Here at Munzee we’re constantly encouraging our players to meet and greet and build the personal relationships that make this game so great. Over the next few weeks we’ll be showcasing members of Team Munzee so our players can get to know us a bit better. So each Munday (see what we did there?) check in to see a new member of Team Munzee and you decide if you trust the game in our hands. You know her voice, you probably know her instagrammed face, it’s social media director and podcast host extraordinaire Omi Salavea!
Name and Title:
Omi Salavea, Social Media Director for Munzee
Where are you from?
Everywhere, USA! But I hung my hat in Virginia for the longest time.
Tell us about yourself:
Almost everything people could learn about me can be found online, . Well, almost everything.
I spent most of my childhood as a Navy brat in Virginia. I grew up loving sci-fi, fine arts, and the great outdoors. I come from creative artists, but to this day, can barely scratch out a simple stick figure. Being surrounded by creativity, I had to find my own niche. Back in my day, the web and communicating globally was still a very new thing. So I made a decision to attend quite a few technical colleges, majoring in anything from web design (hey, that’s creative) to general IT/Networking studies (pays the bills).
With a whirlwind of half-completed studies, creative endeavors, and general craziness that happens in your 20’s, I landed a very awesome job at a pretty large company. I spent several years working up the ranks from the bottom level, technical support. Working in technical support gave me two things: appreciation and compassion for the customers that sign my paychecks, and time to work on what I wanted to do career-wise.
By now the internet was in the infant stages of global communication and interaction. The ability to enjoy a photo of the Sahara desert taken ten minutes ago, and then turn around and watch a DIY repair video recorded in Seattle intrigued me. This sense of sharing experiences, art, etc… to millions of people planted the seeds in my heart to delve into the world of Social Media.
I officially started in 2008 running several blogs and social campaigns with limited success, until I settled on my old blog and Youtube channels (poor, poor, neglected media outlets). In late 2010, Canon USA & Canon ITS grabbed me out of my current Fraud/Investigations position (at the time), and placed me as lead/senior technical consult for developing and launching Canon’s first ever involvement within Social Media. I assisted in rolling out Canon USA’s presence on all major Social Outlets. In 2011, I shifted to the role of senior Social Media Moderator/Advocate for Canon CITS.
Once this happened, well, I officially designated myself a Social Media Maven :). People have seen my face (or heard my voice) all over Youtube, re-pin ANYTHING any of my Pinterest presences post, deal with my terrible blogs, and “heart” my ridiculous tweets.
How long have you worked for Munzee?
Scott, Rob and the original president of Munzee, Aaron, took quick notice of me online and how pro-active I was in promoting some of my outdoor hobbies. In late July, 2013 Aaron asked me to join the team. Basic stuff first, answering support tickets, providing suggestions/feedback about Social Media. The role has grown from there. Everyone at Munzee wears different hats, currently I’m wearing a painter’s mask and a sailor hat constructed out of 120 grit sandpaper.
How did you find Munzee?
Probably the only normal answer I have for this interview! I found Munzee the same way many of our players did. I went out for a ‘caching break at a rest area during a very cold, bitter December. After rooting around in a tangle of dead branches and snow, I found a very neglected cache. No swag, no travel bugs, but a very large, home-printed Munzee with very vague instructions on the back. When I got to my vacation destination, I looked up Munzee and was instantly intrigued, and confused! It took a better smartphone, and a lot of time out in parking lots to get familiar with the game, as well as time spent in the forums, Facebook, and Youtube.
What do you enjoy most about Munzee?
Unlike some of my other hobbies, Munzee doesn’t have me circling the same area for 20 minutes scratching my head because I can’t locate it. Then someone else finds it 2 hours later and says I didn’t look hard enough. I don’t spend 4 hours carving an elaborate stamp of a heron flying through reeds, weeks planning the special place to plant it, and then days being depressed when someone takes the stamp out of it’s hidden spot because they thought it was a prize (Letterboxers feel my pain right now).
Munzee helps so many people stay active. That makes me super proud of Munzee. Even if I didn’t run almost every evening, I get my daily walk and Fitbit steps in by playing Munzee almost every night. It’s the same for many of our players out there.
What are some of your other hobbies?
Live, Eat, Breathe Social Media (drops mic, walks off-stage). Actually, in my spare time I love hiking, making videos for Youtube, and photography. I’m not that great at any of those, but I still love them. I have taken up running, and hope to take part in my first Color Me Rad later on this year. I love spontaneous road trips and with the amount of road trips I’ve taken this year, I’m sure we can list those as a hobby. Oh, does weight loss count as a hobby? If so, then that too.
Famous last words?
Will be available via podcast, you just need to download a better audio player to hear them.