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We are excited to share that Patricia Van Nostrand, Vice President of Advanced TV Operations at Cadent, was named an Industry Leader in Cynopsis’ Top Women in Media list. 

This honor is given to women who have contributed to every area of the media industry and who are integral to moving their businesses forward and bringing fresh innovation to the field.

“She goes above and beyond. No is not a word – she figures out a way to make it happen. Patricia’s background is digital, and she took the time to understand how to bridge the gap between TV and digital and how clients can leverage analytics as TV evolves. She was also instrumental in merging the cultures together as one2one, Cadent Network and Cadent Technology came together as Cadent last year. She’s the backbone of our team, making sure we’re executing and considering how we can use data to make campaigns work harder.” – Jamie Power, COO of addressable & Head of Analytics, Cadent

Here’s a brief interview with Patricia on how she keeps up with the rapidly changing TV marketplace and works to support her team members.

How do you keep up with the changing TV industry?
Television is and will always be a balance of traditional and progressive tactics. For me, staying current begins with consistent engagement and collaboration with my peers from all areas of the television business. What’s important to me is communicating with our team on what’s happening and how those changes impact us as an organization. I devote extra time and attention to perspectives that aren’t consistent with my own to ensure I’m not missing something. We’re all seeking solutions to similar problems and our joint expertise often gets to the finish line quicker than our individual strides, so I started a monthly “advanced huddle” where all teams share recent updates, progress, challenges, etc. The goal is to increase cross-team collaboration, communication, education and overall team building. Part of remaining current in this business is staying grounded and staying focused.

What was your experience moving from digital to TV?
I was advised early in my career not to think of TV and digital as competing entities or “old vs new.” When I first came to television from digital, it was clear that TV could be much more data-driven, but I learned to understand the value they both bring, and I try to focus my time and energy on improving the discussions around each channel accordingly. It’s very easy to say TV should be more like digital in terms of targeting, the use of better data, and more precise measurement. It’s also important to remember that television remains an incredibly efficient and effective tool for many advertisers. The effort we all make to assemble the perfect mix of television and digital is among the most important elements of our business.

Talk about your management approach.
For me, management is comprised of two very critical components. There’s managing people, and there’s managing business goals, and I’m responsible for both. My approach is constantly asking and implementing how we can improve as a team using technology. Helping our people navigate this business, discover core strengths, and making them as productive as possible is very important to me. If a person enjoys what they do and feels like they are learning and challenged, it will reflect in their output. If the team is working in relative harmony, business tends to follow suit.

It’s also important to me to understand career paths my team wants to pursue and what makes them get excited about coming to work every day. I enjoy discussing what they want to do, asking things like, do you see yourself enjoying work more in the office or out of the office? Do you like entertaining people, do you like math and Excel? Do you like working in systems or do you like the art of storytelling? I love being able to get them to consider things they wouldn’t otherwise. If they haven’t given it thought, I want them to start now.

It’s fair to say you enjoy being a mentor.
Absolutely. I’ve had some excellent mentors in the past and still do. So, I take my relationships with my team and peers very seriously and I do my very best to guide them as best as I can. Continuously asking questions that encourage people to think about where people want to go with their careers is critical to our success as an organization– and you retain talent that way. One of the functions of my job that I enjoy the most is working with HR and our executive team for further corporate learning and development.

How have you navigated periods of uncertainty?
Communication is key. There are going to be times where we’re not quite sure what the outcome will be but continually managing expectations around the uncertainty lets people know it’s not black and white all the time. You have to enjoy the gray and navigating uncharted water.

In a previous role, I helped bridge the gap between product and sales, client services and research. I escalated any issues when necessary and with the feedback I received, I adapted and communicated. With every client initiative I was the stopgap that made sure the workflow was set up for success, identified potential obstacles and addressed as needed. Uncertainty is just another variation of a challenge and I welcome it.

What’s your approach to team culture?
Connection. Advertising is a people-based business and I aim to connect with the people in the office, our partners and vendors we can potentially work with. I make it a priority to understand who they are, what they do, and most importantly what they want to gain from their current role or position. It’s important to me to know who I work with and create connections with people. Some of my most valuable friendships today are colleagues, both present and past.

How do you help your team continue to grow?
I look for any opportunity I can to put them in front of the room and give them a platform to lead. I believe in cultivating growth, identifying their strengths and provide people with the ability achieve their goals and succeed in their roles.

I identify gaps, and I don’t always have to lead. Someone might ask me to be in a meeting, and I’ll refer them to someone on my team so I can elevate those around me. I don’t need to be the one in the room all the time. I want to give my team the opportunity to step up into new territory. It’s the only way we all grow.

See Cynopsis’ full list of Top Women in Media, and learn more about working at Cadent