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Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Patricia Van Nostrand

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th – a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. This year’s theme, “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” invites us to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to remember all the contributions Hispanic and Hispanic-American people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It’s also a reminder that we are stronger together.  

This month at Cadent, we spoke with some of our Hispanic colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.   

Patricia Van Nostrand has been with Cadent for more than four years, watching the business take shape into the company we are today. A proud Argentinian and Cuban, Patricia has sought ways to build a stronger community for her Hispanic peers, in the workplace and beyond.  

To learn more about Patricia, check out our Q&A below.   

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Tell us about your role

My title is SVP, Business Operations. That means that I focus on operational evolution, helping our teams drive change and innovation by leveraging technology. For example, as we evolve as a platform company, many teams are involved in the overall workflow in the business. We identify what information is key across teams and unify how that’s tracked and communicated inter-departmentally. The speed at which it happens, and the accuracy, eliminates error and allows us to scale.

What does it mean to you to be a woman of Hispanic descent, and what does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Growing up in an Argentinian and Cuban household, I was encouraged to be a strong-minded and outspoken woman; to “Always speak up when you’re passionate about something.”

My parents came to the U.S. as young adults, knowing little to no English and neither having graduated from college. They worked hard, found opportunities to excel, and put three kids through college – a huge accomplishment from where they came from – being “tired” wasn’t in their vocabulary. I never self-analyzed until adulthood, why I was (am) kind of obsessed with “succeeding,” whatever that means – it’s the immigrant family work ethic. Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the many individuals and families who came to the United States for a better life – the American Dream.

Hispanic Heritage Month means an opportunity for representation, celebrating our culture and all that it brings. It’s a very passionate culture – lively music, colorful food, and a fiery zest for life! I try to bring that same energy to work every day and help people I work with smile more. One of my favorite things about being Hispanic is being bilingual. It has allowed me to break barriers and build multicultural relationships both in my personal and professional life.

Do you have any favorite movies, books, music, or other cultural inspirations from Hispanic creators?  

Growing up, we always had music playing in the house. Argentine Tango for barbecues and Salsa while we were cooking, organizing, or celebrating birthdays. Latin music is a huge part of my life. Carlos Vives, Fonseca, and Maluma are some of my favorites. The lyrics in Spanish can be so eloquently written, but unfortunately, the translation to English doesn’t do it justice. It still gets everybody moving regardless of whether you even know the words!

What do you feel helps to foster a culture of inclusion? How have you seen those behaviors and practices successfully put into action?   

I’m beginning to see a transition – in how people are participating and in the sheer number of conversations being had around inclusion. Organizations are now more open to listening to how people have been impacted by exclusion – unintentional or not – and more importantly, leadership is acknowledging that creating a safe space for employees to share is a must. I know people who have had the opportunity to share their experience feel heard and that’s all some people need. Ultimately, we all need to internalize that feedback, adjust our mindset and behaviors, and make clear what we are no longer willing to accept.

What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic and Hispanic-American community today and what growth do you hope to see in the future?  

I think there are a lot of stereotype molds that need to be broken. In my experience, there’s also a close-mindedness as to what a Hispanic or Latina woman is “supposed” to look like – and some of these judgments happen within our own community. So, to break these stereotypes, there is a lot of mentorship and sponsorship that needs to happen for the women coming behind us. We need to provide more access to the Hispanic community, and I personally am making it a mission of mine.

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page. 

Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Joan Gonzalez-Delia

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th – a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. This year’s theme, “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” invites us to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to remember all the contributions Hispanic and Hispanic-American people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It’s also a reminder that we are stronger together.  

This month at Cadent, we spoke with some of our Hispanic colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.   

Joan Gonzalez-Delia, Ops Manager, has been with Cadent for over eight years, beginning her Cadent career in Accounting and eventually moving on to Broadcast Operations. An avid music fan, when she’s not at work, you can find her spending time outside with her family or dancing to her favorite salsa albums.  

To learn more about Joan, check out our Q&A below.   

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Tell us about your role 

I manage the Broadcast Operations team. We’re in charge of getting the reporting out to advertisers, inventory sources, just making sure that we’re running the commercials the way the advertisers want them to run.  

What has been your career journey? 

My first media role was with Cadent! I have a marketing degree, but when I joined Cadent eight years ago, my job was with the Accounting department. Then, when the company was being reorganized, I decided to take my chances with broadcast rather than cable, because, at the time, I felt like our cable team was already very established, while broadcast was up and coming. I started off in buying and later moved on to the operations side, where I still am today. 

However, my first job was in auto sales. I worked at a dealership for a long time, in their service department, taking appointments and writing up customer’s bills. Then I moved to internet sales. It was the very beginning of internet sales when people were reaching out for quotes and such on their internet packages. From there, I became a repossession manager. But after all that, I got my opportunity here at Cadent! I was referred, went through the interview process, and I got the job.  

Are there any mentors or experiences that have shaped you – either professionally or personally? 

I would say, personally, would have to be my stepfather. He was always my biggest fan. He told me I could do anything I put my mind to – there truly wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do in his eyes. He was a police officer, and he was in the military, so he was driven and had a lot of pride in everything that he did. I think that’s something I took from him, and it’s shaped how I am as a manager.  

Professionally, I have to say Danie, our Senior Director of Broadcast Operations. When she started her role several years ago, Danie took the time take me under her wing and guide me through the business, helping me and grow into a manager position. She has been my biggest advocate. I look up to her and if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am now.  

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?  

Outside. Whether I’m out back, sitting on the hammock or in the pool, or on the beach, I enjoy anything outside in the summertime. In the wintertime, I like to listen to music – and I know that sounds awful, but I like to clean! So, if you don’t find me at the beach or doing something outside, I’m probably cleaning or organizing a closet somewhere. 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you, and what does it mean to you to be a woman of Hispanic descent? 

I’m Puerto Rican, so for me, I’m Spanish all the time! And it’s nice to see that we get some recognition. There are so many different cultures that fall under the Hispanic umbrella, so I feel like Hispanic Heritage Month highlights how not everybody who speaks Spanish is Mexican, that not everybody from Puerto Rico is “illegal.” I get a lot of, “You’re from Puerto Rico – do you have your green card?” and “Did you need to get your visa to come?” When, it’s like, no, I am a citizen – I was born that way. 

