Meet Eric Zellhart, LiquidSpace’s Field Operations Manager
People over place. We live it. We have an incredible team of hard-working, smart, and super nice people distributed across the country.
Today, we’re introducing you to Eric Zellhart, who manages field operations for LiquidSpace. (That’s Eric below on the left.)
Where are you from?
I was raised in Northern California and now live in Oakland. It is a beautiful town and has some of the best weather in California.
What drew you to LiquidSpace?
Most people are surprised when I tell them that before LiquidSpace I was a Certified Public Accountant (now inactive). I really enjoyed it. I worked at a boutique firm in Palo Alto that specialized in working with early stage startup companies and successful founders.
After four years working with really interesting startup clients – I had the bug. I left the public accounting world and started doing some consulting work and meeting with prospective clients. The trouble was I didn’t have an office space where I could meet them, and Starbucks was getting a little crowded and loud for client conversations. I was working at one coworking space in San Francisco – but I was working with clients across the Bay Area – so locking in a membership at one coworking space didn’t meet my needs.
That’s just about when I read an interesting article about a company called LiquidSpace that had just launched at SXSW. I was really interested as they claimed to be solving my problem – so I immediately reached out to learn more.
Mark ended up emailing me back and setting up an interview – it was just a small company back then! The rest, as they say, is history.
What’s your role at LiquidSpace?
I manage the Field Operations team. We are responsible for working with new and existing venue partners to help them showcase their great workspaces in our marketplace. My role has evolved over the past 3 years as the company has grown. I was among the first employees at LiquidSpace and we had a small team early on, so roles were not tightly defined. My first role was going door to door to businesses in San Francisco to get the word out about LiquidSpace. Those were really fun times.
How many workspaces do you visit in a typical week?
I work from a LiquidSpace at least 2-3 times a week. My favorite is showing up at new venues and exploring the unique new spaces that are popping up around the San Francisco Bay Area. There has been quite an evolution in shared workspaces, coworking spaces and even hotel spaces over the past four years.
When I do have the opportunity to travel to a new city, I’ll make a point to jump around throughout the day and see as many spaces in a new city as I can.
A couple years ago when I was directly managing our venue partners in California, I scheduled a week-long road trip starting in Santa Barbara and heading south through Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, visiting over 25 LiquidSpace partners in 5 days.
Are there any especially memorable experiences you’ve had in a LiquidSpace?
Absolutely…there are many. A recent one was this past November. The whole LiquidSpace team was in San Francisco for our ‘Pop-Up HQ’ week. I was hosting a half-day training and needed to find a large space comfortable for 12 people. I booked the First Floor Flex space at Hattery.
The meeting space was great and we had a really productive morning – but it was nearing 11:30am and everyone was getting a bit restless. At that same moment, Lisa Anne, the General Manager of Hattery, opened the door and asked if we’d like to join them for lunch. Lunch? Absolutely!
She invited us upstairs to join their member’s lunch – prepared daily by their two in-house chefs. The food was amazing and even better was the experience of eating alongside their coworking members on large picnic benches. It was lively conversation and a fun way to break up the day.
What’s your favorite amenity in a workspace?
I get really excited when a venue goes out of their way to serve coffee from a local roaster. Super-fast Wi-Fi is also critical for me (and pretty much every mobile worker) – so that’s a must.
What are your must-haves for flexible working?
I really only bring 3 gadgets with me, my Macbook, iPhone, and a headphone for taking calls. It’s pretty easy to be a mobile worker these days.
For apps, I do have a few must-haves to be productive:
• LiquidSpace – To find my next workspace nearby.
• Yelp – Because I’m also a foodie and like to try new restaurants when I’m in a new area.
• Skype – Keeps me connected to my team with chat and video calls.
• Google Drive – All of my files are always available to me.