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Francesca Rodriquez


So it’s taken me, oh, about three months longer than I’d hoped to finish the process of saying thanks to everyone on CCStaff I got to work with during my time there. It can be tough sometimes to find the right words to describe the people you’ve worked the closest with. Which, along with plain-old procrastination, is why I’ve only now gotten to saying a word or two about Francesca Rodriquez, Laura Lynch, and Neeru Paharia.

First, Francesca. Francesca started at Creative Commons last summer, just when we were moving from Stanford to San Francisco and as the preparations for the WIRED benefit concert and CD were in full gear — probably the craziest period in CC’s life. I don’t think Francesca and I have ever talked about it specifically, but it must have been an awfully weird introduction to the job. (Would Creative Commons be a constant exercise in triage? Was it normal for people to sleep overnight in the office under their desks? All this for copyright licenses?) Yet Francesca stepped right in, learned the lingo, and equaled everyone else’s passion for the project from her first week on. It wasn’t until after the Wired concert that I realized just how seamlessly Francesca had become part of the team over a short and hectic time.

One of my favorite memories of working with Francesca was going to see Barbara Kruger speak in San Francisco. The lecture hall was overbooked, and the admission line snaked out the door and around the corner, but the ever-resourceful Francesca found an open side entrance, and we took a couple of seats near the back. After the lecture, armed with a Creative Commons t-shirt, Francesca approached Kruger with all the confidence and smoothness of the art conoisseur and charmer that she is and introduced the artist to CC with one of the most concise and comprehensible explanations I’ve ever heard. Kruger understood immediately. Trying to woo artists over to CC is something I did regularly for three years, but never with the fearlessness and natural grace Francesca did in that one moment. It stands out as an emblematic Francescan moment for me. Ain’t much holding her back, so look out.

Francesca, by the way, is the person to thank for countless details that have made CC a better nonprofit, including the increasingly hip Creative Commons store and membership site and a growing number of t-shirt designs and cool CC schwag (including the cleverest of them all: the CC temporary tattoo). She has also been a behind-the-scenes force at every phase of nearly every Creative Commons event, whether the New York benefit, our South by Southwest trip, or (one I personally appreciate a lot) my going-away party . . . And now, in a newly created Project Manager role, Francesca will apply her good taste and solid judgment and workaholism to a whole new range of CC projects that I, as an outsider now, can only imagine.

I already miss working with Francesca and, more important, shooting the bull with her around the office. It’s a good thing she lets me come by to visit the office now and then.

Posted 30 June 2005