Fem Bosses: Jen Padgett: CTA’s CEO & Co-Founder Of The BeaconPack Project
Today Innov8tiv Magazine brings you Jen Hoey Padgett the CEO of Community Technology Alliance (CTA) and a Cofounder of the BeaconPack Team. The following is what Jen Padgett had to say in an exclusive interview with Innov8tiv Magazine:
Tell us about yourself?
I am the CEO of CTA: a nonprofit with a mission of providing critical technology to aid in ending poverty and homelessness. We mainly work on data driven and telecommunication projects. I’ve been at CTA for 11 years, in that time I’ve been the CEO for 4 years. CTA has been in business for 22 years now. I am also the co-founder of the BeaconPack Project, which we are hoping to launch this year.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I think I’ve yet to accomplish the most significant thing in my career: we don’t have common data exchange standards in the human services field: I’d like to be part of making this happen during my career. But what I’m proud of so far are:
- Growing a business during an economic downturn
- 2012 Silicon Valley Business Journal 40 under 40.
- Being on the Ungrounded flight last June. Going to London and seeing the BeaconPack project presented at the UN’s DNA Summit.
- Becoming a board member of the National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC).
- Working my way up. I learned to do just about every job in our business before becoming CEO.
- I’m most proud of building a great team: the day to day business can now run without me.
Who is your role model, and why?
I don’t just have one role model – and to name them all and tell you why would take up dozens of pages. I find the qualities I admire in people and try to emulate them. If I had to pick one, I’d say the Dalai Lama. He says that Human Kindness is his religion: I really love that!
What’s your superpower, or what is your spirit animal?
The big grizzly mama bear: I’m a fierce protector of those I love and work with. Mess with me all you want, but don’t even try to threaten my babies J
What was the most difficult period in your career life, and how did you deal with it?
Being diagnosed with a chronic pain disorder and it keeps me down more that I would like. I’ve learned to give myself a break: it’s also okay for others to see the good and the not so good. I talk with trusted friends and elders to get advice and help set me on the right path.
What is your career advice to college students entering the Technology Industry?
You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do before taking classes. Take a few and explore, and if you still don’t know, take a few more. Any kind of learning is valuable even if you do not end up in a career that you have studied. Also – everything in the future is going to have a technological component, so try to focus on the things you love. If you want to do underwater basket weaving, but think that you can’t because a degree in technology is the responsible thing to do, at the very least go for both. There is nothing wrong with finding out what you love to do and applying your technology to it: Underwater basket weaving app anyone?