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Colleague References

I have had the pleasure of working with many talented people. 
I am grateful for the kind words they've shared about me.


Trip O'Dell

Sr. Director of Product Design

Pearson Ed Tech

"Tessa is different from many leaders you encounter in corporate life. She is relentlessly kind, honest, cares about people as much as the work and has a very high bar for quality, not just in the work, but in the culture she creates around her. That is rare in many organizations because kindness, authenticity, and the gentle confidence of her leadership style require resilience, toughness, fortitude and self-awareness many senior leaders simply lack. That was especially noteworthy working on the projects within her scope, which were crucially important, highly political, and multi-lateral in their complexity. Despite those facts, she maintained a talented, engaged team with high-quality standards and drove impact on projects that appeared doomed at the outset.

I would not hesitate to hire or work with (or for) Tessa if the opportunity presented itself. As a designer, teammate, and leader, Tessa Fish is the real deal. "

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Karen Hewell

Senior Content Designer


"I had the privilege to work under Tessa for over a year at Pearson, where she was among my strongest advocates and mentors. Despite not being directly experienced in my field (content strategy) she went out of her way to learn about my work and how it applies to the team so she could better support my collaboration with other team members.

Tessa brings kindness, empathy and a clear vision to every interaction. She's the definition of a servant leader and a joy to report to. I hope I'll get a chance to work with her again in the future."


Liz Feder

Senior Product Designer


"As one of Tessa's direct reports, I was able to learn so much from her about developing a high level of craft, holistic systems thinking, and the real impact of design on business outcomes that I will take with me throughout my career. She ensures that design has a voice, vision, and strategy within an organization and advocates for everyone on her team to succeed. I have been consistently impressed by Tessa's ability to further design's role in a company, collaborate with executives and stakeholders across departments, and push herself to tackle new skills and challenges."

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Lydia Lee

UX Researcher

Pearson Ed Tech 

"Tessa was my director at Pearson. She prioritized the work for myself and the team. Even during a complex project, Tessa guided me into the right direction with her leadership. And she also remained focused on everyone’s individual needs. She was a very supportive and collaborative leader."


Lilia Martinez-Coburn

VP Product Management


"Tessa's elegant and device agnostic solutions made the Scribd product not only much more intuitive but also very clean and delightful. Her extreme attention to detail shows through and through from ideation to the delivery of detailed and pixel perfect specifications. She sells her well thought out designs with conviction. She is adored and respected by engineers, supervisors and other designers alike. She takes special interest in mentoring fellow designers to help them succeed."


Jose Lorenzo

Senior UX Researcher


"Tessa recruited me to work for her London UX Research team. Besides having processes and templates (for briefs, requests, proposals, retros, etc) up and running, she was keen to improve UX Research by learning from my past experiences, tools I recommended and different technologies. Despite being based in cities with an 8 hour time difference, she always went the extra mile to have really early meetings to accommodate my working hours. She's a dedicated manager, open to hear and ready to improve things."


Ashley Sherman

Senior Product Manager


"Tessa is a great asset to any UX team. She helped to create a more collaborative environment between the Product and UX teams, and helped to incorporate user research into our product process. Her skills in UX design and research were incredibly valuable and contributed to over a 20% reduction in support calls during our time working together. I would highly recommend Tessa for any UX position."

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Justin Moline

Senior Visual Designer

TokBox + Vonage + Graphic Language

"Tessa manages expectations well, is a good communicator, and keeps everyone on target. She makes sure things don't slip through the cracks but also that they don't become scope creep. She's very easy to get along with I've enjoyed working with her at multiple companies. "

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Jay Patel

Chief Product Officer


"Tessa is a true expert in improving a product's user experience leveraging a design thinking approach. One of her many key contributions at Vonage was creating a superior experience for our customers that are using our industry leading Video API including understanding key personas and use cases."


Mel Lent

Product Design Lead

Pearson Ed Tech

"Tessa was my mentor at Pearson through a formal mentorship program, and she was helpful to get guidance from. She is especially strong at listening, and she took things I brought up seriously. When we started, I expressed interest in growing without changing the things I liked about myself, and she was receptive to that. I really appreciated that she took my ask seriously, and that the resources she recommended over our mentorship took that into consideration."


