Mission Critical is excited to introduce you to the 2024 Top 25 Women in Technology. Meet Lillian Rivera.

Title: Director of Marketing

Company: Bureau Veritas Primary Integration

Age: 49

Education: Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts

Organization Affiliations: Board of Director for 7x24 Exchange DC Chapter; 7x24 Exchange International Marketing; WiMCO (Women in Mission Critical Operations) Committee Member

Achievements/Awards: Mission Critical MagazineTop 25 Women in Technology (2023)

What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?

My career started out in the AEC industry 25 years ago. I had the opportunity to work at EYP AE in NYC 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 DC 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 “start-up” company, Primary Integration, now Bureau Veritas Primary Integration. 16 years later, I am now a Director of Marketing and also serve on the Board of Directors for 7x24 Exchange DC Chapter for the last 15 years.

What inspires you to do what you do?

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 2. 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?

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 assure that 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 in the industry?

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 something 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 something unique about you professionally?

Two things that people always point out to me is my positive attitude, my passion to help others and to always keep 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?

One of 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 important to you?

Promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion helps create a society where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. A diverse and inclusive environment also fosters different perspectives, experiences, and ideas which leads to increased innovation and creativity. The global impact of our industry underscores the critical importance of promoting a diverse workforce, which is fundamental to sustaining the ongoing advancement of technology.

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 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.

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 the 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 AI to have taken over the world!

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