Education: College of Staten Island
Organization Affiliations: Board of Directors for 7x24 Exchange Intl. DC Chapter, 7x24 Exchange Intl. Marketing and WiMCO (Women in Mission Critical Operations) Committee Member
Achievements/Awards: The 7x24 Exchange DC Chapter received a Data Center Community Champion award from the Norther Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) Virginia Data Center Awards
What led you to a career in technology?
My career started out in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry 24 years ago. I had the opportunity to work at EYP AE in New York as a receptionist. I worked my way up to specifications editor, which led me to enter into the marketing division. My family moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where I worked for EYP MC focusing on solely marketing in the mission critical industry. This eventually led to me being approached by a startup company, Primary Integration, now Bureau Veritas Primary Integration. Fifteen years later, I am now a director of marketing and also serve on the board of directors for 7x24 Exchange Intl. DC Chapter. I am also on the 7x24 Exchange Intl Marketing and WiMCO committees.
What motivates you to go above and beyond in your current position?
My family motivates me to go above and beyond. After seeing what my mother had to go through as an immigrant and single parent of five, I vowed to not let her struggles and sacrifices go to waste. My husband and I had children at a young age. By the age of 21, I had three daughters under the age of two. I could have let this stop me or hold me back, but my girls; my husband; and, now, my grandchildren are my fuel. I want to show them that anything is possible. I have made a conscience decision to go above and beyond my role and make a name for myself in this industry.
What role does sustainability play in your life both personally and professionally?
Sustainability improves the quality of our life and, unfortunately, if not prioritized, will affect the next generation. In my personal life, it is important, since I have grandchildren who will have to live with the consequences of our actions. As we continue to build data centers at a rapid rate, sustainability needs to be a priority to ensure our legacy doesn’t negatively impact the world. Our goal should be to leave our planet in a better condition than how we found it.
What is the most fascinating lesson you have learned while working with technology?
One of the lessons I have learned while working in this industry is that it is very important to love what you do, do what you love, and love who you do it with. I have been blessed with great mentors that have given me the opportunity to grow with the company. When I started working at BVPI, I was a behind the scenes marketing professional that worked on proposals all day. As a small company, I had to get out of my shell and attend conferences and events that, at first, were very uncomfortable for me; however, I have learned that, by doing this, I was able to create a network of amazing professionals and get involved with the industry in a way I never thought possible.
What is unique about you personally?
I believe that what makes me unique is my ability to see the best in everyone and help those see the best in themselves.
What is unique about you professionally?
A few things that people always point out to me is my positive attitude, my passion to help others, and commitment to my word. I live by a moto my company coined: “say-do-ratio.” We challenge ourselves, our colleagues, and our partners to always do what we say we are going to do!
What is your most admirable quality?
My most admirable quality is that I am always happy. I don’t let the little things bring me down. Instead, I view them as small obstacles that I get to overcome. I feel so grateful for everything that I have accomplished in my life. Even in bad situations, I find the good. As I always tell my kids, “When have things not worked out?”
Why is diversity, equality, and inclusion necessary for this industry?
Diversity, equality, and inclusion are necessary in this industry to bring different perspectives. We tend to get stuck in our ways and, sometimes, can’t put ourselves in other peoples shoes. Bringing together various cultures and ways of thinking allows us to look at industry issues from multiple viewpoints.
What aspect of the industry has the most potential for growth, and how can we accelerate that?
The pandemic really proved to us that medical technology has the most room for growth. With how fast technology has advanced in the last 30 years, it is shocking that we do not have more cures for terminal illnesses. I am not sure how to accelerate this, but I am hopeful that, with improved technology, we will one day have a cure for all terminal diseases.
Where does the industry need the most improvement, and what can we learn from the current shortcomings?
We need to do a better job of bringing awareness to the next generation about our industry. While this is slowly improving, I believe we can do more to reach out to schools, offer college courses, and provide resources. Luckily, others have seen this as a problem too, and various date center organizations have started to focus on this.
When you imagine the future technology, what does it look like?
I imagine the future of our industry to be inclusive, thanks to all of the work we have been doing with organizations, such as 7x24 Exchange, AFCOM, etc. As far as technology is concerned, I envision lots of robots, phones attached to our bodies (since I can never find mine), and a completely automated life.
What advice do you have for women and other minorities who are currently working in the industry but don’t necessarily feel like they belong?
As a minority woman, I would say “Never give up!” Sometimes, we may feel like we do not belong; however, our perspective is very important to this industry. I would also say “Find your passion.” If you find your passion, nothing will seem unachievable. Lastly, I would say “Never stop learning.” When you feel like you are not learning, it is time to move on to something more challenging.
What advice do you have for young girls who may be interested in a future career in technology?
One of my biggest passions is the next generation. I have three daughters, and I like to think that I have influenced them to be a part of this industry. Two of my daughters work in this industry and one of them is an elementary school teacher. Our industry is male-dominated — women like myself and many others have opened the path for the next generation of women. My advice for young girls is to find a great mentor who can help guide you and has your best interest at heart!
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