#22 – Jennifer Ives Global Digital Transformation Executive , 3Pillar Global
Every challenge is a moment for Growth
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I’ve driven my career with the mindset of don’t Put Blinder's on…You should never come out of the other side of a challenge not having changed for the better - Jennifer Ives.
Jennifer Ives is a Global Digital Transformation Executive, named Top 50 Women in SaaS by The Software Report, and Founding Member at CHEIF. She current leads global partnerships and Alliances with 3Pillar Global and is a member of the Advisory Board of The Mentor Method and is an advisor with the Tandem Innovation Alliance.
- Starting technical / Geospatial Engineering
- The power of Mentors / Accidental Mentorship
- Saying Yes to Opportunities
- Learning from the Start Up Journey
- Pain Points – Big Headaches vs Little Headaches
- Setting an example as a parent
- Lessons learned from her father
- Imposter Syndrome / Growth Moments
- Public Speaking Techniques
- Lessons learned from Competitive swimming
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[00:00:27] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: I’m really excited for this conversation, Jennifer.
[00:00:29] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Thank you. I’m excited. We’ve been talking about this for a few months. and I’m excited tobe part of, part of the podcast and sharing thoughts with your community. Thankyou.
[00:00:37] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: So, 3 Pillar global. I think we know your a software development company. You guys have what’s well, now you have 1900 employees because of the new acquisition.
[00:00:45] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Exactly, exactly. So, we have a quiet, we are incredibly fast growing and we have acquired three companies in the last eight months. We have a global footprintin many different countries around the world. We call ourselves it’s kind of twenty-fourfive. We do like to take a break on the weekends, but when we designed custom software for gosh, for clients such as fortune and PBS Zillow the Telegraph,the list goes on and on Forrester and many others. We like to say that we’re,24 5. We can, we can be designing that software and helping those companiesAchieve their revenue growth goals through digital. products, 24 hours a day,five days a week, seven if they needed. And if they’re on a tight, tightdelivery.
[00:01:26] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Yeah .I love that.
[00:01:27] So, you Jennifer, you’re, you’re a technical person. You started off as a technical person, but now you’ve found yourself in more business development, sales roles from that very first conversation that we had when we talked about having you on the podcast, I could just tell that you. We’re a student of mindset. You’ve learne dsome things along your way. You founded things like chief,
[00:01:50] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: yeah .Founding member of Chief.
[00:01:51] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: And there was an Alliance. What was that?
[00:01:53] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Tandem NSI.
[00:01:54] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: What got from, from there to here?
[00:01:57] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: It’s a great question. I’m a huge believer in not putting blinders on. I Talk about that a lot. If I had put blinders on, I would never have the career that I’vehad. so, rewind I was raised by a lot of engineers in my family and a lot of teachers in my family, some bankers as well. So, we’ve got some finance, but alot of engineers and a lot of teachers. My mom and dad. were dedicated tomaking Sure that my siblings and I have two sisters had a really strong math and science foundation, as well as arts and humanities. And when we went tocollege my dad and mom shared with us that we could be anything we want in theworld. and to please choose a stem degree I have a sister in medicine. I have asister who’s in data science, and I really didn’t. know what I wanted to do orwhat I wanted to become at 18, 19 20. I changed my major many times. I had manydifferent interests. And I happened upon a guest lecture. I went to GeorgeMason university for undergrad, and it was the best decision of my life It wasone of those decisions where I thought it would be there a year. And then I gotinto what it it’s called the page program. I think it’s called something elsenow, but it’s an honors program and it’s a two-year program where freshmen andsophomore year you’re together with a specific cohort. And you’re taught byfull professors and it’s a really wonderful program. that I got into. I reallyfound a path at George Mason that I didn’t expect. And it was one day, myjunior year, when I think I was on my fourth major, because I was still tryingto figure out what I wanted to be in life and thinking about this stem degreesand that my dad had had mentioned to us pretty strongly. and my mom too.
[00:03:32] And I happened upona famous geospatial engineer who was giving a guest lecturer and I didn’t know what geospatial engineering was now. Everyone knows what it is, because if you have Google maps on your, on your phone, that is thanks to geospatial engineering who have coated it and done all sorts of work with the data and thespatial data. and everything.
[00:03:52] I attended thatlecture and said, what is this all about? I, I it’s got the technology. It has spatial relationships, it has data, it has visualization of data, it has all ofthese things. And this was back in the its early nineties when even my familyof engineers and extended family of engineers. Oh, am I going to set geospatialengineer?
