Alec Babala

e: alec.babala@gmail.com
in: linkedin.com/in/alecbabala

I believe in making less and connecting more. I'm passionate about bringing people together through effective learning and communication.

Thank You for the Three Years at Greycork

Thank You for the Three Years at Greycork

This is as sappy as you expect a goodbye note to be, so grab a box of tissues or get ready to roll your eyes at me.

It’s bittersweet to say that I am leaving Greycork on January 1, 2017. It will have been three years since I reluctantly connected with John and Bruce, back when Greycork was just a weekly Google Hangout brainstorming session with a medley of friends and strangers, and when I was for a brief moment in time known as the first intern. If there are two things that being a founder of this company has taught me, it’s to have a smart sense of humor and an endless gratitude for the people who surround you.

This experience at Greycork has not been easy, and truthfully, at times I found myself complacent - more afraid of success than I was afraid of failure. I had to ask myself critically if I wanted this company’s future, and if my current status is advantageous for the company today. So after listening to the four Drake albums that were released during my time at Greycork in chronological order, I understood I had to move onto something new. This time is impermanent. I owe it to all the relationships made along the way for this lesson: “up” or “down” are not the only directions to go in life, but knowing which way is “True North” will map out new places to go.

It has been a challenge to keep in touch with those who are meaningful to me, so I wanted to thank all of you for giving me limitless stories to share when asked, “What does the name Greycork stand for?”:

  • To Tommy Park for referring me to Bruce and encouraging me to respond to John's email in Beth Mosher's studio - which I almost didn't.
  • To Sarah Pease, Mikyung Park, Luc Heasley, Jack Smith, and Tim Brierley for giving me a reason to continue with Greycork.
  • To Jerome Arul and Erica Pernice for dealing with me as roommates and being there as supportive friends before Greycork.
  • To Cara Lowe for grabbing lunch with me on Wickenden Street and coincidentally meeting John and Bruce in-person at Cafe Zog.
  • To Sheela Subrumanian for being a mentor and giving me professional guidance with our experience at Jana.
  • To Matt Kressy for being my professor, mentor, and friend, and forgiving me for ditching a project after graduation.
  • To Greg Victory, Kevin Jankowski, and all the people of RISD Career Services for being huge influences to this career path.
  • To Don Morton, Andy Jacques, Kim Almeida, Jess Rafaele, and all the people of RISD Center for Student Involvement for the countless experiences we've had and including me as part of the team to keep connected through advising RISD Cycling.
  • To Ayako Takase, Maureen Buttenheim, Jaime Marland, Christina Hartley, Katrina Ellis, Charles Flora, and all the people of RISD for the unconditional support and our valuable relationships.
  • To Jules Goguely, Christine Hwang, Matt Gilbert, Joanne Han, Ben Pruzan, Aaron Simmons, and Gus Esselstyn for participating in our prestigious “Greycork Internship Program” and for teaching me and the team something new about ourselves.
  • To Brandon Tyson, Phoenix Pleasant, Sofia Clause, Daniela Gilsanz, Otis Gray, Branche Coverdale, Brandon Tyson, Evan Grothjan, Lauren May, Sydney Thomashow, Sam Tilney, Leah Chung, Tia Blaise-Billie, Lizzy Gregory, Kristen Harada, Kafumba Bility, Brian Hicks, Alex Gaidis, Nikolas Bentel, Lukas Bentel, Kevin Wiesner, JS Tan, Alice Taranto, Chris Gerringer, David and Shea Gonyo, Max Lowdes, Nikki Patrizzi, Clark Dinnison, Kane Hsieh, Sandy Student, Lizzie Wright, Donald Snoop, Krishan Arora, Rob Chron, Lucas Vasilko, Denali Tiller, and everyone who has ever collaborated with us to build this brand from five to nine.
  • To all our investors for providing the critical resources to fund this venture.
  • To all our advisors for helping us navigate this company.
  • To all the people of Ashton Instruments, Greycork Cycling, RISD Cycling, and all my cyclist friends for giving me perspective and spreading the cause.
  • To my roommates in Dorchester for being homies in my short stay there.
  • To the Humphrey family and the people of Horner Millwork for the continued support and for giving Greycork the back corner of the shop floor to call R&D.
  • To the people of District Hall, CoWorks, and the countless coffee shops for including us as part of the work community.
  • To the people on Westminster for having us live and operate out of a loft space.
  • To the people of Thayer for welcoming us to the street and the 11am routine of smelling the East Side Pockets kitchen.
  • To the people at Hartford Avenue for the warehouse and studio space.
  • To all the media writers who covered the Greycork story.
  • To all those who brought Greycork into their homes through Indiegogo or the online store.
  • To all those who put thoughtful responses into our surveys and our interviews.
  • To all my hometown friends who continue to stay in contact with me and make me proud of our early years together.
  • To my mom and dad and all my extended family who guide my every decision and have always been there to support me.
  • To all my friends who have been there along the way and making sure I stay true to myself.
  • To Emilie Jehng for always being there to remind me what is important in life, and helping me become a better person every single day.
  • To Giuseppe Crosti for the opportunity to make great work together and have conversations I couldn’t have with anyone else. Honestly though, get rid of that red couch.
  • To Erich Jeanmaire for showing me what it really means to care about people and what it takes to make a difference.
  • To Juan Carlos Ramirez Oliveros and the warehouse team for making the first Greycork deliveries possible.
  • To Jamieson Toulan for teaching me about rigor in a physically and emotionally demanding work environment. 
  • To Jen Raines-Loring for being a positive role model on work ethic and relentlessly supporting this team like it were your family, but so much more respect for being the sole person changing the hand towel in the bathroom.
  • To Molly Harwood for fearlessly taking the torch and raising my own standards on design. Please make a bike rack, it will be beautiful.
  • To Jon Gourlay for never compromising on quality, reminding me to keep my perspective and edge, talking movies and people with me, and working so, so well together. 
  • To Jonah Wilcox-Healey for being a partner I can trust and rely on, teaching me how to be brutally honest, and helping me remember to take care of myself. You owe me a lifetime of Starbucks for leaving.
  • To John Humphrey and Bruce Kim for being employers, employees, mentors, mentees, friends, enemies, strangers, brothers, children, adults, carpoolers, gym partners, drunks, investors, roommates, self-centered, selfless, and all the lines that we’ve crossed and blurred which make us founders. Wow, good luck without me. ;) I have learned so much from working with you two that I would never have learned with anyone else, and I am so thankful for our short but rich history together, and I promise to never take any of it for granted. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for everything.
2014 - kids.

2014 - kids.

Greycork will stay the course without me. The company has an arduous journey ahead of it and I will continue to support the team to have the empathy, confidence, and courage to do - in John’s words - “what [they] think is right”. I’m lucky for all the moments and all that was made possible since my first day with Greycork. I’m proud of this truly inspiring home and I’m excited for the next one in 2017.

If we haven’t chatted in awhile, make my hotline bling and we’ll catch up!

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