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We are excited to share that Rachel Hudson, SVP, Pricing & Inventory, Network Operations, Cadent, was named an Industry Leader on the 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. Rachel, who has been with Cadent in its different iterations for nearly 14 years, leads pricing and inventory strategies and partnerships across cable, addressable, and digital channels as well as cable operations out of our Philadelphia office, though her work and influence stretch far beyond those groups.
Below is a conversation between Rachel and VP-Operations Patricia Van Nostrand, who received the Cynopsis honor last year.
Patricia: What has it been like transitioning to different roles within Cadent?
Rachel: I’m often asked, “How long have you been at Cadent” with a quick follow up question, “why?” I’ve been here 14 years, but it doesn’t feel like it because I’ve had many different roles.
When I started, the company wasn’t even named Cadent. I started in Sales and then moved into Operations and then Pricing and Planning. Each role has been valuable to me because it gave me an understanding of how Cadent works and how we are unique in the marketplace. Knowing how we do what we do from different perspectives is helpful in being able to deliver for our clients and partners. I’ve been able to learn various aspects from multiple perspectives and bring them together.
Patricia: What do you do to motivate those around you?
Rachel: Of course I focus on business success, but more importantly to me, it’s about people. The people that work for me, that I work with, and that I work for. It’s about getting to know them and learning what they get excited about and what motivates them, learning their strengths and helping them build on those strengths.
Something that I ask as many people as I possibly can, both outside of my group and specifically within my group is: “what are your personal goals and what are your professional goals?” My job as a manager is to align those as best I can. It’s imperative to me to learn that about people so I can help them grow and develop, and to also direct and facilitate that personal growth into success for the business.
Patricia: What is something that you make sure you’re not doing as a leader?
Rachel: I’ve learned to have trust and faith in people – to trust that they know what they’re doing, that they have the skills and that we will work through whatever comes up together.
I don’t believe in telling someone every step they need to do. I truly believe that we all come in wanting to do the right things, and that we should appreciate and recognize that. It’s about embracing the mistakes, learning from them and having that conversation about how we can create something – an approach, a process, the work, etc. – better so that we are all better for it.
Patricia: What are some of your sentiments around your success and the team that you have?
Rachel: My success is a testament to my team. I am successful when they are. That’s where I go back to what I described about establishing those connections, building those relationships and really getting to know people.
Certainly I wouldn’t have been recognized if it weren’t for my team, for all of the great work that they do, the relationships that we have and communication. My team is fantastic.
Patricia: What’s your next challenge, both personally or professionally?
Rachel:Personally, I have two young boys and an incredible husband, I want to continue to be the best parent, wife and role model for them. I would also like to continue my education.
Professionally, I would like to have a greater focus on mentoring and supporting others. As Cadent continues to grow, I would like to continue to foster the personal growth of our employees. I loved spending time with some of our interns this summer.
Patricia: Your thoughtfulness is something I admire, along with your perseverance, resilience and strength. I think demonstrating those qualities in our workplace inspires our coworkers, especially the young women we work with.
Rachel: When we first met, we knew of each other and I knew you were someone that I not only wanted to get to know better and work with, but I also had that feeling that you and I were going to be friends too, because having a personal connection with the people you work with makes the great days greater and the not-so-great days not that bad. How many times have we worked through the frustrations with a shrug and a laugh?
It is important that we as leaders be the example in all situations. No matter your role, we all have something to learn from each other. And having fun while we are doing it makes it that much better.
Patricia: Funny that you bring that up. Keep going.
Rachel: The work that we’ve done together is incredible. It’s been so much fun. To see that you were recognized last year, the immense excitement and pride I had in knowing you still overcomes me today. To be there when you were recognized was just amazing. It’s serendipitous, here we are a year later having this conversation.
Patricia: Absolutely. I think one of the things that you touched upon was trust. Those around you see that they can trust you, that you’re knowledgeable in the space, you’re a go-to to find clarity. If anybody knows, Rachel will know the answer.
It’s certainly been a pleasure for me to see that you’ve been recognized as well for all of your efforts.
Rachel: Thank you. We work with a great group at Cadent, and I’m looking forward to more incredible work together.
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