You started your career in banking and then decided to move to a consumer focused investment firm. Is there one skill that helped you transition between these sectors?
From my time as a junior banker at JP Morgan to now working in market development for Primary, I learned that listening to your client or customer is always where you begin. Understanding their needs and challenges will guide you to providing the right solutions. To get, you have to give first. This eventually builds trust. I also owe this skill to growing up in a multicultural family where I gained an international sensibility that's allowed me to better understand people. I can easily relate to others regardless of background or expertise. This approach has served me well especially as it relates to my role today in which I get to build relationships, advise, and learn from senior executives in the consumer sector.
You’ve led strategy and business development across high-growth companies. What does it take to be successful in strategy?
First and foremost, you have to get clear on your mission. What is the impact you are trying to make? What's the purpose of your product or service? Who are you trying to target? What is the end goal? That should always be your north star. Success will be defined by your perseverance and your ability to be nimble and change course if needed. Having the right team around you to help you execute on your vision and listening to feedback along the way will help you build the right strategic roadmap. Lastly, having specific core values will help guide you in each decision making process throughout your journey.
IT’A NO SECRET THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF MEN RUNNING INVESTMENT FIRMS. AS A WOMAN WHO IS SHAPING THE FUTURE ROADMAP, DO YOU HAVE A SECRET SAUCE IN ORDER TO SET YOURSELF APART?
I'll start by saying that it's not easy! Especially earlier on in my career, intimidation and imposter syndrome were real. One thing I wish I embodied more of is a stronger belief in myself. It took me time to learn that there is no one way of doing things or thinking through a problem -- my ideas and thoughts were just as valid and important as anyone else in the room, regardless of seniority or gender. When I worked as the Strategy Director at Phillips Auctions, I had the incredible opportunity to have a seat at the table with the most senior level executives and shareholders of the company. Not only was the auction world a male-dominated business, but I was 20+ years their senior. It took some time to have a voice in that boardroom, but the practice of speaking up and speaking my mind was what built my confidence. I started small by bringing new ideas to the table at the right time (read the room and know your audience). I found individual champions that supported my recommendations and encouraged me to share them in a more public setting. Eventually, my ideas were welcomed in discussions and accepted by my "peers." Today, I love nothing more than seeing my team share their perspectives and challenge my own!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR ROLE AT PRIMARY VENTURES?
I love working with founders; I love learning about new businesses; and I love building relationships with top-tier executives that are running today's fastest growing consumer facing companies. Primary is a seed stage venture firm that invests in next-generation technologies. We have the unique position of hearing from some of the most visionary founders describe how their solutions will change the way we live our lives. Leading the Market Development team, we focus on supporting our portfolio companies on go-to-market strategy, customer discovery, diligence, and facilitating business partnership opportunities. Knowing that we are able to drive value to our founders as well as the partners within our network is incredibly fulfilling.
YOU HOST AND ATTEND EVENTS ACROSS THE GLOBE…IS THERE A “MUST HAVE” PRODUCT DETAIL YOU LOOK FOR?
I launched Primary's Executive Network almost two years ago and have the privilege of hosting events for our members. Also, as a business committee board member for the Palm Beach Synagogue and young patron of the Norton Museum, you can find me at a number of social happenings around the island. Which means I'm always on the lookout for a fabulous outfit! When I shop for events, I tend to go for pieces that reflect my personality. What you wear on the outside is an extension of who you are on the inside! There is nothing like the feeling you get when you wear something for the first time: you know you own the room and nothing can stop you! I have always loved fashion for that reason. I like bold, solid colors and deep necklines. High-waisted skirts or slacks that make me look taller are always a win in my book. Flowy dresses that I can dress up or down are fun and versatile. And I can't live without a nude heel! I am petite so finding an outfit that fits my body shape and gives me a little boost makes all the difference in feeling comfortable and confident!
Favorite tricks to accessorize for a business event?
I tend to be more of a minimalist with accessories, but I love accessorizing with bold statement pieces. Jewelry and purses are a must for any business event. My mother designs jewelry as a hobby and has made me some incredible pieces from brightly colored precious stone earrings to layered necklaces. If you looked in my closet, you'd see a rainbow of yellow, red, blue, and pink colored bags. They generally can go with any outfit and give a pop of color that catches the eye!
Define your style in three words.
Feminine. Flirty. Sophisticated.
DID YOUR STYLE CHANGE ONCE YOU MOVED FROM NYC TO WEST PALM BEACH?
Absolutely! It's hard to not be inspired by your surroundings. Palm Beach is colorful and vibrant. My NYC closet was much more contemporary and full of neutrals (which I still love). Now, I wear bright pinks and greens and purples. It makes me happy and is certainly more fun!
Your favorite quote you live by?
Life is happening for you, not to you.