Cloud Girls is honored to have amazingly accomplished, professional women in tech as its members. We take every opportunity to showcase their expertise and accomplishments – promotions, speaking engagements, publications and more. Now, we are excited to shine a spotlight on one of our members each month.

January’s Cloud Expert of the Month is Angela Chavez.

Angela Chavez is founder and president of OpenSky Networks, an IT consultation firm specializing in strategy and implementation of IT solutions ranging from telecom services, to data backup and disaster recovery, to private and virtual private cloud deployments.

Chavez began her technology career in 2011 when she worked as Executive Assistant at NewCloud Networks. While assisting in the rebranding and Channel Development initiatives, she came to understand the value of offering multicloud solutions. In 2015, she started OpenSky Networks with the mission to offer complete solutions paired with cyberthreat preparedness and recoverability options.

Chavez has been a member of Cloud Girls since 2016.

When did you join Cloud Girls and why?
I was fortunate enough early in my career to be introduced to Manon Buettner, one of the Cloud Girls founders. During our first conversation, Manon gave me some good insight into what it’s like being a woman in this industry. It was refreshing to hear about this group of successful and like-minded women succeeding in technology careers and supporting each other in their endeavors. I was excited at the idea of being a part of such a unique and supportive organization.

What do you value about being a Cloud Girl?
My favorite thing about the Cloud Girls is the opportunity to learn different perspectives. Each member has a different story and valuable insights to be shared. Some members are employees in large companies and some are entrepreneurs in boutique firms like mine. It has given me the opportunity to have a good sounding board when I’ve needed it, as well as opportunities to build relationships with vendors I may have not otherwise been involved with.

The Cloud Girls initiatives are also very valuable. We have the opportunity to sponsor Girls Who Code, which fosters technology education for young girls, giving them opportunities to learn about tech and the many opportunities available to them. We also run a Dress for Success campaign every year where we collect donations and clothing to provide to women for job interviews. It’s great to be part of an organization that cares about the future of women in the industry!

What advice would you give to your younger self at the start of your career?
You don’t have to do everything you’re told. In the first two years of my business, I accepted every vendor meeting and conference call and added nearly every service they offered to our portfolio. It’s only been in the last year that we have moved back to the basics, offering only the solutions that we excel in. Offering a core solution has made all the difference in new sales and marketing initiatives.

What is the best business book you’ve read and why?
“Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss. It’s a book that focuses on health, wealth and knowledge by offering insights from experts in each arena. My key takeaway is that there’s really no magic formula to success. There is no one morning routine that is fail-proof for everyone. Successful people really have two things in common — they make their own rules and they are consistent in their actions until they reach their goals.

What one piece of advice would you share with young women to encourage them to take a seat at the table? Be. Fearless. Now. Don’t spend the early years of your education and career sitting quietly in the back, knowing that you’re smarter than the person in the front of the room. We all have something to say and if you have the courage to speak up, you’ll be amazed at how many people are really listening.