I also think Hispanic Heritage Month brings up more conversations and in turn more knowledge to people that don’t really know much about the Hispanic community. 

But what does it mean to me to be Hispanic? I take pride in it. It’s who I am, right? It’s just a part of me. My husband is Italian and I’m Puerto Rican, so I try and incorporate as much of both our cultures as I can into our kids’ lives. I make them listen to Spanish music on Saturdays while I’m cleaning. And sometimes I’ll have them dance with me. It’s part of their culture, so I feel that it’s something they should know.  

Do you have any favorite movies, books, music, or other cultural inspirations from Hispanic creators? 

Marc Anthony, I listen to a lot! I saw him when I was in second grade. He was a nobody, playing at a festival. But since then, he’s become a household name. My mom loves him, and I think we’ve been to four of his shows over the years. He keeps it very traditional, very salsa, and just very Puerto Rican. 

What do you feel helps to foster a culture of inclusion? How have you seen those behaviors and practices successfully put into action?   

Conversations help. I think what Cadent is doing when it comes DEI, putting in the time and effort to bring in all these different speakers is so important. It helps us to understand that many people, even those who look alike or work at the same job, all live very different lives. 

We are so diverse as a company, which I think that’s a good sign that things are working. You’re not just forgetting about the people that make your company function. We are a big, important part of Cadent and its success. 

I also think it’s important that each group be recognized whether it’s Women at Cadent, or employees who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, or our Jewish coworkers. At the end of the day, these are the people that I spend more time with at work than I do at home, so I would like to get to know them a little bit more! And having those opportunities at work, to learn more about other cultures, is pretty neat.  

What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic and Hispanic-American community today and what growth do you hope to see in the future? 

It was two years ago, right before the pandemic, and I pulled up to the gas station. I had my Spanish music blaring, but I get out to start pumping the gas and the guy next to me was like, “We speak English.” 

And I didn’t say anything because okay, that’s great, I speak English, too. But you know, I feel like if we lived in a different world or different time, I would have had a conversation with that person. For people like that, ignorance is bliss. And just because I’m Spanish or I’m listening to Spanish music doesn’t make me an any less American. It doesn’t mean that I don’t know English. It doesn’t mean that I’m here illegally. 

That’s the biggest challenge, at least for myself and for the Puerto Rican community, although I can’t speak for everybody else. It’s when people think that we don’t belong here just because we’re from Puerto Rico. A lot of people don’t realize we get to vote – we don’t vote in the election, but we get to vote in the primaries. We serve our country the same way that and America that lives on the mainland serves their country.  

I’ve had my share of rude comments and other incidents like that day in the gas station, but I feel like the more conversations we have about these different communities, with each other, the more it will help.  

What has been your proudest moment at Cadent? 

I feel like the growth I’ve been able to achieve within Cadent has made me proud to be working for Cadent. They didn’t stop me at Accounting. When I saw another opportunity, I was able to move into that and grow. I’m proud of the fact that they have allowed me to grow and that I see it happen with other people, too. There are many other people within the company that have started off here and they’ve ended up there.  

I’m also proud to work for a company that listens to their employees and takes the initiative to make sure that their employees are happy.  

What advice would you give to a younger colleague or a younger version of yourself? 

Just be authentic. Be your true self. I try to tell my kids all the time, “We all look different, because we are different,” but what’s important is, “you believe in what you believe, so don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t do or be something. If you put your mind to it, it’ll happen.” I don’t know though – I would give a lot of advice to my younger self! 

Another piece of advice I would give myself is, “Don’t hold back.” I know that I’ve held a lot back because I’m a woman or because I’m young or because I’m a mom. Unfortunately, I think I’ve held myself back from doing a lot of things, that if I could go back and tell my younger self anything, it would be just to, “Be authentic, be you, and if you want to do something, just do it.” 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page. 

Hispanic Heritage Month at Cadent: Erin Minjares

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th – a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. This year’s theme, “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” invites us to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to remember all the contributions Hispanic and Hispanic-American people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It’s also a reminder that we are stronger together.  

This month at Cadent, we spoke with some of our Hispanic colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.   

Erin Minjares, Executive Assistant, has been with Cadent for over five years, and in that time, she has watched the company grow into the business it is today. A California native, Erin attended San Jose City College before beginning her professional career. When she’s not at work, you can find Erin checking out a new art exhibit or playing pool with friends. 

To learn more about Erin, check out our Q&A below.   

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. “

Tell us about your role   

I am an Executive Assistant at Cadent supporting our CTO, Les Carter, and VP of Platform Sales, Tim Jenkins. I am also part of our DEI Team.  

What does your day-to-day look like?  

A typical day for me includes managing calendars, touching base with HR and DEI, planning for upcoming events, and working on current projects.  

Are there any mentors or experiences that have shaped you – either professionally or personally? 

Definitely – I have a spiritual mentor who has been a trusted confidant for years. He has given me direction in life and has helped me grow spiritually. It’s given me a different perspective and guidance in life and helped me learn how to manifest my goals. 

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?   

Playing pool or catching a new art exhibit in the city! 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? -or- What does it mean to you to be a woman of Hispanic descent?   

Growing up in a Hispanic household, there was always family around, music playing, cooking in the kitchen and a beautiful vibrancy of culture. My mother always taught us about where we came from through art, history, and events and made sure we were knowledgeable about where our family came from. It’s what keeps me humble and it’s a beautiful story – to see the hardships our culture has gone through and where we are today. With that said, it means a lot that I come from a background of fighters – even women had a crucial role in the battlefield during the Mexican Revolution – musically talented, educated, creative, culturally-minded people, with a broad variety of delicious food. I am extremely proud of being a woman of Hispanic descent.   

Fun fact – did you know that a Mexican engineer is responsible for one of the greatest inventions of all time: color TV! Guillermo González Camarena invented the chromoscopic adapter for television equipment when he was only 23! Talk about an overachiever. Bien compa! 

Do you have any favorite movies, books, music, or other cultural inspirations from Hispanic creators?  

As an art lover, I would have to say Frida Kahlo. She broke barriers and created her own footprint in the artist world. She is one of the most famous artists in the world to come from Mexico and created very touching pieces that have been a staple in our community for over 80 years. She is an inspiration to me because she was so strong, and even though her life was short lived, she impacted so many by giving young women the influence to be their true selves.  

