James Ricks

Director of Demand Generation

What I do at Proofpoint

I help build relationships at scale: with our clients, as well as my team to deliver real results. As a Director of Demand Generation, my job is to guide the revenue growth strategy for the clients we work with and to empower and develop the team of rockstar marketing subject matter experts I get to work with every day. Together, we’re responsible for one thing: delivering results.

Why you should consider Proofpoint

Proofpoint is a place to work unlike any other you’ve worked at before. I know that’s the sort of thing you can only say if you’ve lived it, so just take my word for it. 

Outside of working with amazing clients who are really making a positive impact in the world, Proofpoint offers a fully-remote, family-first place where you can *actually* have work/life balance and design your work around your life – not the other way around.

This ship’s steered by Mike and Gaby Grinberg who are just as down-to-earth and genuine as you’ve probably noticed they are on LinkedIn. They put their people first, hire for culture fit and have built a place I’m proud to be.

WARNING: Do NOT join if you aren’t a fan of getting the highest quality new team member swag and gear!

My professional background

My career in marketing started on my first day of college more than 10 years ago when I stumbled into a career fair and ended up in front of a company that provided SEO services to SMBs. Since then, I’ve had my hands in almost every discipline of digital marketing from paid media and UX/UI to email marketing and marketing automation.

Prior to joining the Proofpoint team and jumping back on the agency side of the fence, I worked for 5+ years in the B2B SaaS space where I cut my teeth in category design and fell in love with creating new markets and the positioning and messaging that goes along with it.

I’m also an entrepreneur, with interests in courses and online businesses, a custom golf cart business I started with a friend, and a product I created that helps families prepare for the worst by compiling their family legacy & life stories.

Things I like to do outside of work

I’m a proud #GirlDad and spend my free time braiding hair, reading books or doing science experiments with my girls, who’ve each got me tightly wrapped around their finger. My wife Janelle and I love to travel with our family and meet new people, experience new cultures and try new food. While traveling, I can be found scouting for the best sea glass collecting beaches or ranking/reviewing the best international candy bars.

My family and I live in Mesa, Arizona and love to spend time outside—at the lake, in the desert, up in the mountains—AZ’s got it all!

As a manager of people, I care about...

I believe a great manager/leader is obsessed with 3 things:

  1. Setting the vision (where we’re going)
  2. Building the team (that’s where you come in)
  3. Delivering results (that’s the fun part)

I care about taking extreme ownership, being a team player and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Above all, I care that, at the end of our time working together, you can say that you are a better person, better marketer, better leader than when you walked in on day one and that you feel like you’ve done work that makes you proud.

Things you can expect to learn from me

  • Category design
  • B2B marketing strategy
  • Personal branding (especially on LinkedIn)
  • Podcasting (as a host, and as a guest)
  • Leadership & personal development
  • Marketing automation & sales enablement

Advice for candidates

Be picky. Life’s too short to do work that doesn’t inspire you, in a place that doesn’t allow you to grow, and with people who don’t push you to be the best you can be.

That being said, if you think Proofpoint might be the place for you, I’d love to see the real you. I’m looking for people who are humble, hungry and smart (big Patrick Lencioni fan) so I’d love for you to share with me what those three things mean to you. In the interview, you’re interviewing me just as much as I’m interviewing you, so come prepared with lots of questions!

If you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Fun Facts About James:

Favorite TV Series:

The Office

Favorite Sports Team:

Go, Phoenix Suns! 🏀

Favorite Business Book:

“Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink

Favorite Podcast:

Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell