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7/19/16 1:41 PM Stephanie Hunter

 

My journey in technology is a far cry from the 20-something year old engineers in Silicon Valley just starting their careers today.

Surrounded by mobile devices and technology on our wrists — quite the contrary — my journey in technology and communication tools began when the Internet was just being talked about.


The Internet was really just starting when my journey began. Our access to Internet was really… well nothing. The cellphones we had were bigger than a toaster. We would send people out into the field with these huge boxes, but I am getting a bit ahead of myself.

My nontraditional journey started after I completed my undergraduate studies. I decided to pursue my interest in healthcare for the elderly and I received a master's degree in hospital and healthcare management. And as I progressed through my career, I realized that I always found myself chasing the same goal, people. I wanted to help people. I have always listened, evaluated, and have used technology to help them reach their success.

In the mid-1990s I was working with a team of 150 people in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I made the move to Pittsburgh and something occurred that at the time I never thought would be an option, telecommunication. It was great! This technology communication revolution allowed me work and personal life to continue at their own paces without interruption.

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Critical to my success in this new remote work life was my ability to communicate effectively to a large group of people who were in a different time zone and with whom I did not share an office – and for me, this required a new way of thinking and doing business. And again I found myself constantly listening, evaluating, and using technology to supercharge my team and my own success.

Moving and telecommuting has lead me to many different locations — a portion of my journey that without an improvement in technology and communication would not be possible.

I found myself wanting to improve this gap. I began working with a local incubator and had the opportunity to connect with my now Ving colleague and CEO, Tony DeAscentis, who was working to solve problems such as: how to capitalize on data to remove the guesswork and make better business decisions; what end users need in order to improve how they engage and communicate; and how to help customers build a more collaborative environment when provided with the right engagement tools and analytics.

Looking back to our first meeting, in many ways, my working with Tony was and continues to be a natural fit.

Throughout my professional and personal journey I have learned that every piece, no matter how small, is important. Every experience you have shapes the next. Technology and communication are the same way. Every advancement has lead to next bigger and better advancements.

As a parent, I was dedicated to the public school system and worked to get information out to the parents from the school in the most efficient manner possible.

And as a cancer survivor and patient, I experienced first hand how difficult it could be to get necessary patient information and keep up on treatment schedules, new treatments and other important healthcare information.

My technology path is founded upon many life experiences and observations, as well as my active engagement in constant learning.  And throughout my journey, I have found that some of the greatest learning moments come from interacting with my team members as we work together to ensure that all parties – colleagues and customers – are on the same page.

While my technology journey did not follow the so-called traditional path, I believe that through this work-life journey, I have become more passionate about what users need by being a thoughtful listener. And most importantly, my experience has taught me the importance of appreciating and seeking team members who have complementary skills and an equal commitment to what we’re all about – creating meaningful technology that can enable us to do “something” better and solve problems, whether it’s for a human or business need. 

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