What do you feel helps to foster a culture of inclusion? How have you seen those behaviors and practices successfully put into action?  

While fostering inclusion is a vital process in the ultimate success of a company, it shouldn’t be a chore. You should have a team that is passionate about the work, which ultimately leads to successful outcomes. I am happy to say our DEI Team has built a really good foundation for the future and is working hard to help this very important part of the company grow and flourish.  
 
What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic and Hispanic-American community today and what growth do you hope to see in the future?   

Access to quality education and immigration reform are the areas that I feel are the most important.  
 
What advice would you give to a younger colleague or a younger version of yourself?  

Don’t worry about opinions, work hard at your goals, and create your own lane. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.

Pride at Cadent: Jordan Dunnigan, Human Resources Generalist

June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer, as well as the history of LGBTQ+ rights movement.  

In 2021, tech is still a predominantly cis male industry, but increasingly, companies are encouraging conversations around ways to improve inclusivity. Across the country, a variety of groups have emerged to support LGBTQ+ people in the tech sector such as StartOutLesbians Who Tech, and TransTech Social Enterprises. These grassroots organizations were founded by members of the LGBTQ+ community who saw a need for better resources and representation. 

This month at Cadent, we spoke with colleagues who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Pride means to them.  

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jordan_Dunnigan_Headshot.jpg

Jordan Dunnigan, Human Resources Generalist, has been with Cadent for over two years, and in that time, he has had the opportunity to watch the organization grow, as the first point of contact for many employees. When Jordan’s not at work, you can find him out with friends in Philly or binging the latest season of “The Real Housewives.”  

To learn more about Jordan, check out our Q&A below.  

The following conversation has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Tell us about your role.  

I am a human resources generalist, so I have my hands in a little bit of everything with HR! Day to day, my main responsibilities are the onboarding of new employees, getting their offer letters set up, getting them situated with IT, and then being the point person for questions and concerns about benefits, as well as running new hire orientation. Some other key responsibilities I have are running our internship program which we just kicked off last week and being a business partner for the broadcast operations team.  

Have you always worked in HR?  

I have for the last 4 and a half years or so, but my first job out of college was as an entertainment news writer for a site that’s no longer up and running. I wrote about topics like Bravo – lots of ‘Real Housewives’ articles, pop stars, and daily entertainment news.  

Are there any mentors or experiences that shaped your career?  

I owe almost all of it to the bosses, who I also consider mentors, that I’ve had! I’ve worked for 3 companies doing HR and I’ve been very lucky that at each of them, I had a great boss that I could go to who were not only interested in developing me in HR but also personally. I knew I could always go to them with any questions or concerns. There were no stupid questions. They wanted to see me grow and give me the tools to do, so I owe my success in my career so far to them.  

I would say my first role – at a staffing agency in Philadelphia, one of my colleagues was a gay man in his 50s who I met through that role, and we stayed friends. I haven’t worked in that role for about 3 years now, but we still stay in touch! He was somebody who didn’t necessarily mentor me professionally but was a mentor personally, being a gay man in Philadelphia, hearing his stories. Our twenties and thirties were different times – a lot of his friends lost their lives because of the AIDS epidemic – so it was great but of course sad to hear about his upbringing in the gay community. He is someone I consider a mentor and someone who helped me be more comfortable being who I am.  

What does Pride mean to you and how are you planning to celebrate this year? 

Pride to me is a celebration of who we are. It’s a place, and a month, and the events that are held. Somewhere that you can go that you know will be free of judgement. Being a gay man, Pride means a lot to me because it’s a celebration of who I am, and I know there’s this safe space to celebrate. But Pride is also something anyone from any walk of life can join and celebrate love and acceptance. This year, I will be celebrating with my friends in the city. Last year, because of the pandemic, there weren’t big Pride events, so this year we plan to go to any gay bar or local LGBT event that is hosting something for Pride and hit them all up!  

One more thing on Pride is I always think it’s important to remember that the first Pride was a riot. Because of the events that happened during the first Pride, it gave us the ability to now celebrate and have that safe space.  

Do you have any favorite movies, books, music, or other cultural inspirations from the LGBTQ+ community?  

The first thing that comes to mind for me was Lady Gaga. Not only is she a bi woman, but I remember growing up when she first came out and I was starting to think about my sexuality, she was the first mainstream artist that sang about those topics and was a fighter for LGBT equality in society. I remember when she released Born this Way, I was 17 or so, and hearing her sing about being gay or being trans, was such a major moment for me, that somebody can reach such success while singing about these walks of life and fighting for this community.  

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work? 

My favorite thing to do when I’m not at work is spend as much time with my friends here in the city as possible. I’ve been lucky that since I moved to Philly, I have made a great group of friends, most of whom are within the LGBT community. So, whether we go out to one of the gay bars, going out to eat, having a ‘Housewives’ night, or going to a concert, I love spending as much time with them as possible. It was hard during the pandemic not being able to see them, but we made sure to do Zoom’s and FaceTime’s whenever we could.  

NYC Pride announced that 2021’s official theme for Pride is “The Fight Continues” – something Cadent has adopted for our own Pride initiatives. Can you tell us what “The Fight Continues” means to you? 

It means we still have work to do. We’ve achieved a lot over the last few years and decades, but I think 2020 showed that there’s still a lot of work to be done. I think we thought we were in a better place in terms of hate crimes, racism, and transphobia, but that isn’t the case. We still have trans women being killed, mostly Black trans women, police brutality and violence against people of color. I think The Fight Continues means that we’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot of work to do to fix the cracks ingrained into our society. I’m confident we will come together to help fix these issues. I also think there were those who may not have been as aware of the issues preventing us from achieving more equality and inclusion to do their research more during this past year, bringing them into the fight.

What do you feel helps to foster a culture of inclusion? How have you seen those behaviors and practices successfully put in action?  

The biggest thing a company can do is provide a safe space and promote that safe space so employees know they can have those difficult, sometimes awkward conversations. Before 2020, talking about race and identity was uncomfortable for people and make them nervous.  

What Cadent is doing now is great, when we have speakers come in from different walks of life, that someone hasn’t interacted with before, people leave those events, go to a team meeting or one-on-one, and are then more likely to talk about it.  

