Cloud Girls is honored to have amazingly accomplished, professional women in tech as our 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.
August Cloud Expert of the Month is Luanne Tierney
Luanne Tierney, currently CMO of Open Systems, which is a secure SD-WAN managed services company, has extensive experience in leading complex marketing organizations for Fortune 500 and mid-market SaaS companies. She has had marketing leadership roles at Cisco, Juniper, Fortinet and Proofpoint. As a young working executive, she was the first in the industry with the sponsorship of Chuck Robbins- now CEO of Cisco, to develop a Women-in-Tech leadership programs in Silicon Valley. Luanne has won numerous awards in the industry, from PBWC Industry Leader Award, Silicon Valley Women of Influence Award, multiple CRN Channel awards, YWCA TWIN Executive Award but the recognition she most appreciates is from the sales teams that she has supported throughout her career
When did you join Cloud Girls and why?
Jo Peterson one of the co-founders reached out to me in 2017 and invited me to join. Right away I was impressed about the organization because it was an intimate organization, focused on sharing ideas by women working in all levels in tech. The group would meet monthly to discuss cloud technologies as it related to their professional roles.
What do you value about being a Cloud Girl?
I value the opportunity to learn, interact, share best practices, support and personally connect with the other women who are at different stages in their careers.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
When I was a young working mom, I had dinner with the late outspoken Ann Richards ( former governor of Texas). I had developed and initiated the first “Women in Channels Leadership Program” at Cisco and was in Dallas, Texas hosting one of first of these programs. I remember having the honor of sitting next to her at dinner and asking her “How do I have a successful career and simultaneously raise great kids?” Her feisty delivery response was this, “Give up the guilt, bring them with you to your work, show them what you are doing and that you are passionate about your job, so that when you are not with them they understand what your work life is like and are positively exposed.”
How do I avoid being complacent in my role?
Well that’s a funny question. I find this to be true – there is always someone younger, smarter, with seemingly cooler professional experiences – especially in the digital area. First of all, I prioritize staying current through learning by in person conversations. Each week, I make sure I have scheduled external meetings with individuals who I can learn from. These are not necessarily people who are solely focused on marketing, but rather Executives in Sales, CEOs, CIO’s, Human Resources, and recent college graduates. I also make sure I invest in myself by learning from my peers through Industry Associations. In addition to Cloud Girls, I am member of SVEN, (Silicon Valley Executive Network) and the CMO Club. I am also an avid podcast listener- some of my favorites are: What’s Next, How I Built This, and Super Women. I am also on public and a private boards in the consumer space, Crimson Wine Group and KNOCK Inc., which gives me exposure to market dynamics and challenges in the consumer industry.
How can you be a role model for young women and young men about what it means to be a leader in tech?
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in; leadership is all about people! Take the time to listen to your people. Surround yourself with a diverse team of people who are have different expertise. It can’t be about you, the more you help the organization the better you will feel. Your team accomplishments and what they deliver will identify you as a great leader. I work for my people as much as they work for me. Business today is all about innovation and the speed of execution. To create a culture of innovation you need risk taking and speed, and I encourage my marketing team to candidly talk about the risks they take in their roles and their frustrations so we can be more empathic and help solve each-others challenges quickly and move on.