[00:04:12] What is that? And are you going to be able to get a job will you be employable after yougraduate? The wonderful thing again about George Mason university is that atthe time they were one of the few schools in the country who had a geospatialengineering program, mainly because of the super-secret agencies in and aroundthe DC area who hired in large numbers. geospatial engine.
[00:04:31] So I got my degree ingeospatial engineering. I went to work for very fast-growing technology company in the area. We’ve now been acquired four different times and now they’re completely,it’s wonderful. It’s a fantastic, exciting story. I was on the.
[00:04:45] engineering team fora few years and it was during that time that I had the CEO of the company needed to talk to a client and he needed to take an engineer with him.
[00:04:56] Someone who couldfelt comfortable. and excited about interacting with clients. This was, again I’m going to date myself as the mid-nineties. This is before you had regularsales engineers or solutions architects or others that would be interfacingdirectly with clients. and asking questions. So, I went to a meeting with himand the rest is history. I never had thought before about the business side ofthe engineering of the technology world. And I was able to find out. Ask deepquestions. Ask good questions. Make sure that we were talking. I talk a lot interms of pain, where we talking about the right pain point, did they have apain that could be solution, via Advil, or via Tylenol Because if we’re tryingto offer Advil. and they really need a Tylenol, let’s help them understandthat. and then get them to someone who can offer them. If they need Advil,let’s get right into that or Motrin let’s get right into. that and find out howwe can support you.
[00:05:46] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Did you have that narrative with you at that time, or is that something that builtover time?
[00:05:50] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah. Oh, Ihad that built over time, actually. Walt Mossberg who used to write for thewall street journal. He was very, very, very kind to me in my career. I was a no body,just a little technologist, without any credibility or anything
[00:06:05] what Mossberg isreally wonderful at seeing talent and helping to cultivate that talent. And hestarted to invite me as part of Arlington economic development, because Ijoined AED after graduates. That’s why I brought that innovation, that technology and that business love and started to apply it to an entirecommunity. I met Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher during that time. And theystarted inviting me to an invitation only conference out in California thatthey used to host called all things D or all things digital. It’s now known asthe code conference, but again, I was, I was there with Steve jobs. and verybig people with very big names.
[00:06:41] It was a very small conference and again, well, it took some interest in me and my career andstarted to share with me. That having a technology background and, and somebusiness experience is really powerful in the world. and also started to giveme confidence in the conversations that I was having with people unlike in the10 years before. Right. I mean, he, he started to give me permission for thatand I’ll, I’ll, I’ll always be really grateful, Tim, for that.
[00:07:06] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Was he one of your first mentors?
[00:07:08] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah, yes, absolutely. And I’ve had a few, I’ve had a few Terrys whole timer. who’s thedirector of economic development he’s since passed away and that was a really,really, hard. But Terry Holtz, Simmer Jonathan Aber man Walt Mossberg. Manywonderful mentors. Judy versus I just the list goes on. I’ve been very blessed.I will say. after my first few mentors, I started looking for them and reallybeing very specific about mentorship. is helpful and who, who was out there inthe world. emulating something that I was very respectful of believed in.Thought I had something to learn from that. So, Sheila Jordan with Honeywell isa mentor.
[00:07:48] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Yeah.Find someone who has what you want and do what they do.
[00:07:51] Yeah. And have youfound it, where was it difficult at all? Reaching out to these people andtrying to get to know them? It sounds like mentorship. Oftentimes we hear theword mentorship and we think it’s something formal, but usually it’s. not.
[00:08:02] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah. Atfirst it was, I stumbled upon it. I didn’t really even know that that’s what itwas. I just knew that some people were taking almost a proactive interest in meand seeing something in me that maybe I didn’t see in myself I’ve I have acertain level of confidence. I,
[00:08:18], that that hasn’tbeen lacking, but there are always times in your life that you’re not sure.where you want to go or what you want to do. And sometimes you don’t even knowthat sometimes you’re doing something and someone else starts to see. Okay.Have you thought about this or you have these skills and talents and you’reusing half of them know that?
[00:08:32] you could reallylean into them by doing X, Y, and Z. Have you thought of that? So, I call it,maybe the accidental mentorship.
[00:08:39] Now I’m veryspecific about finding mentors, that I’d say in the last five years or so of mycareer very specific about finding.
[00:08:47] proactively askingthem, to be my mentor, sharing with them that I’d like to learn from them forDifferent reasons and being very specific. I think with mentors, it’s reallyimportant
[00:08:56] to be very specificabout what it is, why you’re reaching out to them, what it is that you’d liketo learn from them, how they can be helpful to you, and then being committed tothat relationship.
