managing director at Concuir, Inc.
HBA chapter: Orange County
Current role with the HBA: HBA Orange County director of operations
What made you want to take on leadership duties within the HBA?
I started by attending events and then volunteering. I was learning valuable lessons and bringing them back to my company, making my team stronger. For example, I was introduced to the Harvard bias tests that help identify unconscious biases. My leadership team took them and one person took it twice to prove they didn't have a bias... but failed both times and learned a valuable lesson. I felt I could add another diverse background to the team and looked at the role as one where I would continue to learn and grow as a leadership contributor.
What personal experience attracted you to the HBA?
Growing up in a non-diverse environment, I’ve always wanted to live in a “more equal” world. One way to do that is to acknowledge when you have privilege, stand up for those that do not. It would be naïve to think that being a man has not helped me in my career, so I think it’s important to understand why and be a part of the solution.
What advice would you give to women who aspire to leadership positions, both in an organization like the HBA and in a career path like yours?
- Do a good job, don’t make excuses.
- Know yourself. If you’re intrinsically motivated to lead, you’ll be much more successful than if you aspire to leadership for an extrinsic factor, like making more money. Build a story with your career, so consider if a 10 percent salary increase is worth leaving your company/role if it doesn’t build your career.
- Relationships are important. The industry is very connected. I’m constantly bumping into people I’ve worked with over the last 20 years. When you see someone you haven’t seen in 10+ years, you don’t immediately remember all your interactions, but you remember how they made you feel. Consider what kind of impression you are leaving on the people you interact with.
Which leaders in healthcare, STEM and beyond do you look to as role models?
I like to grab gems as I find them, learning from leaders whether it is when I’ve reported directly to them or even in brief interactions over the years. For example, I was paraphrasing something Vanessa Belozeroff said at my first HBA event when I advised “Do a good job, don’t make excuses” earlier. Will Kennedy spoke at that panel as a male mentor that made it inviting to join the HBA as a male member. Sue Brown, who despite being plant manager, knew and called me by name when I thought I was “just a junior engineer”. Abbas Yar-Khan for emotional intelligence seemingly regardless of stressors. Michael Balog for an ability to motivate a team and strike a perfect balance of “getting in the trenches” and operating at a strategic level. I’m also inspired by dozens of people that I get to work with now as well.