TheBridge profile: Shana Glenzer
Name: Shana Glenzer
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: Principal, Upright Consulting; Cofounder, DCFemTech; Organizer, DC Tech Meetup
Past job: CMO, Crowdskout; Marketing at MakeOffices, Aquicore, SocialRadar & Blackboard
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Paul on 13th & K NW. Always plenty of seating. Quiet enough to have a good conversation while not feeling like a library.
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. Focus. Concentrate on the conversation or meeting at hand. It makes a huge difference to put down your phone and close your computer to focus, even if we don’t want to hear it. Makes your employees and colleagues feel more valued and your time in meetings or 1:1’s more productive. There’s a place for multitasking, but it’s not then.
Q. Job advice in three words? Build great relationships.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech/innovation and regulation? I love connecting people who will benefit by knowing each other. Coming into a company in the advocacy/political space from over a decade in other tech companies has led to natural crossover of relationships & collaboration opportunities.
At Crowdskout we are helping nonprofits, campaigns, associations put tech to work for their cause or issue every day. With DCFemTech, we are blending women in tech from the startup world and the federal/regulatory world at every event and with our annual DCFemTech Awards. At DC Tech Meetup, we regularly showcase new technologies that serve the political and regulatory space to hundreds of attendees.
Q. What can innovators teach regulators/policy makers? Seems too obvious to say, but that a long-proven path to an outcome isn’t always the BEST path. Just because a process or program or technology worked well for you in the past doesn’t mean there’s not a BETTER way to do it moving forward. Don’t let the easy and known stop you from looking for a better way.
Q. What can regulators/policy makers teach innovators? I think that innovators could learn that technology isn’t always a silver bullet to issues – big or small. Innovators can get frustrated with the bureaucracy of regulation, but it is typically in place for good reasons. You will achieve a lot more by understanding the regulatory environment and working within it to achieve innovation, than by simply throwing up your hands because regulators don't get it.
Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? It’s ok if the path is winding. You don’t need to have all of the answers at the outset - in some cases, it may be better if you don’t, time and experience might change them. Focus instead on working really hard and making loads of great relationships that you nurture over time.
Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee? Level-headedness. Long hours and solving tough problems at startups can lead to outpouring of emotions in the workplace. Listen and then talk, always remembering to take deep breaths. You’ll earn more respect this way throughout your career.
Q. Best advice you’ve received? Not sure of “best”, I’ve gotten loads of great advice over the years, but a valuable piece of advice I got as I became a working Mom: “You can be an amazing mom and an amazing leader/businesswoman/employee, but you’ll likely never be both at the same time.” Being able to give myself a break on both fronts when I need to makes me more able to continue to work diligently toward greatness on both fronts every day. Holding yourself to impossible standards will just demotivate you.
Q. Morning routine?
5:45am Hit snooze on alarm & turn on local news. Get ready for work (minus the dress) & get breakfast ready for 23-month old twins.
6:45am Wake up twin #2 (husband already has #1 up and is giving him his nebulizer treatment) and help him focus on drinking milk while we watch Team Umizoomi. (“Mighty math powers!”)
7:30am Race around the house after nanny arrives to start commute by 7:45am. Grab fruit and lunch, throw on ‘work clothes’ and kiss the boys.
7:45am Fight traffic. Listen to book on Audible, to keep traffic from driving me crazy.
8:30am Start my day at the office by creating daily to-do list and responding to email. Then get to it.
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