[00:09:05] Don’t just ask andthen pull back and not, not carry forward with it. I see that a lot. I alsoenjoy mentoring. I often find, and I don’t know if it’s lack of confidence orsomeone just doesn’t know how to work with a mentor, but I often find I’m askedto be a mentor and then I don’t hear from them again. I really believe thatit’s So, they got caught up in whatever it is that they weren’t sure about whatthey were doing, or they were somehow struggling. Maybe she doesn’t really havetime for me, those sorts of things without actually saying. So, I try to bevery specific with the mentors that I find today.
[00:09:37] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Yeah.Let’s talk about that vulnerability. There has to be a lot of vulnerability inthat change process. What did it feel like when you say that these people haveseen something in you that maybe you didn’t see in yourself? Did you receivethat? Well, the first time, they say, hey, you should try this or let’s go tothis conference. Did you ever have a thought of, maybe I’m not the right personfor this? Or am I qualified for this? Or who do I think I am trying to be thisperson. that ever show. up?
[00:10:04] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Absolutely.I only hesitated just to take a deep breath. Absolutely. And. It’s known asimposter syndrome. And the more
[00:10:13] the, the older I getand the more people that I meet in the world, both personally andprofessionally imposter syndrome is everywhere. Almost Everyone, even the
[00:10:21] most confident
[00:10:22] people who you’dnever, the they, once you get to know them, and they become a little more openand, and authentic with you, they’ll, they’ll start to talk about impostersyndrome.
[00:10:31] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Doyou think that’s just part of success? That’s just part of the journey thatall, that’s human trait that we all feel until we learn that we can do it.
[00:10:39] We all feel likemaybe we can’t, even though we have confidence in other parts of our lives
[00:10:44] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: that’s adeep question. Sometimes I lean towards maybe. Yes. And then sometimes I leantowards maybe. No. What do you think?
[00:10:51] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Ithink it is. I think that’s part of change. We don’t know what we don’t know.
[00:10:55] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah.
[00:10:56] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Andso, as we continue to do, I relate it to my own, my body, for example, liftingweights working out, we don’t know how far we can run until we try to run alittle bit further and we don’t know how strong we actually are until we try tolift something a little bit heavier. And I think there a relationship between psychologyand physiology. The older I get the further in my career, I get the more I seemto think that that’s true. That growth never feels awesome in my mind.
[00:11:26] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: 100% agree.Yeah. That’s I, I fully agree. with you.
[00:11:29] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: In mymind, it’s going to look a certain way it’s going to feel a certain way and itnever does. I’ve only grown by doing something that has scared me, in fact, Idon’t know how you feel about this, but it’s been told to me that fear andexcitement feel the same way in the body.
[00:11:44] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah.
[00:11:45] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Andso sometimes when I’m in fear of what comes next, I’m actually excited aboutwhat comes next. I’ve just never felt that physiological feeling in any othercircumstance, except for when something scary was happening.
[00:11:58] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah. I’veheard that before. I agree with it. I often use that many times, especiallypublic speaking. I know it’s the number one fear of ever. I and I speak a lot.and You would think that
[00:12:08] I don’t get nervous,but I do. And I feel like actually the, the more public speaking I do, the morenervous I get ahead of time.
[00:12:14] And so I’ve, I’vefound out over the last few years, some things that I need to do to help relaxme before I speak that have been very helpful things like I can pick up theenergy. It’s almost like I see dead people, I see everyone’s energy. which ishelpful in many cases.
[00:12:29] And when you’re in,when you’re speaking in front of five or 500 people, it is not helpful. So,what I usually do is I walk the room. I chat with people because I’m a peopleperson. I like to start to pick up some of the good energy. And then I go and Itake some time. I take some time alone and I learned that actually from a, froma professional who does just that. And the minute she told me that, I thoughtthat’s a fantastic practice. I’m going to try that. And it helps a great deal.So, yeah, I think I went off track just a little bit, but yes, I agree. Fearand excitement are the same physiological feelings in your body, absolutely.It’s what your brain. tells you is what you tell your brain, how to react tothat,
[00:13:10] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders:right? Yeah. So, when we’re learning something new or we were being volunteeredfor something new. We’ve we have a vocabulary for it now. We’ve, we’ve point itto be imposter syndrome.
[00:13:20] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: We’retalking about it right now. Yeah.
[00:13:22] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Theword imposter, seems really bad and feels really, I don’t know, for me it feelslike, oh, imposter, I don’t want to be a poser, but I don’t. I think it’s; it’sjust don’t know what we don’t know and we’ll never know what we can do until wetry to do it.
