July 18, 2019
YML's team is diverse, insightful and bound together by a dedication to the agency's mission — make a lasting impact. The "Getting to Know" series shines a light on various members of the YML team.
Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Hamish, which is a Scottish name pronounced “Hey-mish”, but in the US by necessity I will respond to Hammish, Hameesh, Amish, Shamus and occasionally Angus.
I’m a UK qualified Chartered Accountant, and I’ve been working as a CFO / COO for professional services agencies for most of my career.
Where are you from?
Despite the extremely Scottish name, I was born and raised in South East England and spent the first two decades of my career in London. When the agency I was the CFO for in London expanded into the US in 2003, I took the opportunity to move with it to the San Francisco Bay Area where I’ve been living and working since 2006.
Tell us a little about your background.
My time at school and university was dominated by mathematics – almost all of my high school qualifications are mathematics subjects, and my bachelor’s degree is in mathematics. So after graduating, becoming a Chartered Accountant was a natural route into the business world for me.
Why did you choose to come to Y Media Labs?
From the start, I’ve wanted to work with business leaders to help them build and grow their organizations. Fast-growing businesses are the most fun and challenging to work for, and I’m a professional services agency specialist and a technology enthusiast – so Y Media Labs checked every single box for me. I couldn’t have been more excited when Ashish and Sumit asked me to join.
What about this industry are you most passionate about?
I’ve always been a tech geek – before computers I was a gadget guy, in the early 80’s I was programming an 8-bit computer with machine code, and I love the things that technology enables. I keep in touch with friends and family all over the world using social media. I listen to just about any book in the world or any music I want to during my commute using a wireless super-computer that fits in my pocket. I can deal with my anxieties by checking my garage door is closed from anywhere in the world – all these things I love with a passion and muse on with awe on a daily basis, and I’m excited for the things to come too.
What are some other companies you admire?
I admire people more than companies, and it’s the people behind them that drive inspirational companies. Coming from the UK I grew up being inspired by Richard Branson, and his values of fairness, inclusion and humility, which infuse the Virgin brand. And people like Roger Federer, who despite his phenomenal success and domination of his sport for years, maintains a humility and kindness to all which is an example for everyone.
What are your favorite spots to eat in San Francisco?
I worked for several years on the Embarcadero, in what is now Google’s San Francisco office. Favorite places around there are Ozumo for sushi, and Boulevard for a splurge. Where I live in Marin, I have to give a big shout out to Insalata’s.
How do you spend your spare time?
Living in Marin, our family does a lot of outdoors stuff – tennis, hiking with our dogs, swimming, and mountain biking which was invented in Fairfax the town next door to us. We love movies too, and being able to stream HD movies on demand onto a projection screen in our living room is amazing – just another reason I love technology!