commission calculations, journal entries, HR reporting and facilities management. “There were a great variety of challenges. And, of course, there were the people,” said Betty. “The people here are great – second to none, bright and talented and so much diversity. I’ve made a lot of dear friends.”
But along with the friendships, the whirlwind of challenges and the many opportunities that came with the company’s growth, the biggest milestones lay ahead. In 2006 CCNMatthews acquired US-based Market Wire, a full-service distributor of company press releases and financial news announcements, bringing a US client base that also numbered 3,000 along with 150 new employees. Shortly after this acquisition, Betty took over payroll and benefits administration for the employees in the US.
The social media explosion
In 2007 the combined company rebranded as Marketwire. Between 2007 and 2010, growth accelerated at a rapid pace due to a series of acquisitions and the addition of several new products and services. But Betty acknowledges that the most significant milestone to date was in mid-2010 when Marketwire acquired Sysomos, a young social media monitoring and analytics company with a patented technology that emerged from an advanced research project at the University of Toronto in 2005. Adding the ability to leverage social intelligence gave Marketwire clients a competitive edge and attracted a new set of multi-national clients. The new paradigm eventually led to Marketwire becoming Marketwired.
Betty says she loves it now that we’re a worldwide, recognizable brand. “I can tell people that Marketwired has 9 of the top 10 brands as clients from Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2013; that we’re in the business of helping change companies that are changing the world – we’re all wired.”
Collaboration – the glue that drives success
From the beginning Betty has been a go-to person for new employees, ensuring they feel welcome and letting them know they’re not alone. She considers herself a “quarterback” in that she likes to pass on information and help people. But what’s kept her here all these years is really the company culture – the outstanding people, the camaraderie and the desire to excel.
She started out as a “one-man-shop” in many ways, but as the company’s grown she’s learned that she can’t do it all. “We all used to test ourselves to the max to see how much more we could take on. I’ve learned that it’s necessary to reach out and get the help of others if the company is to be successful. We’re all in this together.”
She’s also learned to embrace and welcome change. Betty recently attended a luncheon called ‘Women of Influence’ during which she heard a presentation delivered by Kirstine Stewart, head of Twitter Canada. One of Kirstine’s slides made a real impact on Betty. It said “Innovate or Die; Collaborate or Die Alone.”
Full steam ahead
Today Betty is part of an eleven-person HR team and is responsible for corporate services such as space planning, leases, offices build-outs and facilities management companywide. She continues to onboard new employees to Marketwired and assists in HR-related projects.
A Toronto native, on weekends Betty enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons – the youngest in university. One of her greatest joys is going as a family to see the exhibits at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and trying different cuisines. She is a really ‘foodie’ and enjoys cooking and trying celebrity chef recipes.
Betty’s one-word description of herself is “’resilient’ – I am like the energizer bunny, I keep going and going.” When asked what advice she’d give to someone just starting out here, she’d say “we’re a fast-paced culture – we travel at Marketwired speed, so put on your seatbelt because you’re here for a good ride.”