19 Apr Get to Know Meri Hassouni
Canon Club Advisory Board Member Meri Hassouni
Giant Interactive | Vice President, Business Development
IN THIS JOB I’ve been at Giant since its inception 16 years ago, and in the industry for 25 plus years
PRIOR EXPERIENCE Blink Digital and Crush Digital as an Executive Project Manager
HOMETOWN Smithtown, Long Island, like you can’t tell from the accent.
LIVES NOW Tenafly, NJ
ENJOYS, OUTSIDE OF WORK Bar Method, hiking, weekly girls poker night
CURRENT BINGE Just finished Girl from Oslo, Inventing Anna and now watching Severance. Recommend them all!
DEG: Do you have a personal philosophy when it comes to your work? If so, how does it translate into what you do?
MH: Communication, Empathy and Enthusiasm.
As SVP of Client Services and Business Development, I believe in the importance of building relationships with my clients and getting to know them both professionally and personally. Prioritizing client-facing communication helps me to ensure that their needs are always met, above expectations. A strong sense of empathy for our clients and their needs also contributes to a positive work environment, both internally and externally. And my enthusiasm needs to be genuine and organic – I truly love my job and value the opportunities and relationships that have come with it, and I think that comes through in my work. My passion for the industry makes what I do every day so rewarding.
DEG: What excites you about the future of industry?
MH: What excites me about the industry is our collective ability to change, grow and adapt, especially in the face of adversity. The resilience of our business during the pandemic – and the way Giant pivoted to accommodate a shift in how audiences want to consume content – was fascinating. Seeing the explosion of streaming platforms, like AVOD and FAST channels and the opportunities they present for our clients, is very exciting.
DEG: You’ve been in key client-facing roles with Giant since the days of DVD. How have technology vendor-client relationships changed since then?
MH: The interesting thing is, most of my very first clients from the DVD days are still my clients today, but on the digital side. Our clients are our partners, so as we grow, they grow with us. That means that as technology changes, we’re anticipating how audiences will react and adapt their behavior to those changes, and we want our partners to be right there with us leading the charge. The deliverables might be different over time, like from physical disc production to digital deliveries, but the workflow – asset delivery, production timeline, spec compliance, project management – are the same. No matter the platform, our commitment to keeping our clients on budget and meeting live dates remains the same.
DEG: What’s the biggest opportunity currently to make the digital supply chain more secure and efficient?
MH: For Giant we are shifting some processes to the cloud to accommodate the increased amounts of content we are delivering to streaming platforms.
DEG: What is your favorite work memory or story?
MH: It’s hard to pick one! I’ve been lucky enough to have developed so many wonderful friendships over the years in this business and to attend so many great movie premieres, parties and events… But the one memory that stands out the most is going to the OSCARS, the last year they actually had a host. Aside from the wardrobe scramble, it was definitely a pinch-me moment that I’ll never forget. I probably lingered on the red carpet a little too long – but it was worth it!
Learn more about DEG’s Canon Club here.