Title: Vice President and General Manager, IT Management Systems
Education: Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton, master's degree in engineering science and management in technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Founding member of Women at Vertiv Excel (WAVE), a group focused on supporting and advancing women throughout the Vertiv organization
- Thought leader and panelist, including for 451 Research’s Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (2019) and a webinar with Omdia (2020)
- Edge Computing World, Edge Woman of the Year, Top 10 Finalist – 2020
- ComSpark Central Ohio Tech Power Players, Outstanding Women in Technology, Top 3 Finalist – 2019
- Patent in automotive technology
What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?
I have been fascinated with how things work, new inventions, and math and science my entire life, so it’s no surprise I became an engineer. In my elementary years, I remember visiting the work location of a friend’s father and seeing a very large IBM computer that filled a room — I was in awe. Years later, in junior high, I was so excited that the high school offered a summer course to teach DOS and programming on the brand-new Radio Shack 386s. I loved it and was so excited about anything related to computers. I think it planted a seed then. Of course, being a kid, I was enamored with how all things worked and new inventions. I started engineering school in aerospace and mechanical and spent years in other industries before finding my way back to the IT space. What a fantastic time to be in this industry!
What three adjectives would you use to describe your journey in the industry so far?
Courageous, transformative, and versatile.
What is your personal mantra?
“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” — Anonymous
Describe the highest point in your career so far and how you got there, including all the hurdles you had to jump (and the ones you tripped over and too).
I would say I am at my highest point in my career right now — in this time and in what I am currently doing at Vertiv. The hurdles came in all shapes and sizes: growing up in heavily male-dominated industries, like automotive and IT, and paving a successful path within them; navigating strategy and transformation in a Chapter 11 company and surviving to tell the tale; and navigating role expansions and the need (real or imagined) to constantly prove myself in every role change and promotion, every company change and industry change. I also had to overcome that “If you didn’t do it here, you didn’t do it” mindset within some company cultures. Every hurdle was hard-fought, and I am grateful for the challenges, as they made me stronger and enabled me to share that with generations coming up behind me, so their paths may be a bit lighter. I am also grateful for the mentors and opportunities along the way who believed in me.
What is your most admirable quality?
Authenticity — I make it a priority to be as real and relatable to everyone and to demonstrate actions that match my words. I find that people appreciate this, as it builds relationships and trust as a leader.
What aspect of the industry do you think has the most potential for growth, and, on the other hand, which aspect do you think needs the most improvement?
The edge, without question, has the largest potential for growth, and the pandemic just accelerated it. I see opportunity for improvement in the existing install bases of data centers and traditional edge closets for reinventing themselves with new technologies, capabilities, tools, and value propositions to serve the rapidly dispersing networks. Everything won’t be at the edge, and they still have an important part to play.
When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?
I envision it to be exponentially larger and dispersed in forms and capabilities we haven’t even started to comprehend or design. It includes some paradigm shifts with how and where the work is done and the devices changing to be more accessible than ever. I just hope I get my Jetson’s spaceship for commuting when we arrive!
What is the most valuable life lesson you have learned so far and how has it helped you in your career?
Don’t be inflexible with your career goals; be open to opportunity. When I look back at my ideas of my career when I was graduating college to where I am now, I would have never imagined or planned it — and it has turned out far better because of it. I often share this with interns or early career individuals I speak with or mentor: Life will not go as planned, and you have permission to be OK with that. As a result, sometimes opportunities will present themselves that lead you to something better than that original plan. Unless you are in a dangerous profession, that choice won’t kill you, so go for it!
What three adjectives come to mind when you think about your future path?
Strategic, driven, and surprising.