After one of the presentations we had as a part of the DEI initiative, people really opened up. For instance, individuals on our team opened up about their experiences, sharing with us things that we wouldn’t necessarily think are offensive or triggering. So, by creating those safe spaces, you’re allowing those conversations to be had.  

What has been your proudest moment at Cadent? 

A moment that stands out to me is winning the Cadent Crusher award! I know new hires are the ones who submitted me and onboarding new hires is a big part of my day-to-day work life. Of course, we’ve all been in jobs where you start out and you’re like, “I don’t know what to do,” or “I don’t know who to go to,” so I try to foster that positive relationship with them and make sure they know they can come to me with anything, or if I can’t answer it, I’ll escalate it. It was really rewarding to not only win the Crusher, but to have the nomination come from new hires.  

What do you think about the opportunities available today to individuals who identify as LGBTQ+? Where is there room for improvement? 

In terms of opportunities for the LGBT community today, I think we’re getting better! What can make it even better is acceptance and education. There’s still discrimination in the workplace and things that can be done to prevent that. Aside from federal and state laws, education is a big part of it. The LGBT community has such a long history in this country that we should be teaching our youth more about it. Exposing them to a different walk of life, to a different community, helps them learn more about it and that these people are a part of our country – you probably know them. Educating youth would help prevent future discrimination and create more acceptance.  

What advice would you give to a younger colleague or a younger version of yourself? 

Be yourself and don’t be afraid to be yourself. Everyone’s situation is different, so the fear of being yourself could be bigger for somebody depending on what they’re going through in their lives. Growing up, I was always very shy and still am a little bit today, and I always thought that’s just who I was. But in thinking about my sexuality more and coming out, it helped me come out of my shell, be more myself, be more outgoing and not be afraid to show who I really am. To my younger self, I’d say don’t be afraid to be yourself – it’s a great thing! It feels great when you figure out who you are and can live in that.  

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page. 

Women at Cadent: Deepti Goyal, Senior Director of Quality Assurance

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in different fields and spheres of life. 

Deepti Goyal

Ad tech is still a mostly male industry, but there are more conversations than ever around critical issues to the empowerment of women at work, including opening doors and access for women early in their careers so they can progress to C-suite; supporting women to choose and stay with STEM careers; and helping women achieve a work-life balance.

This month at Cadent, we’re profiling women who are leaders in their departments, asking about their career journeys, approaches to growth and mentorship, and their philosophies on leading others. 

Deepti Goyal has more than 15 years of experience in quality assurance and business analysis of client-server and web-based applications, with strong domain knowledge of media and advertising.

Throughout her varied career, Deepti credits her ability to adapt with curiosity and a willingness to ask questions: “Keep an open mind and be ready to learn, and when you don’t understand something, keep asking questions,” she says, adding, “Then anything is possible.”

Read a Q&A with Deepti below. 

The following conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

Did you always have a clear vision for your career?

I had a vision but the path to achieving my goal was not straightforward. I originally studied to become a pharmacist and decided to get an MBA in Marketing. My professional life began when I handled product management at a pharmaceutical company. I then made the leap into Quality Assurance and worked in multiple domains like mortgage, finance and access control that involved hardcore electrical engineering. Whatever field I was working in, my personality and way of dealing with people remained constant. I was always willing to discover something new and I was eager to ask questions. I focused on doing the best quality work possible, wherever I was.

After moving to the U.S., I had a break for a few years as I didn’t have a work permit. I essentially started from scratch in the software world. During this break, I put in a lot of time volunteering at libraries, a hospice, and at my kids’ schools. All those experiences, even cold calling, helped me so much in understanding American culture. Those experiences taught me not to underestimate what you can learn from any professional experience, however brief they might be. 

Whatever field I was working in, my personality and way of dealing with people remained constant. I was always willing to discover something new and I was eager to ask questions.”

Can you describe your average workday?

As part of quality engineering, we’re not merely simulating users and testing software manually. Our jobs require scripting, data verification and real engineering, and we have a lot of cool tools at our disposal. On a day-to-day basis, we serve all the teams, products, and applications at Cadent, whether it’s Cable, Broadcast, Media Hub, Data Engineering, or Business Intelligence. Any software that goes out to clients has to go through rigorous quality assurance.

We’re always working to improve our processes and technology, and we have daily meetings to discuss our progress and strategy.

How do you motivate your team?

When I started at Cadent, I was a one-person quality-assurance department, and I’ve since built a 13-person on-site team that has among the best retention rates in the company. I’m really proud of that, and one thing that has been key is that I still consider myself a team member, not just a leader.

I believe in trust-based leadership. I put a lot of faith in my team members and their work, and I consider their successes as mine and vice-versa. I present them with as many possibilities to grow as I can and let them know the sky’s the limit. They realize if I ask them to do something, there’s a good reason. I listen to them and learn their strengths and weaknesses, and that way I can place them in roles where they can be successful. That said, if there are problems, we identify them together and work on a plan to improve.

Basically, I treat them the way I want to be treated. You can call it trust-based leadership, but it’s pretty much just being human.

Women are still greatly underrepresented in the STEM fields. Has being a woman engineer posed particular challenges?

In many of my professional roles, I have been the first woman to hold that post, so when I got to Cadent and discovered that I was surrounded by men, that was OK. I was used to it. The men I partnered with were a little anxious; they wondered how to behave around me or whether they would have to change their manner of speaking.

I considered my unofficial first assignment being to build friendly relationships with them and prove to them that I was capable. It worked out fine because we have the best, brightest, and most supportive people here at Cadent. My managers put their faith in me, taught me about the domain, and gave me flexibility and independence.

Don’t forget that aside from being a woman, I was also the first Quality Assurance person, so there were challenges in that as well. I had to do a lot of explaining about what QA means, why it’s needed, and how it can be implemented effectively.

I realize challenges of all sorts will always come my way, but I don’t let them slow me down.

Basically, I treat [my team] the way I want to be treated. You can call it trust-based leadership, but it’s pretty much just being human.

As you built your department, what was your approach to convincing stakeholders that QA is important?