[00:13:34] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: I, I agree.And I always, I, I’m not again, I’ve my career has I I’ve driven my career,through this kind of mindset of don’t put blinders on, say yes to things, evenwhen you’re a little afraid of them or they’re new, or everyone has beenthrough those growth moments. And when, if you can remember What that feltlike. And then.
[00:13:57] what you felt likeon the other side of it is. You just have to keep reminding yourself of that.When you say yes to something that you know is going to be a growth moment foryou, you just have to say yes to it and know that it’s either two weeks or sixmonths or a year, at some point, depending upon what you’re saying, yes. tothat you will get on the other side of it and you’re going to feel so good. Andit will have grown your experiences and personally and professionally. and, AndI’m a big fan of saying, yes.
[00:14:21] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Yes,absolutely. And you build the muscle memory
[00:14:24] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: you do. Youknow, you can get through. it, you know, that it will be A positive that you’vegrown and you’ve, you’ve come out on the other side of that growth moment, aricher person personally, and many times professionally,
[00:14:37] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Isthat idea that one of your parents gave you? Or did you get that along the wayfrom a mentor?
[00:14:42] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: I’m tryingto think. I grew up Competitively swimming. Yeah. And I and loved it.
[00:14:47] No one pressured meto do it. I got in the water while I was in the water before five, but at fiveI was part of a swim team. And I just loved it. I just tipped the water andthere’s something about knowing that something is hard and that you’ll get throughit. I had that with swimming for so many years, not physical exhaustion, thatpushing yourself to the point that you don’t think you can decrease your timeagain. And then you do, you work hard for it. You get through it. And youachieve.
[00:15:14] And so I do thinkthat was rooted in me at a very young age, that kind of, if you work hard forsomething, you can achieve it and you can move forward and that the workinghard for it is sometimes unpleasant and it doesn’t feel great in the most. butwhen you push through it, you get to some, whatever greatness is for you. However,you define greatness. So, I think there’s that. my parents where I feel reallyblessed. My parents were very supportive of my sisters and I. They were realwith us.
[00:15:43] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Whatdoes that
[00:15:45] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Well, I, Ithink, and I’m trying to, I try to be real with my children too. I thinkthey’re pretty wonderful. And I also know that the world is a big place andthat when you leave the house, not everyone thinks you’re the most amazingperson you need to show them, prove them do all these things. And so that’swhat I mean by my parents were incredibly supportive. But they were also veryreal with us about working hard and not.
[00:16:04] taking anything forgranted. That when we got on out into the world, in college and after college,we, we were paving our own way, paving our own way. And that the world can be avery beautiful place and it can be a very hard place and to be prepared for,for that.
[00:16:22] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Wasthere a moment in your childhood that sticks out to you? Between the ages ofeight and 12, what was the most impactful time? That’s middle school
[00:16:28] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: So middleschool. I was, I was doing a lot of swimming, it was a period of my life that Iwas really interested in science. I had an incredible. Mrs. Rowe. I’ll neverforget her. My seventh-grade science teacher was incredible and I just lovedher. And My dad was a scientist engineer and I took part in the, the middleschool science fair. And I won the science fair with the environmental impactson paramecium court, Adam. And though that was middle school for me, along withmy friends, and along with all of the things that middle school comes with, SoI’m not trying to paint a rosy, picture of middle school. I’d never want torelive middle school, but when you talk about kind of that.
[00:17:06] eight years old to12 years old, and I think of middle school, I think of some really hard workwith swimming. I think of being Always being around science and that’ssomething that was really important in my family, but never really feeling likeI had a hold on it or that I had a piece of it.
[00:17:21] And then kind ofdoing this experiment and my dad taking some time with me over the course ofmany weekends to, to seventh-grade, to do this project with me and spendingtime with me. I don’t know that was, that was really impactful. It seventh-gradestuck with me for a long time. I lost my dad very suddenly in my earlytwenties. And that’s another big moment where seventh-grade I remember he, hehad a heart attack. it’s very sudden I was driving him to the hospital and hedied as I pulled up to the emergency room driving. And when we left, he had nopre, never thought that he would have had a heart attack. He was healthy. Hewas acting, did he didn’t smoke. We know so much more.
[00:17:57] about cardiacevents, 25 years later than we did when I was in my early twenties. And so, itwas sudden, and I remember leaving the hospital, we were out of town. It wasfor Thanksgiving, we were visiting family in Princeton, New Jersey.
