Alexander Messa, the son of Spanish ex-pats, moved to the US from the UK after he finished university to pursue a career in graphic design. Helena Messa, on the other hand, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, with no intentions of leaving the city she loved so dearly. They met in San Diego after various career choices landed the two of them in the same city, much to Helena's chagrin, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Their eldest, Remy, came screaming into the world on November 2nd, 1983, with their son following a few years later. The Messa children led happy, upper-middle class childhoods where neither of them were left wanting much. The usual extracurriculars filled their days outside of school: Little League, piano lessons, lacrosse games, lacrosse, play dates, the works. Alexander also made a point of taking his two children to the UK to visit their grandparents at least once a year, usually over spring break, not wanting geography to derail any sort of relationship that they might have had just because of distance.
By the time high school rolled around, Remy, found herself feeling out of place among her classmates. Thanks to her parents, she was more well-traveled than her peers, with her visits to family overseas often doubling up extensive traveling across various parts of Europe. The girl who could easily name Budapest as her favorite city in the world never lorded it over her classmates, with a combination of humility and teenage apathy (mostly apathy) at play. And though she did well academically, high school just wasn't her thing. She had a tendency to keep to herself and her small group of friends, never putting herself out there unless she had to and flying just under the radar.
Except when she was playing lacrosse. She had a natural ability and a hunger for the game. Eager to learn and build upon her skills, her introversion didn't seem to matter once she was on the field. She was focused and calculated, but not too cautious, a midfielder who played in two state championship games by the time she graduated, winning one of them. With great grades and athletic ability, Remy was offered lacrosse scholarships to several schools. She ultimately chose Barnard College and went on to play for Columbia, despite that neither school offers athletic scholarships. Choosing to go to college in New York seemed like a no brainer, and with her parents encouraging her to choose a smaller school, Barnard was a perfect fit.
She barreled through the core curriculum requirements without much of a problem at the advice of her advisor. "Get the requirements out of the way and maybe you'll pick up a thing or two," she had said. After taking a plethora of classes in a variety of different fields, Remy eventually found herself declaring a major in Computer Science. Most of her time was spent locked away in her dorm room staring at her computer while she tried to organize data, and upon the recommendation of a professor, she applied to Columbia's engineering school via the 3:2 program. Though it meant a total of five years of college for Remy, her parents were thrilled to see her engaged in her work and seemingly happy despite being so far away from home.
After graduating from Barnard, she stuck around New York working various jobs to support herself. The kid who was once happiest with a lacrosse stick in hand now spent most of her time staring at computer screens, but Remy didn't seem to mind. And with the start-up culture that New York had so readily embraced, she felt like she was in the right place at the right time and charged forward, full steam ahead.
- Barnard College BA, Computer Science, Class of 2006
- R/GA, Back-End Developer, 2006-2007
- Blue State Digital, Systems Analyst, 2007
- Project Narwhal, Systems Engineer, 2007-2009
- New York State Senate, Systems Engineer, 2009-2010
- New York City Public Advocate, Application Engineer, 2010-2011
- Project Gordon, Application Engineer, 2011-2012
- Etsy, Data Engineer, 2013-2014
- Noodle, VP of Insights 2014-2015
- Vox Media, Inc., Chief Product Officer, 2015-present