Talking doesn’t help much, right? I might preach to everyone “This is important,” but if they don’t believe it, they won’t believe it. Wherever I go, I always focus on explaining the process and value of QA to them. Your work eventually proves itself. I showed them the disadvantages or the cons of why the process being followed at that time needed improvement, and I pointed out the shortcomings. I demonstrated how solving issues a certain way is more efficient and productive than what had been done for years. There are many benefits to QA – it improves the quality of the product, increases clients’ confidence and the company’s goodwill, and it helps the team detect issues earlier on, which costs less than fixing them later.

Eventually, when people realize that you are honest and you have a shared goal in mind, they understand. It takes time. All along, I had support from my manager. He put so much trust and faith in me. He believed in my vision and gave me that flexibility and independence to execute it the way I wanted to.

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.

Women at Cadent: Nina Keinberger, Vice President of Research

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in different fields and spheres of life. 

Ad tech is still a mostly male industry, but there are more conversations than ever around critical issues to the empowerment of women at work, including opening doors and access for women early in their careers so they can progress to C-suite; supporting women to choose and stay with STEM careers; and helping women achieve a work-life balance.

This month at Cadent, we’re profiling women who are leaders in their departments, asking about their career journeys, approaches to growth and mentorship, and their philosophies on leading others. 

Nina Keinberger has broad-based expertise in digital and television sales, marketing, and research, as well as a solid track record of establishing long-term client relationships and a proven ability to adapt quickly to new technologies, processes, and procedures. She believes you can find much to enjoy in every stage of your career and says: “Using a travel analogy, it isn’t always the destination that matters, but more importantly, the journey to get there.”

Read a Q&A with Nina below.

The following conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

What qualities are vital in a great leader?

A great leader leads by example: they roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, dig right in, and accept and embody change. Just because someone has a title doesn’t mean they can’t dive in and help the team when someone is overwhelmed. 

Even though a leader by nature acts as an authority figure in order to motivate and create a professional environment, they should first and foremost be a mentor. They must also remember to be inclusive, fun, and, most of all, human. We all come to the office with different life stories and no one wants to be treated like a machine, sitting there day after day churning out work; it’s crucial that leaders tap into the person behind that output and get to know their team on a more personal level.

I also think it’s important to encourage the team to take ownership of a project and either present it themselves or, if that’s not possible, they should get the credit, publicly, for their hard efforts.

Why is that credit important?

It’s empowering to let people present their work. It offers visibility and ownership, and really makes them part of the team and not just a worker bee behind the scenes. Of course, I give people time to find their comfort level for speaking in front of a group. For young women, it’s important for their voices to be heard. 

What has it been like watching the people who report to you become more comfortable in front of a group?

It must feel like what it’s like to be a mother. As a camp counselor, from age 16 onwards, I always enjoyed teaching, whether it was with volleyball, swimming, or a camp play. I’ve always enjoyed seeing people bloom and flourish.

Researchers tend to be more quiet, behind-the-scenes people, and I’m not that person. If my personableness can be infectious in building confidence in a junior Research team member, then my job is well done. 

It’s empowering to let people present their work. It offers visibility and ownership, and really makes them part of the team and not just a worker bee behind the scenes. For young women, it’s important for their voices to be heard.”

In your role, you do a lot of public speaking; how did you get comfortable with that?

As a kid, I wanted to be an actress or rock star like Debbie Harry of Blondie or Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. I was always a performer. That definitely helped with my comfort in public speaking, but a life changer was a mandatory course the sales team took while working at Viacom called Speakeasy. Everyone was videotaped, we all spoke in front of our peers, and received constructive feedback reviewing those tapes – the pointers of which I still use to this day!

What do you think of the opportunities available to women in media today?

Advertising media has a pretty good women-to-men ratio so there is something to praise there. We have come a long way since the days of Mad Men, but a “boys club” mentality can still occur occasionally.

Any business can help things improve by ensuring that women are given as much public praise as their male counterparts for their efforts; are able to speak and be heard as much as men in meetings; and earn equal pay for performing equal duties. Give women time to speak, and back up your words with action.

On an overall observational basis, if someone gets bullied, someone else needs to speak up in order to make change. It takes a lot of voices to create change. And it’s long overdue. 

Can you talk about the role of empathy in creating change?

I had a nontraditional upbringing. Having grown up in a multicultural environment, from my neighborhood to schools and summer camp, I’ve always rooted for the underdog. I also value taking your education into your own hands – as a history buff, I looked for information that wasn’t taught in schools about marginalized groups and overlooked events in history. That propelled my empathy as a human, fueled by being a sociology major in college. 

Are there any shows, books or otherwise you’ve found inspiring recently?

In recent years I have been obsessed with the Bravo show “Below Deck,” which goes behind the scenes of superyacht and sailing charters with a focus on the crew. That vessel is a microcosm of any work environment. There are strong female leaders on the show, my favorite being Kate, the Chief Steward. Seeing her manage her team is completely engaging and intriguing. The show exposes how experience, rank, respect, work ethic, and professionalism play out on the road to success. As the saying goes, “A good sailor never learned a lesson in calm seas.”

And you also personally enjoy sailing, right?

I sail with friends. My friend is a captain, and we all pitch in, whether it’s dropping anchor, making coffee, cleaning up, cooking or scrubbing the deck. It’s “all hands on deck,” literally. The fact that I can do this with my best friends in the world is amazing. Each person will pitch in for the greater good. 

That’s how I think about teams – we’re all trying to get from point A to point B. We all have to make sure the boat has enough water and gas and that we have enough food. Let’s all jump in and make it happen. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.

Women at Cadent: Camille Marcos Napa, Senior Counsel

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in different fields and spheres of life. 

Camille Marcos Napa

Ad tech is still a mostly male industry, but there are more conversations than ever around critical issues to the empowerment of women at work, including opening doors and access for women early in their careers so they can progress to C-suite; supporting women to choose and stay with STEM careers; and helping women achieve a work-life balance.

This month at Cadent, we’re profiling women who are leaders in their departments, asking about their career journeys, approaches to growth and mentorship, and their philosophies on leading others. 

With more than a decade of legal experience, Senior Counsel Camille Marcos Napa held public-service posts, advised tech start-ups, and taught Intro to Business Law at Bentley University before joining Cadent. Her legal background included representing people before a judge, an experience that many attorneys, even at large law firms, don’t always have in their backgrounds.