[00:18:09] And I left thehospital that day and it was, I’ll never forget it. It was kind of gray. And Iwas looking at the sky and I was, and I thought to myself, life can be verybeautiful and it can be extremely devastating in the blink of an eye. AndThat’s a really deep moment for me. And I think that it is absolutely made mewho I am as an actor. Right. I needed to go back to graduate. School I was inthe middle of graduate school. I needed to go back to graduate school andfinish that out. And I’ve always since then lived with that moment of we’rehere one time we’re on this, earth. one time it can be taken away from us very,very quickly and do what you want to do.
[00:18:45] Do what makes youfeel good? Do lean into your skills and talents. Now it didn’t happenautomatically. I had to really figure out what my skills and talents?
[00:18:54] were even further,but that moment of losing my dad and losing someone who. Who kind of thoughtthe world of me that I could always depend on. I think it’s just, it made memore independent.
[00:19:03] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Wouldsay that event of losing your father has made you a more empathetic leader
[00:19:08] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: I think.it’s made me a much on, on many days a much better deeper parent. I think it’smade me a better leader. I have much more empathy for people on my team and inmy company and clients again, because I think when you you’ve experienced them,somewhat traumatic in your life. You learn from it, you move forward with itand it, it deepens you, it, can’t not deep in you. And if it doesn’t deepenyou, you’ve missed an incredible opportunity When you go through somethingchallenging, you’ve missed an incredible opportunity to grow as a human being.if you come out of that on the other side, and it. hasn’t changed you
[00:19:44] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: itssounds like solidified taking advantage of opportunities for you,
[00:19:49] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Absolutely.
[00:19:51] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: it’s allabout, in some ways it’s about timing and you learned that at a young age andyou’ve been able to apply it, along the way,
[00:20:00] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: I believeso. I, again, I, often say life can be beautiful and it can be devastating. So,take advantage of the beauty when you see it and when you have it.
[00:20:07] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Wouldyou say getting there at the time you did now was maybe that one last lessonyour dad was able to help you with.
[00:20:15] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: I do knowthat. It happened. It’s something I can’t change. It’s something I wasn’tresponsible for. I never felt responsible. for not getting there in time. Whichis interesting. Cause I, I think we all tend to want to blame ourselves for alot of things. It happened and I feel grateful all for coming out on the otherside of it?
[00:20:35] When someone that Iknow now loses someone very close to them, the first thing I say is be verykind. Yeah. Just be very kind to yourself. And even six months after someone’slost someone and they’ll say, I don’t know why I’m still crying every day.
[00:20:49] I say, oh my gosh.Cause it’s only been six months. that’s such a short amount of time. Yeah. Iwent through the same thing after losing my dad. I thought, oh, well, okay. Sixmonths later, I should be able to go to China for the next year. Why wouldn’t Ibe able to do that? well, for me, again, everyone’s different for me. I neededto be near my family. I needed to be near people who loved me and I loved themwith that said, I also needed some time alone in a way I process, I’m a, I’m apeople person I’m also highly introverted.
That’s how I recover from things., I love to be with people. Ilove to meet with clients and be at events. And I love all of that energy andeverything that. I learned in order for me to recover, I need to. Hike amountain with just myself or a few people. Very quiet. I need to go canoeing.I, we have, anyone that’s ever worked with me knows that when I go on vacation,I always try to find the highest elevation and the smallest populationsomewhere, very quiet and off the grid.
[00:21:45] And, losing Myfather at a youngish age, I just lost my mom. Less than a year ago topancreatic cancer. Her, that was a different saying goodbye. Right. I had 18months to be with her, to share with her how much I loved her. I am someonewho, learned very early in my life to let people know how grateful you are thatthey’re in your lives two, if you love them, tell them you love them. anyonewho’s gone through a long, almost like that and say goodbye to someone, youalso, you have that time with them. You also have the illness that you have towatch them go through. And the suffering that you have to watch them go through,which is a different kind of heartbreak.
[00:22:24] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Hasthat changed anything about your diet or the way that you live your life now,having that experience?
[00:22:29] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah,absolutely. That Losing my dad I learned the lesson that life is short losingmy mom I learned the lesson I was reminded of the lesson. That life is shortand you really do need to take care of yourself physically and emotionally,mentally. It is pouring oh my goodness.
[00:22:47] And Since Losing mymom, I’ve always enjoyed working out. I was an athlete growing up and had,different times in my life where I’ve worked out much more than others. I’verediscovered yoga. And since my mom passed away, I practice yoga four to fivetimes a week. And it is, it is physically healing and it is spiritually healingin terms of being able to send her. Kind of calm the nervous system in thebody, as well as build strength and lean into the compassion for yourself.
