Maddie profile image

Roots of a Project Manager,
Petals of a Designer

When I graduated college, my dream was to become a receptionist. Yup. Just a receptionist.

I knew I had always loved interior design (because of Sims), organizing literally ANYTHING (like my best friend’s DVD collection alphabetically) so that things are generally more efficient and I loved hosting events, ensuring positive experiences for all guests (because filipinos throw parties constantly). I believed that with those skills, I’d have a strong chance of landing an entry role in tech with this title.

In 2017, my dream came true as an Office manager at Gigster which 2 years later turned into a marketing position. But as happy as I was in those roles, I knew I was hungry for something more challenging. At the time, I was offered a position as a Chief of Staff with an ex-coworker of mine who was building his team from the ground up. I grew tremendously in this 16 person startup as the first female on the leadership team managing HR, DEIB initiatives and strategic cross-functional projects.

Once the pandemic hit, I (like everyone else) was forced to reevaluate the kind of work that really brought me joy because the future was so unknown and life is too short. After a year at the startup, I joined the great resignation in 2021 to soul search for 3 months in Portugal.

Enter design.
With some reflecting, I recognized that design had always been a part of my life. From being an illustrator at an early age, composing the flow of an office space, crafting a brand story, designing efficiencies in HR tasks to my recent experience as a presentation designer.. I’ve always thrived using my creativity, maximizing Gestalt Psychology, color theory and cognitive science.

Now, I want to focus this energy into designing early stage products that will make it easier for app users to have the same experiences that I’ve curated as an office manager long ago: aesthetic spaces, efficient flows, and overall a delightful experience.

Greetings, fellow plant parents and design green thumbs! I'm May, an organic visual & product designer, nurturing pixel-perfect user interfaces like they're delicate roses. 🌹

With over 8 years of immersive experience navigating the bustling landscape of Silicon Valley, I've cultivated a diverse skill set honed across an array of B2B SaaS industries, from healthcare to cybersecurity. As a seasoned project manager, I've not only built bridges between engineering, sales/marketing, and customer success teams but have also sown the seeds of collaboration, fostering growth and innovation at every turn.

My journey as a designer is deeply rooted in a natural affinity for the arts and psychology, allowing me to craft compelling brand narratives and address user needs with precision in product design.

Beyond the confines of corporate pursuits, my passion for people blossoms through endeavors such as scaling my non-profit, Circular Design Internship (CDI), and engaging in public speaking both locally and internationally with the WIDD Network.

Like a gardener tending to a thriving ecosystem, I find fulfillment in nurturing connections and cultivating opportunities for growth. Together, let's cultivate a landscape of success, where innovation flourishes, and possibilities abound. 🌿✨

Learn more about me

Experience

2 years in Design
2 years in Marketing
4 years in People Ops
8 years total working in tech

Current location

Kailua, Hawaii

Other Work

Program Director at CDI
Public Ambassador for WIDD Network
Public Speaker
Etsy Shop Owner

More info below!

Other Work

CDI Overview from the pilot program
Program Director & Founding Member
At the Circular Design Internship

Video: CDI & May Thought Partner Spotlight

The Circular Design Internship (CDI) is a 10-week program in Hawai'i connecting aspiring designers with mentors and local companies to address challenges in the technology talent pipeline.


After my internship in the pilot program, I fell in love with the mission and the community we built for career transitioners. Wanting to make a similar impact for others with my story, I joined the core team of CDI first as a community manager and now a Program Director overseeing the internship itself.

My role in the organization includes:

  • Design and implement internship initiatives
  • Establish partnerships with organizations offering internships
  • Coordinate recruitment efforts and provide support to interns
  • Develop program curriculum and training materials.
  • Evaluate program effectiveness and ensure compliance with regulations

We're also a finalist for the Social Impact category for the 24th annual entrepreneur awards with the HVCA!

Promo pic for the WIDD Network, International Women's Day 2024 Virtual Event
Public Speaking
In Hawai'i & with the WIDD Network

Public speaking provides me with the opportunity to amplify experts' stories and ignite discussions that facilitate growth for individuals in their respective fields.

Whether it's chatting about design, personal growth, DEIB, or managing relationships, I'm all in! I do this primarily through local design communities like CDI or UXHI and as a public ambassador for the Women in Digital Marketing and Design Network (WIDD Network) based in London.

Check out my speaking gigs below and reach out via email or LinkedIn if you want to collaborate!

Past Speaking Engagements: