Note: Each month, we will feature a different member of the WebPT family in our Staff Spotlight blog series.
For Alex Zarazua, nothing beats the thrill of seeing something come full circle—whether it’s a car at the Phoenix International Raceway or a new WebPT feature.
You’ll find Alex at the race track anytime NASCAR is in town, but when he’s not cheering on his favorite drivers or explaining to anyone within earshot why NASCAR definitely qualifies as a sport—“There’s so much science and strategy behind it!”—he’s helping the WebPT Product Team identify ways to better serve our Members.
Unlike a lap at the race track, though, Alex’s path to WebPT involved a couple of detours. Born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, he moved to Phoenix in 2009 after earning a marketing and management degree from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan. By then, he’d had his fill of snow and ice, and he figured there was no better place to catch some rays than in the Valley of the Sun. After holding a couple of different positions at other technology companies in the area, Alex made his way to WebPT in July 2011, and from the moment he walked through the door, he felt like he was meant to be there. “My first impression was that Brad and Heidi [Jannenga] were starting something good—something that was going to grow,” he said. “Plus, I liked the small company feel. It was more intimate, more friendly.”
As a business analyst, Alex is responsible for gathering information about Member needs and then using that information to develop proposals for system additions or improvements. “Basically, I work with Heidi [WebPT’s co-founder and COO] to figure out which features and enhancements we want to pursue,” he said. “Then, I work with the Product Team to map out how it should work within the system—to paint a picture of what something should look like.”
But while plans for new WebPT features and functions often start in the product department, they go through a lot of hands before they ever make it to Members. “We try not to build anything in isolation,” Alex said. “So, it’s important to involve all of the stakeholders for each project—especially those who talk to Members on a regular basis.”
And Alex knows a thing or two about talking to WebPT Members. After all, his first stint at WebPT was as a Support Representative. “I think my background in Support comes in handy,” he said. “It’s good to have that perspective. A lot of the things we’re working on now—the improvements we want to do—take me back to those conversations. I’ll think, ‘Oh, so-and-so would really like this feature.’ So that’s kind of cool—just seeing things come full circle.”
In fact, he takes so much pride in his team’s dedication to acting on Member input that he recently volunteered to take on the task of notifying Members whose Idea Portal submissions have inspired system enhancements. “It’s really fun to look back and see that whole process,” he said. “And a few people have already emailed me back.” Alex also manages all of the external communications associated with new product releases, including release notes and user guides.
Of course, no job comes without challenges—and for Alex, perhaps the biggest one is staying on top of all the different compliance measures affecting physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists. “It seems like it changes every single day,” he said. “And it’s something you have to pay attention to, because it affects whether or not our Members get paid [for their services].”
Still, he knows that all of the hours he spends poring over PQRS, functional limitation reporting, and ICD-10 will help ensure that WebPT continues to provide the best documentation solution on the market—and that makes it all worthwhile. “When we finally release something after working really hard on it for a long time, to actually see it in the system is really cool,” he said.
Fave Five with Alex
- Favorite food: Mexican food (particularly anything deep-fried and doused in enchilada sauce and sour cream)
- Favorite movie: Back to the Future Part II
- Favorite sports team: Detroit Red Wings
- Favorite band: Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Favorite place: New York City