Sarita Fernandes

VP PM Integrations


"The quality and results of the research projects enabled our products team to call the right priorities, implement impactful design changes, and move products in the right direction." 

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Betsy Rohtbart

VP Global Web + Ecommerce


"Tessa is a methodical and savvy user experience leader. She architected unbiased and highly informative research to inform our website navigation. She continued to advise over the course of the entire project, even while juggling a separate more than full time project load, ensuring sanctity of the research results were preserved and the best design conventions and practices were employed."


Alex Rudyak

Global Director Demand Generation


"I met Tessa when she was Director of Product Design after Vonage’s acquisition of Tokbox. She did a fantastic job walking my team through all of the great UX persona and customer journey research she had completed to date, including the methodology and reasoning. That work heavily influenced our Demand Generation GTM creative and tactics. Post acquisition, Tessa was responsible for our full suite of applications and APIs. She also played a key role in the Vonage website redesign and Brand redesign. Her efforts to build relationships across teams was noticeable. She was receptive to feedback and looked for ways to expand her team's research to make insights more valuable for the entire marketing team. I highly recommend Tessa and enjoyed working with her! "

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Julie Hodgson 

Customer Success Manager

TokBox + Vonage

"I have worked closely with Tessa and her design team on several projects during my time as a sales leader at Tokbox. Tessa has been a great partner and asset to the sales organization as we collaborated on advertising campaigns, website strategy and user feedback on product designs. She is data-driven in her strategy making sure UX research plays an important role in the product and design process. She has always been a great listener, open communicator, and honest about what is possible to deliver and when. As a co-worker, she is an absolute delight to be around and always brings a positive energy to the room. I have truly enjoyed working with Tessa and would recommend her to any team looking for a strong design leader." 

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Puneet Shetty

Senior Product Manager


"As my design counterpart on a number of key features, Tessa was a pleasure to work with bringing to the table a customer-centric approach, debating and challenging ideas as necessary to help improve the final outcome and most importantly never losing focus of the bigger picture. Her strengths include meticulous project planning and management, extensive user research to assist with data-driven decisions and championing design thinking across the organization."

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Tom Furr

VP Brand


"Tessa was integral to the Vonage rebrand. Her design insight, ability to help refine and take design to the next level was one of the main reasons the rebrand was so successful. A real team player and importantly passionate about delivering excellent work." 

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Zining Wang

Product Manager


"Tessa was integral in facilitating an open dialogue between the Product and Design teams. She included me, and other PMs, in a customer journey research workshop that led to a unified understanding of our customers' journeys and allowed us to make more informed product strategy decisions. Although working with globally dispersed teams across timezones is always a challenge, Tessa was able to effectively manage relationships between these distributed teams. I am grateful for the opportunity to both work with and learn from Tessa and very much hope to work with her again in the future!"


Brittany Hoffman

Sr Visual Design Contractor


"Tessa is a fantastic leader, and it shows by how well the TokBox design team runs and how great the culture is. She is able to understand what her team members need, and helps clear the way to make sure they can accomplish it. Even with remote designers, and the addition of contractors, the team was cohesive and really gelled. I learned a lot from how she worked with her team."


Jeff Rosenberg

Co-Founder + Partner

WideOpen + Vonage

"I was fortunate enough to meet Tessa when she was seeking keynote speakers to support her efforts to evangelize UX best practices at Vonage. I later had the pleasure of working with her as a client. Tessa not only approaches research and product development strategically and from a user / customer perspective -- a must -- but she’s also a great leader and team builder. A real ‘lean-in’, roll up her sleeves, lead-by-example practitioner; always providing clear direction and clear briefs to agency teams. Tessa's not afraid to change things up and always brings fresh thinking to the research and product development process. I continue to admire her passion for doing great, innovative work."


Mahendra Penumathsa

CEO Neobric

TokBox + TED

"My team worked with Tessa for the TED world theater project. As a design lead, Tessa was a good listener and had a good appreciation of the engineering imperatives. She did a great job of accommodating and translating it into a UI that also had to conform to the guidelines of a major brand. Projects need resources like her when working with complex UX design initiatives." 


