Anyone who launches their own company does so knowing full well that the journey will not be an easy one. One thing I did not expect when I founded the company that would become Resonance, however, was the loneliness. When you are bootstrapping a company, especially one that is trying to do something new or different, it is an incredibly lonely journey. No one really understands your vision, except you. No one understands your business or its potential, except you. No one feels your failures and missteps quite the way you do. Even the rare early successes are hard for others to appreciate and celebrate.
For me, the hardest days in getting Resonance off the ground were not the times when the company was struggling financially, although there were certainly many of those occasions. Rather, for me, the hardest times were those lonely days, weeks, months and, yes, years when the company was so small there was really no one for Nazgul and I to even talk to about the trials and tribulations we were facing.
Today, when I look around and see how we’ve grown, it gives me tremendous joy, not simply because we have amazing people, but because we have common purpose and vision. There is something truly heartening when we face challenges and opportunities as a team - together.
Another aspect I enjoy of watching Resonance grow is that with each person we hire, we have an opportunity to grow and renew the company culturally and intellectually. When I interview candidates, I consciously look for what new elements in their skillset, disposition or personality will they bring to Resonance. How will this person renew and grow Resonance? I am always excited to see what ideas and approaches a new member of our team brings.
This is why it gives me such great pleasure to share that we have hired Steve Pelliccia as Vice President at Resonance. Steve P. will lead Resonance work with our core government clients – USAID, State Department, MCC, DFAT, implementers etc. Steve P. joins Resonance from Abt Associates, where he served as Vice President for International Economic Growth and Agriculture. Previously, Steve P. served as a Sr. VP Chemonics for Latin America as well as Afghanistan/Pakistan. Earlier in his career, Steve P. served as a Chief of Party and has worked for USAID in technical roles in Missions in Latin America and Russia. He brings an incredible breadth and depth of experience and expertise to Resonance.
Both Nazgul and I are tremendously excited and humbled to have Steve P. on our team. We believe his deep development acumen and leadership skills will enable Resonance to grow and take our work to the next level. Steve P. brings a true servant leadership mindset to how he manages teams and engages with clients – deepening this crucial element of our corporate culture. He cares deeply about driving lasting impact on the world’s social, economic and environmental problems. We look forward to the contributions he will make in shaping and evolving Resonance as we continue on our journey – together.
June 2018 - Resonance's Founders, Nazgul Abdrazakova and Steve Schmida, in front of the Chace Mill in Burlington Vermont, home to Resonance's headquarters.
Steve Schmida is the founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Resonance. Working out of the spare bedroom of his home, Steve, working together with Nazgul, bootstrapped Resonance into an award-winning global consulting and advisory firm with more than 70 staff worldwide and offices in Vermont, Washington, DC, Seattle and Manila. Resonance clients include Fortune 500 companies, international donor agencies as well as leading non-profits and foundations.
As Chief Innovation Officer, Steve is responsible for working with Resonance staff, clients and partners on the development of new products and services designed to drive meaningful impact in frontier markets. His writing has appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Medium.com, the Huffington Post and the Moscow Times.
Steve has worked in more than 40 countries across the world. Prior to founding Resonance, Steve lived and worked for 8 years in Russia and Central Asia, where he established programs for the Eurasia Foundation and the National Democratic Institute. Fluent in Russian, he holds an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.