[00:23:19] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Yeah.big part of your daily life of how you kind of prepare yourself to go outthere? Do you have specific morning routine or evening routine?
[00:23:27] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah. Yogais a big part of my morning routine.
[00:23:29] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Doyou wake up at the same time? Every day?
[00:23:31] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: I naturallywake up about six. And I get out of bed around 7:00 AM from six 30 to seven, Ithink through my day. I tell the world how grateful I am for different peoplein my life for my children
[00:23:43] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Howdo you do that? write it down you say it.
[00:23:47] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: I lay inbed comfortably and look out my window at the trees and literally think, andyoga has been a big part of that is just to be very compassionate with yourself.,Thank you for the health. Thank you for my children. Thank you for the life ofthem. Thank you for the people that.
[00:24:00] are in my life., andI just, I kind of Its., what hits me that day? But those are the ones that hitme Every single day. And then I provide some, some gratitude and think throughsome other pieces of my life that I’m grateful for.
[00:24:14] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: What do you think gratitude does to you? Or practicing that gratitude? How do youthink that helps you throughout your day? Why do you do it?
[00:24:20] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Oh, I think it’s so important to acknowledge those things that you’re grateful for in life.Because again, like can be really hard and you can get caught up and I’ve had different times in my life where I’ve gotten caught up in what the challenges,or maybe not thinking I was good enough to, to tackle a particular role orgetting frustrated with, with other people.
[00:24:39] I mean, I think it’snatural, I believe. until you have compassion for yourself that oh yeah. These things are natural. These frustrations are natural. and then the gratitudepiece. Just helps me try to stay more in the moment.
[00:24:51] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Doyou do this with your kids. Cause you’re, you’re also a mother. Has changedanything about your routines or solidified doing certain things so that they see you doing it?
[00:25:00] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Oh, absolutely.I let them see me fail all the time. I think it’s so important. And to not be stressed out by it. or to try to excuse it away or anything because
[00:25:11] it is so importantbecause I didn’t allow myself to fail for so many years. I saw it as such anegative And I’ve learned in particular of the last five, to six years that failure is so necessary and part of the journey. And if you’re not failing atsome point, you’re not growing, you’re not, you’re not. moving forward.
[00:25:30] And so being a mom,absolutely. I let them see me. I very much, let them see me have those moments where I get nervous before I, I had public speaking events. I will, even ifit’s not in front of them, I will say that one. I am really, my stomach is, flip-flopping like crazy.
I know I’m going to do well. I’ll, I’ll say right to them. I know I’m going to do, well. And I’m, I just need to take some deep breaths andI don’t know why I get so nervous. I love to be on stage. I love to share theknowledge. I don’t know why I get so nervous, and I’m going to do well. But man, my stomach is flip-flopping because they’re now in middle school and highschool and they’re doing presentations they do this all the time and they’ re really hard. This generation. they are so hard on themselves. And so, I like, Ilike them to know that, mom and dad, have challenges
[00:26:16] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: what impact do think that’s actually having on them at that age
[00:26:19] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Hopefully in the it’s teaching them something, but oh my gosh. I have to think that into3, 10, 15, 20 years, they’ll think back and remember their mom having difficulty,they’re here.
[00:26:33] They thought their mom was, so I played tennis growing up. It wasn’t, it was just, it was a summer sport. I hung out at the pool a lot because I was swimming a lot and I playedtennis. I didn’t take it any further than that but I was on the tennis team for many, many Years in the summer, so I can play it. I’m not awesome at tennis,but I can play some tennis.
My son started playing tennis when he was seven years old. by around age 11. He got to be really good. And we went to play tennis one day.and he was So frustrated with me and I because turned to my, son. you haves urpassed me, my friend, I am not a Wimbledon. I know that when you were seven and eight. You idolized everything, about me playing tennis, but I am not thatgood. And you are so oh, much better than me.
[00:27:09] And by the way, you’re better than me because you all the time, all of that hard work and energy that you put into tennis and that love that you put into tennis. Butthat moment of just being very real with it I want my kids to see that, I’m not they should not strive to be perfect. I’m not. perfect. I try, I try to do goodin the world. I try to play tennis with will. And I’m not, I’m not, He’s a muchbetter tennis player. than I am
[00:27:32] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: I think that goes back to our earlier part of our conversation that, we learnfrom making mistakes. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay. To not know. It’sokay to not feel good enough, but just do it anyway because we come out stronger
[00:27:45] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: and yeah. And that’s something, again, I’ll just say, that’s not something that I was born with or that it’s 18 or 25. That, that was a journey. I like to, in thosethat I mentor and, and with my children and with their friends, I like to, I hope that I can teach them to short cut that and not have to wait 20. years to,to, to realize that. But that life is a journey.