Lauren Slattery

Director of Marketing


"I had the pleasure of working with Tessa for over 4 years at TokBox. Not only is she a talented designer, but she is an exceptional leader and a wonderful person. Her clear communication and ability to build strong relationships within her team and across departments - marketing, product, engineering, sales, and more - were critical to our company successfully achieving our objectives. Even with managing product design, user research, and marketing design, she was incredibly well organized and was always able to strike the difficult balance of focusing on long-term strategic goals while remaining flexible in response to a market that was evolving at an incredible pace. Tessa leads with determination, focus, poise, humor, and kindness. It's clear she loves being a mentor and is invested in each person on her team. I feel fortunate to have worked so closely with her over the years, and hope we have the opportunity to do so again in the future."


Eleni Demetrio

Content Strategy Leader 


"Tessa is the kind of design leader I wish I had met earlier in my career. Her leadership skills are phenomenal, as is her UX and PXD experience. Tessa listens and brings people together across a variety of disciplines, knowing when to lean in and when to make space for everyone. I would work with Tessa again in a heartbeat, and can't recommend her enough!"


Nigel Sawyer

Visual Designer


"I had the pleasure of working with Tessa as her direct report. Tessa is an exceptional leader. Specifically, her attention to detail, mastery of the UX process, focus on project management, and delivery against business strategy made her standout. Tessa is an incredible asset to any team. Working with her as my director was a great experience. She clearly has much experience with the creative process and knows how to leverage talent the right way and at the right time during the design journey. I would work with Tessa any time, any place."


Benny Zuffolini

Design System Manager


"Tessa brought a layer of structure, confidence and professionalism to the global design team at Vonage from the moment she joined. Immediately she began promoting processes and structured knowledge sharing, bringing a level of management that made a huge difference in the life of the team. She took a personal interest in every team member, offering coaching and advice. I learned a lot from her mentoring and I feel she was instrumental in honing the leadership skills I need to advance in my career."


Serhii Kovalenko

Senior Scrum Master

Pearson | EPAM

"I have had the pleasure of working with Tessa on several projects where she led UX Department, driving the customer experience across digital channels. Tessa's exceptional communication and organizational skills played a huge role in facilitating effective collaboration among teams during our joint work on major company's projects. Her strategic thinking skills served as a constant source of inspiration and motivation for our UX/UI, enabling us to deliver the best designs. In addition, Tessa's commitment to establishing a supportive and inclusive work environment fostered innovation and creativity within her teams. I believe that any company would be fortunate to have Tessa as a valuable asset to their team."


Isaac Eleftheriadis

Senior Product Manager

Vonage + TokBox

"Tessa is a seasoned, personable product design leader with a sharp mind and quick wit. At Vonage, she was an invaluable partner to the Product Management team. She championed the development of customer journey maps for the business, which were leveraged by multiple cross-functional teams to improve the end-to-end customer experience. Tessa validates her design decisions with research and data, which also help to influence and inform product requirements."

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Scott Lomond



"Tessa is adept at communicating the value and impact a clear design strategy can have on a growing business, and she works well with other business functions including engineering, product, and go-to-market teams."


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Acacia de Almeida

Product + Graphic Designer

TokBox + Vonage 

"As my manager Tessa has always been an inspiration and mentor for me by giving me career advice and setting a stellar example of how to navigate the workplace while being an exemplary professional. I've seen Tessa relentlessly advocating for customer experience and championing the creation and expansion of user research and data-driven design. She's a great leader and loved manager by all of her direct reports." 

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Melih Onvural

Head of Product Management


"Tessa came to TokBox at a low point for the Design team, and helped escalate it into one of the top teams in the business. She invested in resources we had available through Telefonica the result of which was a simpler user experience in the platform, a better converting sign up flow, and a wider set of brand and sales collateral by which we drove the business."


Dema Metreweli

Senior UX Researcher


"Tessa is a professional, human and highly talented Design leader. Her empathy and consideration for others not only makes her a superb manager of UX teams, but underpins a deep concern for the user's perspective in every aspect of UX design. The often complex and technical digital products Tessa has worked on have benefited significantly from her structured, creative and evidence-driven approach. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for her." 


