Below is a summary of my career… in 5 stories!
Getting the Startup Bug
It was 1996 and I was a newly married student at BYU. I vividly remember teaching myself how to build a website one weekend. By Monday, I had a Tiger Woods fan site live on Earthlink web hosting.
I took my degree in English and newfound love of the web and got a job selling an all-in-one web, email, and firewall server. This was in the early days when if you wanted a corporate website and email service, you bought a box and ran your own hosting service with a T1 line.
That company (Internet Products Inc) got me interested in startups. I bought Guy Kawasaki’s Rules for Revolutionaries and couldn’t learn enough about how companies were built.
Learning to Sell
After getting an MBA in the Portland area, I read an article about two University of Oregon graduates who founded a company called English, baby! teaching english online. I sent the CEO an email and joined as Sales Director a few weeks later. I loved pitching the company and was good at it. I left after a few years to move to San Diego, but ten years later, the co-founder who stayed on long term sold to Berlitz, while the other co-founder eventually started WeWork.
Becoming a Marketer
In San Diego, I joined an online bookstore business as its first Marketing Manager and had a great time growing the company for almost three years, helping double their revenue. I still have fond memories of our “all hands on deck” book shipping days at the beginning of each semester. Today, the founder and I still talk regularly and I probably should have never left his side. He’s still growing and has scaled his revenue nicely.
But I was young and didn’t have a dime in retirement savings. I landed a product marketing job in Texas at the large educational publishing company, Harcourt. We were soon acquired by Pearson, an even larger company, and over the next six years I helped build their talent assessment division. “TalentLens” (which I named) is a global business today.
I enjoyed publishing but wanted to get back into technology and software. I spent a year running a healthcare company’s B2C websites targeting nurses and doctors who needed to fulfill their continuing education requirements, and I then got the opportunity of a lifetime to join Performance Assessment Network as VP of Marketing. PAN was the industry’s largest pre-employment testing platform and they were in growth mode. Over three years, we grew the business to $35M and sold to a large certification company. I was selected to be the new company’s VP of Global Marketing to combine 10 acquisitions in one brand and operational budget. I learned a lot about organization design during this time as I had 30 marketers and digital specialists reporting to me.
Helping Founders Scale
I’ve spent the past few years working with various startups and founding teams, including being the interim VP of Marketing for video interviewing company, Talview; helping founders at jobZology and DMAI; and working on due diligence projects for Ridgemont Equity Partners. I’ve also co-founded a Go-to-market recruiting and outsourcing company and am currently building a GTM team alignment app.