Running the Extra Mile: How to Combine Business with Your Passion
People quite often must work out of sheer necessity. It is rare that we are able to do what we love each day. However, when we are able to find a way to merge our zeal for life with our drive for success, we find that we have created a glorious union. Just ask Rhonda Vetere, the President of nThrive. She has discovered that it is possible to not just do what she enjoys, but to also funnel that excitement into helping others. As the former Chief Technology Officer at Estee Lauder, Rhonda led global technology and enterprise-wide functions, including analytics, and transformed the company’s technology, digital, social and retail technology approach. In her current position at nThrive, Rhonda works across several businesses as an industry change agent to assist with multiple mergers, creating synergies across the lines of business, and for her onshore/offshore experience. As the recipient of numerous industry awards that include, but are not limited to, a Powerhouse Woman in Tech Award and the 2017 Stevie® Award for Excellence in Transforming Business, Rhonda is making outstanding moves in the Tech industry. Moreover, her drive to maintain her physical and mental health has been fused into her day to day activities, making her “fit” for all tasks she finds on her agenda. Rhonda truly “runs the extra mile” each day to cross the finish line to sweet success!
Rachel: Tell my readers about the passion you have for the civic work you do and why it is so important.
Rhonda: I feel very strongly about civic work because I believe in helping people and treating people how I want to be treated. I will make a point wherever I am in the world to visit the culture, share technology, and give back. It is important to be well rounded and never forget where you came from. Never take things for granted!
Rachel: At what point did you realize that your purpose was outside of what you do professionally?
Rhonda: Awesome question! No one has ever asked me that before. [The realization] came to me in my 30s when I was in India that I needed to give back. It must be my Italian heritage. I had a moment where I realized that your job doesn’t define you; it’s what you do outside of work to help people.
Rachel: I am sure that at times you feel tired. Who or what pushes you to keep going?
Rhonda: Hoping to inspire others. Mental sanity is so important. Wellness is huge for me and allows me to make sharper decisions when I exercise. I just landed after a trip to Africa and completed an Iron Man the next day. Often times roughest moments are when you grow.
Rachel: Who do you consider to be your role model for the way in which you have molded your career? What can you share about that person?
Rhonda: I have looked at multiple people and learned from multiple role models to take characteristics, traits, or styles that I have liked from them.
Rachel: Where were you in your career 5 years ago? What do you believe has changed in that time frame (personal, with the world, and/or with your profession)?
Rhonda: Five years ago I was Chief Technology Officer at Estee Lauder. So many things have changed. How people shop is different, people are more mobile and the world is now more interconnected.
Rachel: We always hear about the best advice we have been given. Tell our readers the worst advice you ever received.
Rhonda: The worst advice I have every received is that you have to work 24 hours/day to get ahead.
Rachel: What are you currently reading that might be something I should try to read as well? Why?
Rhonda: Right now I am reading Endurance Diet by Matt Fiztgerald. This helps me with my training and fuels my exercise.
Rachel: When you have the time, what do you binge watch?
Rhonda: I love to binge watch Billions on Showtime and NFL Football when it is football season.
Rachel: What would your fans would be interested to know is your food guilty pleasure?
Rhonda: Pizza with sausage and pepperoni!!
Rachel: Where have you travelled that has given you inspiration personally or professionally?
Rhonda: Africa! I just came back from the most inspiring trip. I was able to go and meet with folks there to share my passion for technology and wellness. I was in Tanzania and wanted to go for a run, so I asked the folks at the hotel. They said that I would need to have guards with guns accompany me because of the animals that would be on the trail. Turns out, I was the first female to ever request this. I did this two days in a row and on the second day, more locals decided to join me on my run. Many of them said that this inspired them and they do not get to exercise. This was an incredible experience that really made me think of how we may take exercising for granted.
Rachel: Where is the one place that you would like to travel that you have yet to visit?
Rachel: What would you say we need to know as a society to “move forward”?
Rhonda: Treat people how you want to be treated, support each other, and be aware that people have things they are dealing with.