You, you learn, you can make mistakes. It’s okay. My dad taught us from a very early age. There are big mistakes and little mistakes getting aD in English, a little mistake. You don’t want to do that. You want tounderstand why is it they’re Getting a D in English.
[00:28:22] by the way, I never got a D in English. I’m using that as an example.
[00:28:24] A big mistake is drunk driving right. And hitting that’s, that’s a life altering big mistake. and so, if you can kind of take in your life and oh, these are little mistakes,or these are little learnings that I’ve had, or these are little failures thatI’ve had and learned from them.
[00:28:39] Move forward, You’re golden, but big mistakes and little mistakes. That’s something my dad used to
[00:28:44] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Is that where you got the narrative of sometimes it’s a headache for Advil andsometimes it’s a bigger headache.
[00:28:52] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: I didn’t get it from my dad. I actually that was through Walt Mossberg. I heard himspeak with some oh fast-growing founders years ago known as the founders of YouTube at one of these conferences, And he. is someone on stage and someone inthe conversation. And it was the first time I had heard that kind of Here’s apain point because I thought, oh my gosh, that’s what I’ve been doing. I loveto solve for pain points. I love to understand what is your pain point? Becauseyou may be talking about a stress headache That really does need, et cetera.
[00:29:23] It needs aspirin andcaffeine, right? But someone may be trying to solve that with a different kind of painkiller, right. A different kind of treatment that yes, in its own right.Is excellent, but not for this particular challenge. And so That’s what I love about working with technology companies and working with technology foundersand building digital products and being in the middle of very exciting cutting-edge technology. I love to ask those questions. What is the business outcome you’retrying to achieve And, and get them to really many times It’s very difficult toidentify what the pain point is?
[00:29:59] You might, someone might have an idea. And they may be talking about this and of we’ve got tosolve for this. And when you get into it, it’s not that at all that might bestep two or three that you need to solve, but you’ve got to get to the core.
[00:30:10] So yeah, the I all the time teams I’ve ever.
[00:30:13] worked with in the last 15 years always hear me talk about the pain. Is it Advil, or is it?
[00:30:20] What are, how are we trying to solve this Or is it something completely different, but either waylet’s either solve it ourselves for this, this person or this, company orwhoever, or let’s get them to the, I’m a big believer in making sure that.
[00:30:31] you bring in the right people to help with that pain That has to do with the gratefulness, theopenness in the world. I believe there’s space in every, there’s an, I say thisall over LinkedIn all the time. When I’m, when I’m commenting or celebrating someone, there is enough space. for everyone in the world to shine. And thesooner we all understand and live lives to make that.
[00:30:50] actually happen. Oh gosh. The better the world would be.
[00:30:55] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Was there, was there a moment where that you can look back where you were just in alot of fear or, and it could be personally or professionally, but what’s themoment that you look back on that you were terrified and fearful at the time,but now you can say that you’re truly grateful for that experience, that it’smade you, who you are as an individual, probably in your professional life also so.
[00:31:15] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Oh my gosh. There were so many
[00:31:17] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Yeah .Do you have multiple,
[00:31:18] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Yeah, sure. I think everyone has those moments, especially if you’re saying yes to a lot ofthings, right. I think anytime I start a new challenge, I have a healthy amount of, I don’t know that fear is the right word. I have a healthy, amount of.Jennifer, what are you doing?
How, okay. Do you have a plan for this? how are you going to, what’s your, what are your next 90 days.? So yeah, I mean, I’ve had a number of those I’ve had, my first job. Finding my first job. I graduated in a recession.I get what it’s like to graduate in a recession. And I hustled, I went to a geospatial, engineering conference, four hours from the DC area that did nothave a job fair that had nothing to do with me getting a job right out of school.
I had my, my dinky little resume, and I went to. the trade show floor And I started, I started. interviewing companies and I got to two companies. I was like, I love what they’re doing. Here’s my resume. Are youhiring? I had some hustle even, even back then. And I, so I, I get what it’s liketo try and find a first job and my first job was that I’m going to date myself. The computer systems we were using were so expensive that they ran them 24hours a day.
