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Meg McLaughlin, age 7-ish

Proof of Sister

A Party, a Video, and a Brotherly Pitch

When I turned 40-something last fall, my wife Cindy threw a boss party on the roof of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Friends showed up, hors d’oeuvres and drinks materialized, the kids dematerialized and frolicked somewhere downstairs, out of sight and mind. Even my mother flew up from North Carolina. It was awesome.

My only regret was that my sister Meg wasn’t there. She lives in Oakland, so it wasn’t a surprise. But I felt her absence: she’s the best and funniest person I know; the one who sees things most sharply; the person who’s reduced me to tears of laughter more often, and more riotously, than anyone else; the one who’s spent a lifetime observing, tolerating, psychoanalyzing, and then gleefully skewering me and my vast array of shortcomings, neuroses, and insecurities. She was the sharp-tongued, indispensable c0-host to my childhood, as we moved from city to city, school to school, best friend to best friend, and then on through adulthood, as our paths variously crossed and diverged. A life event without Meg is inescapably a bit diminished.

At some point in the party, Cindy shepherded everyone into a cavernous theater downstairs. The lights dimmed. And then up on the screen appeared Meg. Here’s what she had to say, in the way only Meg can say it:

[Transcript here.]

I’m struck by two things from this kind-yet-wicked almost-a-roast birthday video.

First of all, Meg thinks I underplay her existence. Not true! Let this very post stand as steadfast proof to the contrary, albeit perhaps 40-something years (and 40-something-plus-1 grades) late.

Second, Meg is not kidding about actively looking for a job in the Bay Area. She’s the kind of person who job-hunts quietly and deliberately; she isn’t very good at drawing attention to herself, much less hyping her virtues. (This post, for example, will horrify her in a most gratifying way; if I’d asked permission, she’d never have OK’d it). But she’s super-awesome. If your company is hiring people, you should meet her.

A few reasons why: Above all, Meg is hyper-competent. Since her very first teenage job, Meg just about always gets promoted rapidly as her employers notice how solid, energetic, creative, and well-liked she is. She’s got a really interesting, wide-ranging background: she’s worked as a digital strategist up and down the product cycle; has led operations, marketing and key client accounts at venture-backed start-ups; and is a first-rate writer, self-starter, digital omnivore, and hyper-reliable doer of things.

Most recently, Meg was a fast-promoted VP of Vertical Strategy at a venture-backed ad tech company in San Francisco. (When the company decided to consolidate operations in Boston, she elected to leave rather than take their offer to move.) She has experience in business development, start-up ops, remote team management, sales, and product marketing. And she’s got a heart of gold. She’s into startups and tech and wants to work in that world, though I’ll confess a brotherly wish that some day she’ll follow her heart and open a baby sloth sanctuary somewhere in Northern California.

Perhaps most tellingly, Meg is the person who, when she wanted to change up her life a bit, took a year off to manage the staff and operations of Heaven, a restaurant and training center in Kigali, Rwanda, that employs mostly orphaned war survivors. She’s cool like that.

Here’s her LinkedIn page. Let me know if I can introduce you. It’s hard to find and hire great people — here’s one who’s actively looking to join a great company/team/mission.

As long as we’re on the subject, here are a few other things worth knowing about Meg:

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Sylvania, Ohio, 1975

We’ve been pals since she first came home from the hospital.

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Wayzata, Minnesota, Halloween 1977

Her relationship with clowns has proven considerably more fraught than my own fandom of Captain Marvel, which remains steady and true.

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Fargo, North Dakota, 1980

Prominent members of Meg’s childhood social circle included a poodle named Charley and a legion of imaginary friends from a land called Humania whose visits she would entertain in her closet parlor.

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Ashtead, Surrey, 1984

She had a strong British accent for about a year, age 8–9.

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Fargo, North Dakota, 1983

She was an Indian Guide, back before rudimentary decency compelled a rebranding.

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Fargo, North Dakota, 1979

She was alive in the 1970s.

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Golden Valley, Minnesota, 1989

She was alive in the 1980s.

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She was alive in the 1990s.

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Richmond, Indiana, 1995

She went to college.

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Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2014

Family dinners are always moments of warmth and good cheer.

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Pacific Palisades, California, 2014

Meg still loves it when I snap — and publish — awkward photos of her.

Voila: Proof of sister.

Partner/co-founder: Higher Ground Labs. Venture fellow: betaworks. Board: Access Now, Public Knowledge. Nerd, really. <http://andrew.mclaughl.in>

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