NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

« Katie Bressack: Holistic Nutritionist | Main | Deborah Goldberg: CEO & Co-Founder, DoggyChef »


My NativeAdVantage:


Elke Wong started her career in digital marketing and advertising. She cofounded IndustryBrains and was on the founding team at Madison Logic and Bombora, where she gained substantial operations, product and account management experience. In her current role, she interfaces with a wide range of brands, ensuring that PebblePost’s brands enjoy a seamless experience and positive return on investment from Programmatic Direct Mail®.

What do you do best?

I plan strategically and often have a vision of what the end goal should be. Especially in a start-up environment. I can take broad concepts and really think about an immediate strategy to get to a long-term objective. My belief is that a successful company starts with a good idea, but then how do you get that idea to become successful? It’s the trifecta of people, process and product.

I can take all three and formulate an operational plan to get a company to the first phase and eventually build it into a $100 million company.

When you’re growing a startup, there’s always going to be chaos. But I like to think that when I get involved, it becomes organized chaos. You need to develop your process into something more standardized, scalable and efficient. My pet peeve is when people try to solve problems in a vacuum, without building toward efficiency and scalability and trying to envision what the long-term is. Yes, you must be agile and address the current situation — but you have to do it in a way that will get us to that next stage.

What makes you the best?

What has always driven me is the combination of my upbringing — my parents gave me a fantastic work ethic — and the willingness to take a risk on things that will excite me. I don’t ever want to work at a company where I’m not excited.

I’m a child of immigrants. I saw their hard work and I really appreciated it and just wanted to please them. So, when I was growing up I didn’t really think about what my interests were, I only thought about what my parents wanted. And, of course, they wanted me to be a doctor. [Laughs] That changed when I failed organic chemistry in college. I realized that I just wasn’t interested in it. So I decided that I would just concentrate on graduating and then I would figure out what I wanted to do. Then through good choices and good people around me I could get into the world of online advertising and media. I came across really good mentors that led the way.

Now I kind of pay that forward through the team I’m building here at PebblePost. I’ve made some nontraditional hires whose background may not match the job description to a tee, ranging from ad tech to high-end retail to selling videoconferencing products. But I saw something in their drive and their vision and their enthusiasm that I thought would be transferable to a role that I had created here called “customer success.” And I was right! They have that intangible energy that is so important at a startup.

What are your aspirations?

Before, my aspiration was to become a CEO or to start my own company. But as I’ve progressed in my career, I realized that I just want to continually build and stay excited about what I’m doing. Building doesn’t have to mean starting your own company. It can mean being at a company that exemplifies innovation and building a team and operational foundation to expand a company that you’re excited about.

My aspiration personally is to have a balance. That means getting back to the basics: having the right people around you, being healthy, exercising. And eating at the right time. [Laughs] But I don’t know that I can necessarily achieve that kind of balance because I think I thrive on that organized chaos.

Biggest Success?

Being cofounder of two successful companies, there’s monetary success there, but also professional success, having built a company from the ground up. It came down to the trifecta again. It was a good idea and clear vision, the right team and a sound operational foundation to enable scalability. Being part of their success was my biggest success professionally.

An underrated part of success is recognizing the proper endpoint. In this digital age, ten-plus years is a long time to be with the same group of people, even though you’ve built successful companies together. At some point, you realize that it’s time to let other experts do what they need to do. It’s difficult to recognize that moment when it arrives and to move on to the next challenge, especially when you don’t yet know what that next challenge will be.

Most Challenging Moment?

Well, as I said, trying to find that next challenge was itself a challenging moment, and it led to some ups and downs. But your life can’t all be puffy clouds and rainbows. It’s those challenging moments and how you respond to them that define who you are in your professional and personal life. And in the end that challenging moment led me to PebblePost.


It’s so cliché, but I always say this: Work smarter, not harder.

If you wanted something more original, I guess it would be “Things have to happen organically.” You can’t force yourself into a situation. I used to just force my ideas on people because I always thought I was right. Through experience I’ve learned to be more collaborative and get buy-in and try to understand everybody’s perspective.

Favorite People/Role Models?

My mother, Pamela Wong, and all the strong women that I’ve encountered in my career. When I started at USA Weekend, Beth Lawrence was the head of sales. She basically saw talent in me and later brought me on at DoubleClick. There were so many strong and smart women there, and being at a company like that was also very inspiring because they were gender agnostic. They allowed women to have a voice.

And did I mention my mother? [Laughs] She is so inspirational and I think she passed along her tenacity and drive to succeed by osmosis. She paved her own way from Hong Kong, working when she was 12, making wigs. She and my dad came to America in 1976 and built a life and family. She didn’t want to remain a seamstress, so she took English as a Second Language classes, and she decided she wanted a government job because it offered good benefits. She passed the postal worker exam and started as a window clerk at the post office — which is ironic because I ended up at PebblePost. Next month she’s retiring from the post office after 25 years. She taught my brother and I about having a work ethic and the importance of always thinking of how you can do things better.

Favorite Places/Destinations?

I love traveling so much that I can’t name a single favorite place. Istanbul. Cuba. Italy. That’s to name just a few. My favorite destination here in New York is running along the Westside Greenway Path and arriving at the Winter Garden, where all the ships are. I just love it there.

Favorite Products/Objects?

I love all Atlassian tools. [Laughs] That’s the nerd in me.

Current Passions?

I love running. I’ve run a few marathons and I’m running New York for the third time this November. My secret desire is to be a photographer and occasionally add my favorites to my photo blog, If I could take a sabbatical for six months and just travel around the world and take pictures, I think I would. Of course, that goes back to trying to have a more balanced life. [Laughs] Working on it!