“That was a true growth opportunity, to represent cases and make arguments that had successful outcomes,” Camille said. “Now, when I have to deal with a multitude of issues that come across my desk, I have some point of reference, whether it’s in the litigation matter, a vendor issue or otherwise.”

With her varied background and willingness to try new areas of law, it’s no surprise that Camille believes in the importance of taking on new challenges in order to learn and grow. Read more about Camille’s career journey in a Q&A below. 

The following conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

Can you describe your path to Cadent and the experiences that have helped you grow along the way?

It was definitely not linear. As a law student, I worked for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and in that capacity, I did a lot of the research and writing for the state’s Universal Health Care initiative. I’ve also worked for an advocacy group that represented employees in cases of wage and hour violations, done family law and immigration work, and consulted for various technology start-ups. 

I didn’t come from a media background, and I hadn’t worked at a media or advertising law firm, but when I approached Cadent, they saw I was driven and hungry for the opportunity. I had learned to be agile and handle a broad range of legal and business issues, and I did a lot of research on the ad industry. Chris Poindexter, General Counsel at Cadent, mentored me, taught me about the company, and introduced me to what the media industry was like. He also supported me in joining the Association of Corporate Counsel, a group for in-house attorneys, and that was really helpful to me to grow professionally.

Cadent has changed a lot since you joined the company; has that posed any challenges for you?

I had to evolve very quickly and become knowledgeable about brokering data in the ad tech ecosystem. Because my background is multidisciplinary, I was able to pivot quickly and adapt. So as the company has grown and evolved, I’ve grown and evolved right along with it.

As an example, in January 2020, the CPPA or California Privacy Act was enacted the same time, January of 2020, as we acquired 4INFO, a data activation company. Our team had to learn a lot and evolve very quickly.

What’s your approach to leadership?

I focus on being an effective communicator, understanding what people want and what motivates them. Transparency is also important; when you’re clear about your goals or the problems you’re trying to solve, that gives your team incentive and empowers them. 

I truly believe that showing you trust and value people and are empathetic to them makes for better leadership. Above all, as a leader, I focus on helping my team members develop into effective leaders themselves. 

At Cadent, you’re known as someone who makes an effort to mentor others and be available to junior employees and interns. Can you talk about why that’s important to you?

Absolutely. I love that I could have an impact on younger, just out-of-college or in-college people, because I feel like I’ve been in that place and I didn’t necessarily have that guidance when I started out. If there’s an opportunity to give back and be accessible and relatable to new employees, I welcome it. 

It can make a world of difference when you’re just starting out in an industry to have someone take an interest in you and provide you with guidance.

Do you have any favorite books on women’s leadership?

I would argue that all women should read about negotiation. My favorite book right now is Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life, by Stuart Diamond, a professor at the Wharton School of Business. I think women sometimes have a hard time negotiating for themselves, so having the set of common sense tools he describes is invaluable. As a parent, I often find myself negotiating with a five-year-old and a two-year-old, so I constantly use these skills.

How has being a parent had an impact on your perspective as a Legal professional?

I think it’s so valuable for people who read this to understand what it means to be a working parent or a working mother. It’s probably the biggest asset that I have, that I’m a working mother. It’s taught me to be more patient, understanding, and efficient; to get more things done in less time while keeping perspective on the bigger goal. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.

Women at Cadent: Alex Grier, Senior Director of Broadcast Media Buying

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in different fields and spheres of life. 

Ad tech is still a mostly male industry, but there are more conversations than ever around critical issues to the empowerment of women at work, including opening doors and access for women early in their careers so they can progress to C-suite; supporting women to choose and stay with STEM careers; and helping women achieve a work-life balance.

This month at Cadent, we’re profiling women who are leaders in their departments, asking about their career journeys, approaches to growth and mentorship, and their philosophies on leading others. 

Alex Grier, Senior Director of Broadcast Media Buying, has been with Cadent for nearly four years, and in that time, she has seen the department evolve and expand rapidly as a more strategic partner to the Cadent Sales team. 

As a manager, Alex advocates presenting your human side to employees and striking a balance of support with constructive criticism. “It’s important that people feel heard, whether you agree or not,” Alex said. 

In her role negotiating with Broadcast inventory partners, honesty is key, she said, adding, “All you have in this business is your word. Whether it’s with your team or your external partners, I strive to be fair so everyone involved knows they’re dealing with a person who is going to try to find a middle ground where we both win, as much as we possibly can.”

Read a Q&A with Alex below. 

The following conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

What does your day-to-day look like?

On a daily basis, I lead a team of 11 amazing people. It’s a really great, trusting, “we all have each other’s back” type of team. 

I’m proud to come in every day and work with them. Every day, we’re securing media on a local level for our clients and trying to get the best deals out there for our business. 

My job is to be there for our internal and external partners, stakeholders and my team when they have questions and need answers. I encourage my team to be very solution-based. Like, “Here is the issue, and here are some suggestions I have to resolve this.” It’s always helpful, in business and in life, too, when people are more solution-based. 

What’s your approach to learning new skills?

At Cadent, the business has evolved so much since I started here. I basically had to bring in my whole medical kit when I came onboard, prepared to educate and create processes because the business had just been brought in-house at Cadent, but it was fun and I enjoyed it. Learning new things makes the day go fast, and I love teaching and showing people things if they really seem interested. Their interest is important – I don’t try to force knowledge on people if they don’t want to hear it.

Can you talk about your team and how you relate to each person?

There’s always more to learn. My team has said I’m relatable, and that’s because I’m still just me. Even with a title next to my name, I’m still just a person who wants to learn things the same as you, who wants to figure out how to build things together. If someone does something great, I want them to be acknowledged for that the same way as a person, I would want to be acknowledged for that.

Is there a particular person you’ve worked with in the past who had a big impact on you?

Yes, a previous manager. She was the person who mentored me and cultured me and helped me learn this media world. What I took from that experience is, if you see that people have talent or that they’re hard workers and they want to try and learn, you should definitely invest in them. It’s never a waste of time to invest.

To this day, when I hear someone say, “Oh my gosh, I remember when you taught me this,” it’s the most rewarding feeling in the world.

Do you have a favorite book, movie or piece of music that has inspired your journey as a leader?

I really loved “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” It’s about a Black woman in 1951 whose cells were taken, unbeknownst to her, and harvested in the lab. It created the HeLa cell line. HeLa, for Henrietta Lacks. It’s a beautiful and a sad story. 

