Vice President, Content & Product Marketing at Duda
Since January 2020, Christopher Carfi has been Vice President of Content & Product Marketing at Duda, a leading web design platform for companies that offer web design services to small businesses. Duda serves all types of customers, from freelance web professionals and digital agencies, all the way up to the largest hosting companies and online publishers in the world.
Prior to Duda, Christopher held the following positions: Senior Director-Content Marketing at GoDaddy, Vice President and Senior Strategist at Ant’s Eye View, acquired by PwC, Vice President at Edelman Digital, and Vice President-Platform Products at Swipp.
Q. Chris, can you tell us where you live and what your hometown is famous for?
We’re south of Silicon Valley in a little town called Gilroy. Gilroy’s is famous, because every year there is a huge garlic festival, and Gilroy is the proclaimed garlic capital of the world.
Q. What’s is one of the biggest things that you’ve missed over the last couple of months?
Not surprisingly, it is interacting in person with humans.
Hugging my family and my friends and going out to hear live music and dancing. Really any of those things, where you get energy from a big group of people all being in the same place at the same time. Hopefully, by this time next year, we will have things in a much better place and be able to be doing all of those things again.
Q. Do you do something every day, have a routine maybe that has kept your spirits up during the Pandemic?
Yes, I absolutely have found that I am strongly powered by both caffeine and walking. So, every day a couple of strong cups from one of our local Gilroy small businesses here, you can order online.
Then I try, during the week usually, a walk in our local area. Then on the weekends, we are only ten or fifteen minutes away from some really great and remote hiking trails, you can hike for two hours and literally not see another human.
I have really found that getting out there, getting outside every day, getting the body moving for an hour or two every day is super important. The days are literally starting to get longer now, so it makes it even nicer. I greatly look forward to do a lot more of this, as we start to move through the winter and into the spring.
Q. Was hiking a hobby that you did before or something new that you started since the pandemic?
It’s always been a hobby and I have always really enjoyed the going out and doing neighborhood-types of walks and things. Before we were up more in the Silicon Valley area, there were only a couple of places you could go walking or hiking, it was a little less accessible than where we are now.
No, it’s much easier, literally, you can go five minutes up the road and find yourself hopping a couple of barbed wire fences. There are fairly remote state park types areas.
Q. Is there any other hobby that you have, that maybe people don’t know about?
Yes, I started doing some fairly extreme desert camping, about ten-twenty years ago now, it started out with doing things like going to Burning Man, in the late nineties. I like the ability to just get out and clear the mind. Getting away from the hum and buzz of everyday distractions. Just to get away is super important.
Actually, over the Halloween weekend, I got to go to the desert which is about seven or eight hours from here. I was able to camp out there literally remotely in the middle of one thousand square miles of nothingness. It is a good way to reset yourself and get a different perspective for sure.
There is a place where part of the desert goes into a lake at a certain time of year. There’s some interesting native wildlife. There’s a certain type of shrimp that goes dormant most of the year then when the lake comes, they go through their life cycle, and then go dormant again. There is not a whole lot to worry about with the wildlife though.
Q. Do you remember your first job?
Yep, I was actually a short-order cook in Suburban Chicago at a Bob Evans restaurant. I would have to get to the restaurant at five in the morning to help before the doors opened at six. I would sling bacon, eggs and hash browns also pancakes and bacon. It was good, and definitely sort of stereotypical Middle America.
This is where my deep roots, that is what I did in high school and then for a couple of summers, before, you know, going through university in getting into the marketing.
Q. Do you have a favorite cuisine or favorite kind of comfort food?
In general, I can go with pretty much from the Sushi realm, yes if I could only eat one thing, for every meal, it would be in the sushi miso soup. Not sure you would call that a comfort food.
But again, being a Chicago Boy originally, a good deep dish, Chicago pizza would definitely do the trick.
Q. Do you cook yourself a little bit?
I can, you know but, it’s a timing thing. t’s a balancing yourself thing, so I would be much more likely to order something out.
I’ve even done this a couple of times over the years with Pizza. Get a frozen and airdropped from Chicago. Although there are a couple of places out here in the Bay Area that do a reasonable facsimile of the Chicago deep-dish pizza.
It is half baked, and I can bring it, home and put in the oven. I’ve never done one of those from scratch other than one with a little bit of experimentation. I cook breakfast stuff; it is a second nature based on my experience as a cook
I do love a good salmon and grilling stuff outside, I am definitely more of a grill than a chef type.
Q. Do you have a message for our Siinda members, our partners, and colleagues?
I cannot wait until we see each other again the next time.
Wherever you are I hope you’re doing OK. We have made it this far through the pandemic so take care of yourself, your family and your loved ones you know, both literally and figuratively. There will be a little bit lighter going forward.
A year from now, we can just mention the year 2020 and look each other and shake our heads. We will know exactly what we’re talking about.
So, just keep going, and keep hanging in there.