We talked with our US East leader about creating the future of healthcare, the keys to keeping teams motivated and inspired, and her go-to when she needs a good laugh.
You launched the Slalom Philadelphia market in 2016 and have grown the team to nearly 200 people. What are you proudest of achieving during your time as general manager?
I’m proud of the incredible team we’ve built. We have talented people at all levels with skills across the gamut of our capabilities—from strategy and experience to data science, Salesforce, and business transformation enabled by the cloud. Seeing them come together as their authentic selves and create such a supportive, inclusive, and fun culture while delivering solutions that are making a tremendous impact for our customers has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career.
We helped a client modernize their customer platforms as they prepared to go public, which led to a successful public offering. We have a client that was struggling to register people as COVID vaccines became available, and we helped them move fast to create an online registration experience in less than 48 hours, allowing people in our community to get vaccinated. We helped a client dream bigger and reimagine their banking platform so customers could interact with them end to end digitally. We helped a client provide programs for those struggling with mental health, delivering on our purpose of building better tomorrows for all. We have so many examples of great results that truly impact the customers and patients of our clients.
When we launched in Philadelphia in 2016, people didn't know who Slalom was, and now we have a distinctive brand in the market. Whether it’s our impact in community service with organizations like TechGirlz or Hopeworks, or having business executives say, “Oh, I’ve worked with Slalom, and I recommend them,” I’m proud of the reputation we’ve built in our region.
What excites you most about your new role as president of our US East Region?
The first thing I’m excited about is that we can have a broader impact for our clients. So many of our clients operate beyond the boundaries of a few cities. As we scale Slalom in the US and globally, I look forward to shaping how Slalom brings the best of our capabilities together in new ways to create an even bigger impact for our clients and their customers.
The second is about our people. We have so much talent at Slalom. With our new regional structure, there are more opportunities than ever to look at how our people can grow their careers and have mobility. I want them to see that they can find pathways across Slalom to meet their career aspirations. This is a place where people can do fulfilling, challenging, fun work, now and ten years from now. That’s something I’m passionate about.
You’ve worked in the healthcare and life sciences industry for 30 years, including building a healthcare startup that went public. How are you bringing your healthcare and life sciences expertise to this new role?
Slalom’s purpose of helping people and organizations dream bigger, move faster, and build better tomorrows is absolutely aligned to our healthcare and life sciences work.
Today’s healthcare system is complex. Reimagining a better experience for providers, patients, and caregivers requires new ways of working combined with how we use and interact with data and technology in healthcare. That’s exactly the work we do. We have incredible healthcare and life sciences teams around the world, and I want us to create a healthier future faster, where people can get access to the care they need and where we are truly influencing the treatment of disease.
What’s your advice for keeping a team motivated and inspired?
Our people get motivated and inspired when they’re doing their best work, getting recognized for it, and when they’re growing, so it’s incumbent upon us as leaders to make that happen. Whether it’s a project where they can build a new skill, use a skill they’re passionate about, or contribute in a new way they haven’t before, that’s something that inspires people.
Moments of recognition are also so important, whether it’s a shoutout to somebody for something that they did for a client, a “thank you“ for help with an event, or telling someone, “Wow, I just saw what you did in that workshop, and I was so impressed by how you got every single person engaged in the discussion.“ Recognizing people for what makes them special and the impact they’re having is motivating. And nothing beats a personal note!
What makes a great consultant?
It starts with great listening skills. It’s hard to understand what a client is looking for if you’re not listening, if you’re not probing, if you’re not asking that next question. Successful consultants are very curious people by nature. They’re constantly asking why and what if, wanting to learn more, and seeking the best solution for their client. They also work well on a team, because so much of our work is co-creating with our clients.
I think a great leader does that for you: recognizes something in you that you may not recognize in yourself. They push you to take an opportunity that may take you outside your comfort zone, but you learn skills that you never thought you had.
What’s a tough but important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
One of the toughest things I’ve learned is not to assume that people understand what you’re thinking, and to be vocal about opportunities you’re interested in. I once really wanted a role and assumed people knew it. I was shocked when it didn’t happen but realized I needed to communicate more about what I wanted next in my career.
Also, something I always say to newer consultants is: Don’t have such a prescriptive idea about a particular project or a particular type of technology. You can learn something from every assignment that you take on, because some of those assignments—the ones that didn’t feel like the best fit at the beginning—end up being the ones where you learn the most and are the most challenged.
Who’s been a mentor in your life? How did that person have an impact on your career?
I had a mentor early in my career, and one of the best things he did for me was tell me I could do more than I was doing and put me in slightly uncomfortable situations to really stretch my skills.
I think a great leader does that for you: recognizes something in you that you may not recognize in yourself. They push you to take an opportunity that may take you outside your comfort zone, but you learn skills that you never thought you had. And they’ll also give you really honest feedback.
What do you consider your greatest achievements?
I started my career right out of college with Accenture [formerly Andersen Consulting]. I was the first woman to join as an analyst out of college and progress to equity partner in my office, and I did that in 10 years. I’m really proud of that, because it set the path for many other young women who saw that you could be a successful partner and a wife and a mom. Women still need role models like that in the workforce to show them it’s possible. I’m passionate about making sure young women have the same opportunities as men as they’re growing and developing in their careers as leaders. One of the things I do in my free time is serve as Vice Chair on the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr College, which is my alma mater. It’s more important than ever that women have access to educational and leadership opportunities early in their development, especially in STEM, to help build future women leaders.
Personally speaking, my greatest achievement is my children—which, of course, I haven’t done on my own. I have two boys, 18 and 14. Of all their accomplishments, what makes me most proud is when people share what kind humans they are. I like to think I had a little something to do with that. They are both exceptional individuals who are forging their own paths. What’s important to me and my husband is that we’re raising good people who are respectful, curious, and love to learn—and who are kind. They also love to laugh (mostly at us), which is infectious.
Speaking of laughing, what’s your go-to activity when you need a laugh?
Well, if my 14-year-old is around, he has no shortage of TikTok videos that if you watch even one of them, it will put you in a better mood. I also have a tight-knit group of women friends, and they’re very smart and very, very funny. Our group chat is a good place to get a laugh or two in the middle of the day. They never forget something silly you’ve done in the past and are happy to remind you about it.
What’s your ideal weekend day?
First of all, it would be 80 and sunny and I would be in Avalon. I’d start with a long walk with my dog or a bike ride, then a day on the beach, followed by dinner with friends and family. The weather would be warm enough that we’d hang out outside late into the evening. There would be great food, even better wine, and lots of laughs. That sounds pretty perfect to me.