It makes me think of the contributions of Black women – even when they don’t even realize they’re contributing – and just how difficult it can be as a person of color, just people not understanding or treating you the same. That’s what I love about the book, knowing her contributions and knowing that we have all these different cures for cancer, just based on studying her cells. 

What makes a successful leader?

If you can make someone else better, that shows you’re successful. Regardless of how people see you, envision you, whatever doubts they try to cast on you.

You’re not always going to get credit. Rely on knowing what you did was good or great. And don’t worry about naysayers or looking for that kind of outside gratitude. I don’t look for the accolades from the outside. If they come, I’m very appreciative because I know it’s hard for people to say, “Thank you, you did a great job.” That’s what makes me say thank you even more to my team. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.

Women at Cadent: Sarah Collie, Technical Project Manager

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in different fields and spheres of life. 

Sarah Collie, Technical Project Manager

Ad tech is still a mostly male industry, but there are more conversations than ever around critical issues to the empowerment of women at work, including opening doors and access for women early in their careers so they can progress to C-suite; supporting women to choose and stay with STEM careers; and helping women achieve a work-life balance.

This month at Cadent, we’re profiling women who are leaders in their departments, asking about their career journeys, approaches to growth and mentorship, and their philosophies on leading others. 

Sarah Collie, a Technical Project Manager based in the UK, has 20 years of experience  in the broadcast and advertising industries. As a PM, Sarah said she likes to help teams self-manage and lead themselves, providing frameworks and guidance for the groups she collaborates with, adding, “I like helping teams improve and identifying processes that can be made better.”

Read a conversation with Sarah below about her path to ad tech and Project Management, and a manager who made an impact on her journey.

The following conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

What led you to Cadent? 

At university, I studied the History of Art, then began on the administration side of projects at BSkyB (which later merged with Sky), and progressed to Project Management roles. One of my managers from BSkyB led in a way which has really inspired me and has stuck with me. She knew her business area inside out, actually gave her team ownership and let people pave their own path. 

How did your manager influence your career path? 

She helped me find the confidence to become a Project Manager. One lesson from her leadership was that it pays to be open to any kind of commentary. There are always benefits from listening and communicating, just allowing people to empower themselves, run with ideas and learn from mistakes or from successes. She put a lot of faith in me, and she really set me on my career path. I wanted to learn a lot more about the business area I was working in rather than the administrative side. 

So it’s fair to say this manager enabled you to make this change. 

She was kind of the springboard. After making the shift away from administrative work, I had a wide variety of roles. I was a business analyst, worked in pre-sales and was a project manager. I don’t think I would have done any of that without having her support to make the initial change.

I felt that if I didn’t make the leap, then maybe I wouldn’t have the career I really wanted, and I wanted to have a career that I could really get involved in and find interesting. I wanted to understand the specifics as a Project Manager, and I wanted to transform the processes involved and be more involved with the stakeholders and clients.

How do you enable your teams today?

I work with three different teams, and they’re all very different. 

You have to understand your team, their work motivation, and then you also have to help them understand the external influences, the stakeholders and how the teams are working together. It’s quite dynamic. We do these retrospectives every two weeks, where we reflect on the previous sprints work, and look to identify improvements we can implement as part of the teams continued growth, and the next sprint-worth of work can therefore be entirely different.

Senior leaders in cross-functional roles often have to work hard to reach a consensus. How do you encourage people to follow your process?

I’m honest with my team. If I’m asking them to do something that I don’t think they would like to do, I explain the positives and the downsides of not doing it. I find clarity around what’s been asked, and then I’d probably just say “please.”

Can you name a few qualities that make a great Project Manager?

I appreciate honesty, patience and calmness. Humor is important. Being someone that people want to talk to and engage with is important, someone who encourages open dialogue. I want to communicate with others, and I want people to feel comfortable talking with me. I want to be able to listen.

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.

Women at Cadent: Akhila Gourishetty, Product Manager, DSP

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in different fields and spheres of life. 

Akhila Gourishetty, Product Manager, DSP

Ad tech is still a mostly male industry, but there are more conversations than ever around critical issues to the empowerment of women at work, including opening doors and access for women early in their careers so they can progress to C-suite; supporting women to choose and stay with STEM careers; and helping women achieve a work-life balance.

This month at Cadent, we’re profiling women who are leaders in their departments, asking about their career journeys, approaches to growth and mentorship, and their philosophies on leading others. 

Akhila Gourishetty, Product Manager-DSP, Cadent, started her career in medicine and later took a leap of faith into the tech space. These days, she applies her background in medicine to solving problems on Cadent’s Product team, collaborating cross-functionally to understand user and business requirements for the DSP and how to scale the product. 

“Using empathy to understand the voice of the customer is very similar to understanding the voice of a patient,” she says, adding, “I want to be able to understand problems without applying any stereotypes and bias, no matter the seniority, age, gender or background of a person, which is similar to how healthcare works.”

Read a Q&A with Akhila below. 

The following conversation has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Can you talk about your career transition from medicine to being part of a Product org?

Coming from a non-traditional background for tech, I want to be able to give others the same kind of open-minded, inclusive approach I’ve benefited from. My formal education in medicine doesn’t translate one-to-one, but I’ve found those experiences inform my perspective.

That’s also why I love working as part of a Product org. Having the opportunity to learn from those around you and synthesize a solution from all of these disparate sources of data reminds me of diagnosis in some ways. The fact it exists in a more ambiguous environment in a rapidly changing industry makes it all the more fun. 

Since I joined five months ago, I’ve been very supported with a great manager and a great engineering counterpart. I feel comfortable asking questions and saying, “Hey, can you answer this question for me?” My manager is very open to suggestions and vice versa for me.

Akhila participated in the #ChooseToChallenge.

What’s your approach to leadership at Cadent?

I’m very democratic in my approach. I like to encourage and empower the people I work with as stakeholders. Every single person is capable of offering a unique and valuable perspective on what we’re building and how to build it. I like to learn from other people in the room so I can concentrate on finding the most relevant piece of the puzzle we’re solving, and create space for us to collectively understand the “why” and the “how.”

Are there any resources you have found valuable to building your career?

What I’ve found most valuable is being able to learn about other industries, and how everyone else is building their own processes. There’s so much to learn, create, and share. 

