Meet the Collective: Roll Call in Chicago
A special Q&A with Izi Aviyente, Director of Engineering and the new head of our Chicago office.
Earlier this year, we announced we’d be opening our second home in the Second City. It’s been an exciting few months in Chicago — we scouted locations, made our first few hires, and set the agenda for the remainder of the year as we continue to expand our team.
We’re thrilled to announce that our Chicago office is officially open, and we’re currently looking for great candidates to join the team and help us rebuild healthcare’s infrastructure! For a deeper look at how our Chicago office will play an integral part of this mission, we talked to Izi Aviyente, our new Director of Engineering and head of the Chicago office, about the experience he brings and what he’s excited about.
If you’re interested in being a part of a new team at a fast-growing company, check out our listings and drop us a line!
What were you doing before Collective Health?
I was previously Head of Engineering at StubHub/eBay in Boston, where I worked for 4 years. I joined a team of 4 engineers and helped it grow to more than 40. StubHub didn’t have a Boston presence at the time, so I was hired to build out a product development office with a focus on top of funnel, and enabling consumer acquisition through various channels including recommender systems — CRM, Social/Display and SEM. When I look back on my time heading up product for StubHub, what I value most was my ability to make an imprint on the culture of the Boston office. I’m excited for the same opportunity here in Chicago on behalf of Collective Health.
What brought you to Collective Health, and what excites you about the future of healthcare?
I was actually a Collective Health member at a previous employer. I was incredibly impressed by the professionalism of the member advocates I interfaced with, as well as the product’s overall user experience. It was unlike anything I had seen in healthcare, which has a lot of deep-rooted problems that need to be fixed — problems that often impact people at the worst times. When I saw the opportunity to build a team from the ground-up for a company that I had admired from afar, it was a no brainer. I love solving challenging problems and building teams, so being able to do both while making an impact in an industry that’s begging for change presented a unique opportunity.
What’s special about the Chicago market, and why do you think it’s a good place for Collective Health’s second home?
Chicago has a great tech talent pool filled in part with graduates from top notch universities. It’s increasingly being recognized as a tech hub, and has become home to more and more start-ups. That being said, it’s still early stages for the tech industry in Chicago, so I also think that Collective Health has a tremendous opportunity to make an impression on the tech scene here. Chicago’s talent pool is also fairly diverse — both in skill set and culturally — so as we look to expand other functions of our organization, we’ll be able to continue Collective Health’s rich tradition of building out a diverse team.
What are you looking for as you build out your team in Chicago?
I’m looking to build a team of diverse and talented engineers who truly care about our mission and are excited to be part of our second home’s founding team. Ownership is the first word that comes to mind, and anyone who joins our Chicago office will have the chance to own key projects (more on that next). I do think being part of a founding team for a company’s new office brings a unique set of challenges, but that also means there are unique opportunities. I am looking for people who want to solve these challenges and seize these opportunities in the same way that I do — and that so many others at Collective Health do.
What are some of the projects the team will be tackling?
The team’s projects will be centered around supporting the continued development of our Workforce Health Management System and reducing human effort as we scale up our business. Collective Health has ambitious growth targets, and our team’s efforts will be critical in supporting those targets. This ranges from building payments infrastructure from the ground up, reducing manual effort for finance teams, and automating some of the most labor-intensive processes. These projects, along with others not even yet in motion, will be crucial as we scale up the platform to increase efficiency and accuracy while reducing risk.