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Unicorn of the Month: Jade Cleaver

Jade Cleaver is our Unicorn of the Month for March 2021. Jade joined the team in September 2019 as Office Manager / HR Generalist for EMEA and APAC.

Awarding Jade, David Woolenberg, CEO of Duetto, said: “Jade brings optimism to all she does. She has a ‘can do’ attitude and makes our offices and HR in Europe and APAC part of the broader organization.”

Beyond Duetto, Jade has used the COVID lockdown to perfect her recipe for a white chocolate and pistachio cheesecake (we can’t wait for offices to re-open so she can share!), added to her family with a hamster called ‘Monkey’, and started volunteering with Age UK.

Here, we catch up with Jade to learn more about her role at Duetto and get her advice for anyone considering a career in hotel tech.

What was your work experience before joining the Duetto team?

For the last six years I have worked in office management and human resources, first in travel tech for TripAdvisor and Skyscanner, and then in Fintech. I knew I wanted to stay working within the tech environment, and I missed being in travel tech because it’s just such a friendly and forward-thinking environment, hence joining Duetto.

Can you remember what it was that attracted you to Duetto?

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Duetto beforehand but the role itself really attracted me. I really enjoy both Office Management and HR, so with this hybrid role I get to have my fingers in a lot of different pies and be involved with many differing projects.

I also liked that Duetto was at an interesting stage of growth. When you join a company like this you can have far more of a positive effect, far more quickly than when joining a big corporation. I saw excitement and passion in everyone I spoke to during the interview process and really wanted to be part of it.

Tell us what your job entails?

I look after HR for our EMEA and APAC teams, which means dealing with HR processes and employment law over a number of countries which can be complex but always very interesting. In terms of office management, before COVID I was looking at a new office for us in London, as we had outgrown our existing space.  The entire company is now working remotely so whilst that project is on hold I have refocused on keeping the teams connected while working remotely and continuing to promote and encourage our positive Duetto workplace culture.

Recently, I’ve also had a big hand in recruitment which has been great fun. We are growing the team a lot and as such we are also focusing on improving the onboarding process, which had to be completely restructured due to everyone now working remotely.

What is your average day like?

There is no average day! Every day is 100% different. Interviews take up a lot of my time at the moment, as well as team and individual catch-ups. I make a point of checking on everything going on in terms of COVID and the way in which other companies are returning to in-office working, and think about ways to bring the team together.

I work closely with our Singapore team, so there can be early morning calls, and the US team, so also later afternoon and evening calls. My days can be quite stretched in that sense but at Duetto we have always encouraged flexible working, so I go out and get fresh air at some point in the day. I believe this has a hugely positive impact on mental health, especially right now when you are working in the same space that you are also living in and trying to wind-down in. It’s so important for us as individuals to take that time out every day and remove yourself from the home/work environment.

When I have spare time (which is not often) l join webinars on HR and office management to keep that learning mentality going.

What do you most love about your job?

All the Duetto swag! And that I get to choose it.

Seriously though, I love working with so many people and getting an understanding of how things work across many countries and cultures.

I just love the people and being creative with the team. I am a firm believer that you get out what you put in. During the past year I have really focused on keeping team morale going. We’ve done an online murder mystery team building event, quizzes, and used

Things don’t always run smoothly and people are coping with a lot right now – bad internet, Amazon deliveries, normal distractions etc. - it’s real life. But I love those times when we do bring people together and have fun. I love that we are like that as a team.

Best day you’ve ever had working at Duetto?

Jubilee 2020 - our annual team building event - in San Francisco. It was the first time I was getting to meet a lot of the people I had been working with, so it was great for getting to know them and building relationships with them in person. Jubilee was in February 2020 so COVID was just coming to the fore and no one knew what was going on. But regardless, we had so much fun. Sadly, it was the last time we were together as a team, very soon after that we closed down the offices. I am really looking forward to us having that type of event again. Nothing will beat in-person team bonding.

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking at a career in hotel tech right now?

Do it! Moving career at the moment is scary and any career change is daunting. But I think that hotel tech is a really exciting place to work right now. There are so many big things coming up and in the next year we are going to see such a boom in the travel industry - there’s a lot of growth going on. Do it!

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current open positions on our Careers page:






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Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Marketing Communications.

Sarah joined Duetto in 2015 as a contributing editor covering Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA). In 2017, she was promoted to Director of Content, EMEA, and in 2022 promoted to Director of Marketing Communications. An experienced B2B travel industry journalist, Sarah spent 14 years working in the Middle East, most notably as senior editor – hospitality for ITP Publishing Group in Dubai, where she headed up the editorial teams on Hotelier Middle East, Caterer Middle East and Arabian Travel News. Sarah is now based back in the UK.

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