What advice do you have for women starting their careers?

Young women starting out in their careers should try to understand where they’d like to be in the future and work backwards to find out exactly what they need to do to get there. Life can be overwhelming and it’s sometimes helpful to take a step back and start setting small, achievable goals. Accept your shortcomings, learn from them, and seek out feedback. Read a lot, surround yourself with people smarter than you, and take the time to really invest in yourself. Stepping into new opportunities will be difficult to adjust to at first, however these lead to the greatest growth. It’s always OK to say “Hey, I didn’t quite understand this,” or “Let me repeat what we just discussed.”

How have you found your voice in meetings where many or all people are men?

I was hesitant to speak up when I first started but I’m grateful to the leaders at Cadent who’ve built an environment that feels safe and have encouraged me to speak up. I suppose it started off by me offering a new perspective they hadn’t thought of before, or maybe posing a challenging question. From there, I’ve been finding that introducing a different way to frame things, or asking thoughtful questions is a very meaningful way to contribute. Speaking from a position of curiosity has not only helped me grow but also understand different perspectives.  

Life can be overwhelming and it’s sometimes helpful to take a step back and start setting small, achievable goals. Accept your shortcomings, learn from them, and seek out feedback. “

Can we talk about feedback – do you enjoy getting thoughtful criticism?

I love getting feedback. It allows me to reevaluate my approach and implement new strategies to my problem solving toolkit. 

When I have to give feedback to someone else, I try to balance the positives and negatives. The positive feedback builds confidence and helps you appreciate what has been done correctly, and the negative feedback helps to align expectations and facilitate improvement. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.

Cadent Celebrates Women in Science Day

In celebration of Women in Science Day, Cadent is highlighting two data scientists who are helping to transform the business of TV.

Meet Katy Fallows, Sr. Data Scientist, and Derya Meral, Data Scientist.

Katy Fallows, Sr. Data Scientist, Cadent

Derya Meral, Data Scientist, Cadent

Both women are leading innovation in Advanced TV Advertising through Machine Learning and AI. They collaborate with various lines of business and engineering to solve complex business challenges and innovate around data driven-decision making.

Katy joined Cadent in 2017 and has been a key part of Cadent’s growth. She has made significant impact to the organization. Katy leverages her background in Astronomy to bring with her experience defining and solving difficult problems. She earned her master’s degree in Astronomy at Boston University where she studied the ionosphere of Mars.

Her team members would describe her as extremely intelligent, witty, insightful, detail oriented and fun to work with!

Outside of work,  Katy enjoys hiking or exploring the city with friends, making jewelry, and drinking too much tea.

Mike Richman, Data Scientist, said, “Katy has been a fantastic mentor since I joined this team as the junior member. We can always count on her leadership – both direct and by example – to guide us towards solutions that are technically sound, well documented, and ultimately valuable for the business.”

Derya recently celebrated her one year anniversary at Cadent and has been an integral part of the core Data Science team. Being a Physicist, she brings a unique thought process and approach to solving some of the toughest problems in the industry. She received her PhD in Physics from Drexel University for her dissertation on molecular dynamics studies of disordered proteins.

Derya’s team members describe her as intelligent, hard-working, thorough, and encouraging.

Outside of work you can find her volunteering for Tech Girls, a non-profit that inspires Middle School girls to explore the possibilities of technology, or sipping on a cup of Turkish coffee. These days, however, Derya is attempting to join Katy in her tea drinking habits.

Mike Richman said that Derya is a great team player and excels at getting projects un-stuck, whether that means offering her insights to others, asking the right questions, or picking up a work-in-progress and taking it forward.

Fun fact: Katy and Derya both led one of the winning teams, Gradient Dissent, for our 2021 internal hackathon.

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page.

Congrats to Cadent’s Rachel Hudson, a Cynopsis Top Woman in Media

Rachel Hudson, SVP, Pricing & Inventory, Network Operations, Cadent

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. 

Learn more about working at Cadent.

Congrats to Cadent’s Patricia Van Nostrand, a Cynopsis Top Woman in Media

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

How Our Values Drive Us to Give Back

At Cadent, we believe giving back to our communities is essential, so in 2018 we launched our company-wide #ConnectForACause initiative, focusing on areas of importance to our employees, including homelessness and hunger, education and youth services, animal welfare, support for our military and veterans, and health services.

Cadent employees donated their time and resources to collect and pack school supplies and toiletries for those in need, knitted hats for children with cancer, organized holiday food drives, created care packages for military members, volunteered at the SPCA, and dozens of other service projects. They participated in company-sponsored marathons and bike rides, and they made donations to various organizations.

As a company, we know our engaged and enthusiastic employees give their all to our clients, and we’re proud to help them bring that same engagement and enthusiasm to their favorite causes.

By all measures, the year was a resounding success, and we’re looking forward to an equally successful 2019.

The Philly Cadent team wears purple for Alzheimer’s awareness.

Employees took part in a bike race to end MS.

The Great Corporate Health Challenge, Sponsored by #ConnectForACause

This year, we invited interested employees to download an app to log nutritious meals and snacks they ate, the amount of water they drank, the time they spent practicing deep breathing and mindfulness, the number of steps they walked, and exercise – all important indicators of healthy living. The app was part of the Great Corporate Health Challenge, and teams vied to compile the best stats. Participants reported that among their greatest motivation for joining the Challenge was competition with colleagues.

Another major motivator? Among the three competing companies, the grand prize was a donation to a charity chosen by the company with the highest average point score, making the Great Corporate Health Challenge a perfect companion piece to our #ConnectForACause efforts. Cadent’s teams excelled, choosing to donate the grand prize to Feeding America, a nonprofit network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people.

Additionally, there was an internal competition between Cadent teams. The winning team donated to CASA, a local agency in SJ focused on foster children, and an individual winner donated to Atlanta Mission, an organization that fights homelessness and hunger.

In a follow-up survey, 80% of the participants reported that they were going to continue working on their health, 70% said the Challenge had led to better teamwork and improved relationships with coworkers, 60% had changed one or more bad habits, and over half had more energy.

We hope they’ll use some of that energy during 2019’s #ConnectForACause and that 100% are feeling good about the hard work they’re doing for their communities, their company, and themselves.

For more, check out our Careers page.