Amelia Kirby

Strategic Partnerships

Vonage + TokBox

"Tessa is compelling and creative in her approach to design leadership. I worked with her at TokBox and Vonage where she moved to direct the design and UX strategy at a group level. She always built the most high energy, effective and positive teams, who were always a pleasure to work with."


Kyle Moulder

Product Manager

Vonage + TokBox

"Tessa is a passionate and thoughtful leader with a remarkable talent for bringing out the best in her team and those around her. As a product manager, I worked very closely with Tessa - during that time she taught me how to cultivate a deep understanding of the customer and drive product vision through user research, persona development and overall design thought. I was consistently impressed by her ability to build a strong brand identity and establish a more customer-centric mindset throughout the organization."


Natalie Cowie

Global VP Enterprise Service Sales

Vonage + TokBox

"I worked with Tessa for over 3 years as part of TokBox and then Vonage. Her positivity, fresh thinking, ability to challenge and push boundaries plus her mentor like approach to her teams management is highly valuable. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her."


Craig Kean

Lead Product Designer


"Tessa has provided extremely valuable support and guidance as a manager during our time at Vonage. Her dedication, commitment and knowledge helped bring user-driven research to the attention of the wider organization, in turn, building and supporting a team of experienced and enthusiastic UX researchers who have made an immeasurable impact on product design and validation. Tessa is always a positive influence and pleasure to work with."


Ellen Maccabe

Director of Customer + Market Insights


"Tessa is talented, thoughtful, and passionate about designing and utilizing UX research to create products that are relevant and impactful and improve the customer experience. She is highly skilled at taking data and translating it to UX that moves the needle, and her work in customer journey research and persona mapping were extremely valuable. Tessa is collaborative and adept at building cross functional relationships. Her desire to partner and work together on research projects, sharing insights and aligning research processes and resources were a huge benefit to our teams, and the organization."


Robert Hainer

VP Software Engineering

Vonage + TokBox

"I worked with Tessa for over five years at TokBox and Vonage. I was impressed with her ability to attract, retain, and motivate quality web, UI, and UX designers for the company. Her combination of design ability and leadership skill is impressive and was well respected. She also demonstrated an ability to work across the organization to make sure user experience was well represented in engineering projects and to educate non-designers about the value of understanding personas and other design principles. She is also a delightful person and it was a pleasure to work with her."

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Kristen Penn

Senior Product + Graphic Designer

Graphic Language + Scribd

"I was fortunate to work alongside Tessa on the design team. I can say that she is a true professional with tons of talent and focus. Her direction and ability to manage several websites and marketing campaigns at once kept our workflow moving, while her creativity kept our projects engaging and rewarding."

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Melissa Montoya

Marketing Manager

Colliers International

"Tessa was a great help to my professional growth. She trained me on Creative Suite while teaching me the guidelines of Colliers Marketing. She was incredibly patient and helpful, extremely professional, organized, goal driven and detail oriented. Tessa always set a good example of what a true professional should be."

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Alex Capasso

Visual + Brand Designer

Graphic Language

"Tessa is organized, creative and attentive. Her ability to offer articulate feedback throughout the design process helps to keep projects on track, while promoting an open - and beneficial - dialogue between her and the junior design staff."

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Taylor Pipes

Content + Community Manager


"Tessa helped coordinate and usher in the major design challenges required to move Scribd into its current trajectory as the world's premiere digital library. Alongside the tactical design hurdles required of this massive undertaking, Tessa had the vision and the ability to look into the future of digital reading agnostic of devices, that embraced some of the foundations of reading people enjoy today in tactile form - by bringing that into the design, form and function of Scribd's current reading experience."


Melanie Jenkinson

Creative Director

Colliers International

"Tessa was a true professional at Colliers. She was detail oriented along with being a key player in many large scale projects for our teams. She always picked up programs quickly, showed great initiative and I would recommend her as a solid addition to any design or marketing team."


Bret Truchan

Lead Web Engineer

Graphic Language

"Tessa is a fantastic and friendly graphic designer. I worked as the back-end programmer with her on many projects and highly recommend her."


from a designer in tech

Partnerships with team members outside of design are incredibly important. I encourage designers to look for allies in other teams to gain better alignment, improve efficiency, and ship higher-quality products. Teams may have different priorities, but building these relationships can be the much needed bridge that drives the business in the same direction.

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