Title: Senior Level Director
Education: Pennsylvania State University
Organizational affiliations: ASHRAE, SWE, iMasons Technology Group, IM Women, Vertiv WAVE Leader, STEM Judge and Teacher, Women in Technology, ASL Interpreter
Achievements/Awards: Infrastructure Masons IM100 2022
What led you to a career in technology?
Inspiration — I had the benefit of a dynamic teacher at a young age. I excelled at and loved math. I was fortunate enough to have an advanced algebra teacher in the eighth grade support my dream to major in engineering. Also, my older brother was an engineering major in college, and we were very competitive. My thought was if Rich could do that, I could do it better. I had the higher GPA.
What motivates you to go above and beyond in your current position?
Motivation begins with fundamentals — communication, clear expectations, leadership, appreciation, and recognition for performance. In my current position, I am the recipient of these and offer these to my team members. It motivates me daily to set these standards to continually excel at my job and encourage my team to do the same.
What role does sustainability play in your life both personally and professionally?
Fulfillment. While sustainability usually refers to the balance of developing products, services, and technologies to address the immediate needs that will not compromise or destroy future capabilities or generational fulfillment, it also refers to the ability to prioritize and compartmentalize work and personal life. Drawing very defined boundaries to allow for peak performance at each and less exhaustion and burn out. I have successfully monitored what fuels my fulfillment, thus allowing growth through challenge. I encourage my team on these behaviors, values, and tools.
What is the most fascinating lesson you have learned while working with technology?
Never stop learning. My broad experience across several high-tech industries has taught me several lessons: Continual listening is continual learning. be a daily student. Your bosses, your team, and your customers are all goldmines for new and bright perspectives to gain invaluable insight.
The best growth lesson is failure. Mistakes will never define you, but how you learn and grow from them will surely help define your successes. I can recite all my great failures, who was there to have my back, and the lesson learned. The same cannot be said for my successes.
Never compromise your ethics. This is most critical as a leader, especially when dealing with careers. Without a true north, a core ethical center, this can be most dangerous. The privilege of leader is not just a title, it is you, as a person. Honor that.
What is unique about you personally?
My ability to translate and digest a complex technological subject matter into meaning and impactful communications from the value-added operators on the shop floor to executive leadership focused on strategic initiatives and continuous improvement.
“The best growth lesson is failure. Mistakes will never define you, but how you learn and grow from them will surely help define your successes.”
What is unique about you professionally?
Find the win. My ability to rapidly assess subjective customer needs, translate to current core technical capabilities, stretch to future attainable technologies, and drive to objective winning strategies.
What is your most admirable quality?
My ability to draw the best from my team members and make each member fell a sense of work pride and inclusion.
Why is diversity, equality, and inclusion necessary for this industry?
Fresh voices teach — our industry has not fully embraced and, therefore, not had the value of a diverse voice. Additionally, with diversity and inclusion comes the trust of not only employees but also customers. Broader perspectives are shared and heard, which leads to better customer understanding. Innovation is encouraged, new ideas are generated and explored, and employee retention is elevated.
What aspect of the industry has the most potential for growth, and how can we accelerate that?
Sustainability — how to make data centers accretive to our environment. A triangulation of Mother Nature, cities, and the industry all benefiting will have a synergistic pull to expand toward edge data on demand. There are not many sectors of the data center industry that are not experiencing growth and, in general, this industry has a unique spotlight for continued, sustained growth with a positive outlook — from building to cooling to technology.
Where does the industry need the most improvement, and what can we learn from the current shortcomings?
Workforce architecture — in the next decade our industry will see a great wave of talent leave the industry without solid succession plans and cross-training in place. The realization is this will have a significant impact and is yet to be understood by the industry in total.
When you imagine the future technology, what does it look like?
Optimization with AI and ML will continue to revolutionize many industries and require significant data generation. Genomics and its impact on health care and developing biotechnologies will be transformative in time frames faster and with greater possibilities in health care in the next 10 years than we have seen in the last 50 years. XR technologies offer manufacturing, people, and companies the ability to dramatically change their interactions with the world and technology interaction.
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?
Network, network, network. Seek a senior-level mentor to guide you either in your company, industry, or through a professional organization. Communicate the issues and build a plan to push through your comfort level to break the barriers.
What advice do you have for young girls who may be interested in a future career in technology?
Never stop dreaming. Take risks. Networking is the key to success; never stop building yours. Extend support to women around you continuously. If you find yourself in an area that does not work, move. Your skills are transportable. Your worth is valued. Use your network.