Ms. Braden-Harder merged the Butler Hill Group with Appen, whose founder, Dr. Julie Vonwiller, is a linguist who saw an opportunity to develop new technologies with the "transformation of the Internet."
The Vonwillers - Julie
in 1996 with her
husband, Chris - approached her
about the merger all the way from Australia a few years ago.
"There was an amazing synergy between us," she
"There were no redundancies and nobody was laid off."
takes pride in the company's agility and in her
self-motivated staff, who all work from homes on their respective coasts - or countries.
"We managed to find some great people and take advantage," she
"A lot of people like the flexibility because no one says anything as long as you get the work done. …
"With multinationals and their research groups, they get excited, and when they get excited about something, it can get growing fast," she
"So we need to keep up with them."
learned one thing through the two-plus decades in the business it's that communication is key, whether it's through weekly company calls to ensure employees are up to date or spending time to formulate a statement about Appen's
vision and culture.
"Many people roll their eyes when they hear those things, but you need to know who you are - and be explicit with who you are," she