What is your elevator pitch when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”
My job is to match the right talent with the right company so that the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts.
Describe the path that led you to this career.
My first professional job out of college was as a sports writer for the Contra Costa Times. Because I was making only $8.50/hour and because the sports editor was openly sexually harassing the only other female in the sports department, I decided to look for another job after three years of writing sports. I applied for and won a master’s degree fellowship at the Center for California Studies in Sacramento. I moved to the state capital to work for the Fair Political Practices Commission where I did research and published reports on Campaign Finance Reform. After a year in the Fellowship I realized that I didn’t want to remain in state government. My then boyfriend (future father of my children) introduced me to an executive in San Francisco who happened to work for one of the biggest executive search firms in the world. I spent an entire day at the company, met all the managing partners and received an offer right away. The year was 1992 and the technology industry was starting to take off. I focused on technology because everybody else thought it was too hard. That turned out to be the right move and 22 years later, I’m continuing to learn about fascinating technology and work with great entrepreneurs every day.
What are the elements of a successful workplace?
Transparency, enthusiasm, listening skills, camaraderie, direct communication
What is the one piece of technology you cannot live without?
What are you reading?
Just finished “The Husband’s Secret” and am now reading “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis, eagerly anticipating Lee McEnany Caraher’s new book.
If you could, what advice would you give your 20-something self?
I would tell my clueless 20 something self to find a mentor (or two or three), listen to them, emulate the good and avoid the bad. I would tell myself to lean on the experience and advice of older, more experienced people while you build up the pattern recognition necessary to make good decisions on your own. There are no short cuts for success. You have to work hard but do not kill yourself, save money but have a social life, build your network before you need it and bring energy to whatever you do. Energy and enthusiasm can get you through until you are competent enough to truly contribute.
If you could do anything and know you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
I would be a Division 1 women’s basketball coach and I would change the paradigm of collegiate sports. I would turn the D1 sports establishment on its head by focusing on what’s in the best interest of the athlete. I would start a dialogue with my players about life after basketball. I would teach them how they can turn their competitive, hard working nature into career/financial success. I would be able to recruit all of the best players in the country because we would focus on the student athletes and not on the institution. And we would win many, many national championships.
At Double Forte’s San Francisco office, the conference rooms are named Rock and Roll, Motown, Hip Hop, Mambo, Jazz and Disco. Which name best describes you and why?
Hip Hop for sure because it makes my teenage children cringe to think of me and Hip Hop in the same sentence.
What’s in your Netflix queue?
Scandal, House of Cards and super old Cheers episodes.