So, I took the night shift and I went and worked from 4:00 PMto 2:00 AM for a year and a half. And that was My first job and it opened up. amazing opportunities but when you ask about. I mean, there’ve been so manytimes that I’ve been fearful and that I’ve, I, I tend to do it anyway. I, that,that’s the thing.
[00:32:45] I, I don’t let fearhold me back. Or, or the, or the sense of fear, the fear of that feeling that you have. I, I, I tend to say yes and lean into it.
[00:32:56] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: So, Ijust asked about fear, but were you ever at a jumping off point a point were.You couldn’t keep doing what you were doing, but you were uncertain about whatto do next. Maybe it was a painful experience. Maybe it wasn’t, but just in a moment where you have to jump off, you can’t keep doing what you’re doing.
[00:33:16] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: Absolutely.I think any time I’ve made a shift in my career. it’s were when I know thatI’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve contributed beautifully to the team, To the effort, tomy learning, to everything that I had to give. And it’s time for me to now goflex a little bit of a different muscle or try something new. I, I don’t knowthat any of those ideas ever come in and yeah, day, I think sometimes it doestake a little while and again, I talking with people getting some ideas andthen not holding back, going ahead and taking a step forward. And even ifyou’re, if it’s a new experience and you’re, I mean, so many times, I mean,when I, when I moved from. The, engineering job. I did something that everyonefound acceptable. Now I didn’t do it because of that. I just, I went to gradschool Right. And that’s acceptable, but it was a change for me. Right. Ineeded to leave some a company that I was doing well, in that was probablygoing to be acquired, but I also knew that I had learned Everything at that moment, and that I needed for what I needed to learn, not, not in life, butjust, for what I needed to know at that moment.
And that I had Some real desires to go back to school and learnsome new ways of thinking about things. I think when I took the role with, andkind of created. and assume the role of director, business development andinnovation and strategy for Arlington County that was brand new. No one had ever done that before. So, I needed to, I’m kind of good at Creatingopportunities out of nothing. That’s, It’s very entrepreneurial. and it’s whatI love to do.
I was with Arlington for many years and did incredible work andwas able to learn from startup founders and fortune 500 CEOs. And I mean,incredible So, journey. And we, I was also making a real difference in thecounty. We were bringing in and, making sure that the innovation economy was taking place in Arlington and that these technology companies were clusteringand private equity and VC firms were no, we’re learning about our companies.
[00:35:22] And I took such great pride. in the companies that we helped in that I, I, was, was helpingafter hours., it’s was just doing a lot of advising and yeah. Consulting in away that I loved to do, and it was time to go back to the private sector. And alot of people thought I was crazy to do that, to leave something that I was, Iwas very successful doing.
[00:35:43] And a lot of peoplehad a lot of respect, a lot of credibility, not only here in the DC area, butnationally. And it was just time for me to go back to the private sector. I.High-growth companies. And I have a real talent for helping them continue togrow at coming in at inflection points and help them grow, whether it’s from 5million to 15 or twenty-five to 50 or 50, to a hundred million, a hundred million to 250 million.
[00:36:05] I love, I lovehelping companies do that. So, I think to answer your question, yes. There have been times that I’ve had these jumping off points and I, you, I just moveforward with them. I don’t. think. Hesitate.
[00:36:21] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: well, it goes back to what you’ve been saying. Don’t put blinders
[00:36:24] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: don’t put blinders on and I will say again, have some really good people around you thatyou can share these ideas with and say, what do you think?
[00:36:32] What do you, what, what do you think this role will be like? Or do, do you think I’ll really beable to flex, things that I’m good at as well as learn new things and yeah.
[00:36:40] Put good, have good people around you.
[00:36:42] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: What are you working on now for the next stage? What’s next.
[00:36:46] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: goodness. Ithink., I have, I have an, I have an interesting career. I have both thetechnical side as well as marketing sales, business growth leadership piece,and it’s time to, and I’ve been on an advisory, been a part of advisory boards.I was on a board a number of years ago, and it’s time to start looking at boardopportunities again. And its a, it’s a fantastic time to do so. Cause again,I’ve got that experience and. It will be very rewarding to me to help another,to help other companies as a board member make some decisions, help them with governance, help them with strategy.
[00:37:21] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: Well,I appreciate you time with this afternoon.
[00:37:23] I am so honored. What’s the energy thought to, to ask me and invite me to join you.
[00:37:28] Jennifer Ives, SVP 3Pillar Global: It’s been Wonderful. to, to be with you and have time with you.
[00:37:30] Thank you.
[00:37:31] Phillip Naithram, Host DC Local Leaders: All right. Thanks so much, Jennifer.