How would you describe your role?
My responsibilities are recruiting, compensation programs, equity programs, and talent development programs. So, I help bring the talent in, develop it, and make sure our compensation is aligned with the market.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I think for me, what I’ve always done is try to hire the best people I can for the job – which doesn’t mean they’re perfect or know everything – and let them learn by doing. I provide guidance when it’s needed, but also give them the space to stretch their legs and get running. I find you tend to get the best results when people have autonomy.
What’s something new you’ve learned recently?
I’ve actually learned some Java. We recently had a booth at a tech conference, doing recruiting. One of the ways we got people to stop by the booth was giving away prizes for a coding challenge. I had to be able to explain the challenge and understand what the right solutions were that people could give us. I learned a little about Java in preparation, but also a lot of the candidates we interacted with taught us even more.
What’s your super power?
I think it’s communication. I’ve learned over the course of my career that overthinking communication isn’t always a waste of time. The more thought you put into how you’re going to communicate with employees, with an individual employee, with your boss, with your colleagues, the more you’re going to get out of that interaction. Sometimes putting in thought ahead of time will pay off down the road, and I’m always working to be a thoughtful communicator.
What is something happening at Ridgeline that you’re excited to see develop or grow?
The maturity of our product pillars is really interesting. I’ve never seen a company so focused singularly on a problem that they’re specifically equipped talent- and tech-wise to deal with. We’ve got that focus and its continuing to drive growth. I also think there’s a lot of use cases for what we provide and the market is just waking up to the Ubiquitous Technical Surveillance threat. We’re in a position to be a good partner.
How would you describe Ridgeline’s culture?
Culture can be such a hard thing to actually define, but there are a few things that make it up. First, Ridgeline is an employee-centric place. And this starts with the leadership team. They care a lot about how decisions impact employees, so much more than anywhere I’ve ever been. And because of this, employees feel pretty confident to experiment, to try innovative things, and there isn’t pressure to get it done right the first time. There’s only the push to be thoughtful in how you go about something. And if it fails, or if it succeeds, that isn’t the main thing. What’s important is that you learn, and you’re encouraged to do that here.
Can you tell us about a time when you were impressed or inspired by the work of another Ridgeliner?
I was so impressed by the way that the CIO team managed to transition to SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework). And I’m regularly impressed with the way our Training & Advisory Services instructors bring in their background knowledge to help enrich class discussion.
What is unique about Ridgeline?
So many things. But one good example is Oktobervest. At Ridgeline, you fully vest in your 401K after three years. Every October, we have a party for everyone who has vested that year and you get a hand-crafted German beer stein with your name and the Ridgeline crest on it. Employees get a stein to take home, and there’s also a stein that goes on the wall outside one of our conference rooms. The idea is that even if you leave Ridgeline, you’re always welcome back for the Oktobervest event, and your stein will be waiting for you here.