I had the pleasure of interviewing Rhonda Vetere, President, Data + Analytics of nThrive. Rhonda Vetere is a seasoned technology professional who recently joined nThrive’s Executive Leadership Team. As President, Rhonda will be working across several businesses as an industry change agent to assist with multiple mergers, creating synergies across the lines of business, and will leverage her onshore/offshore experience. A results-oriented, client-focused executive, Rhonda drives value by delivering technology that improves cost and performance to drive the right business outcomes. One of her goals is to be a role model for people in the Industry who have made it from the ground up to the C suite. She wasn’t handed her career and continues daily to be in the trenches with the Team and roll up my sleeves to learn and gain insight on how I can remove roadblocks as a Leader. Rhonda’s motto is, “ I work for the people”! She is a Leader that thrives being in the trenches and won’t forget where she has come from and draw from those experiences. Among many notable industry awards as a powerhouse woman in tech, she won a 2017 Stevie® Award for Excellence in Transforming Business, competing with over 1500 CIOs and CTOs, and has been featured in renowned publications including Forbes, Huffington Post, Triathlete Magazine, SWAAY and more. Rhonda fits in training during her busy travel schedule by prioritizing.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
My inspirational backstory is being a self made person and growing up working since I was 12 years old. Worked for everything, nothing was handed to me and wouldn’t change a thing that has taught me to be risk resilience and focus on the end game. My Mom instilled in me early on to work hard, reach for the stars, anything is possible once you put your mind to it. My competitive side came out in sports- swimming, gymnastics, diving, cheerleading, volleyball, softball, skiing, scuba diving, cliff diving and all sports. One day, my dream job is to manage an NFL Football Team to show that women can do it and I am a sports fanatic! Results speak for themselves on and off the field.
I have also completed over 55 half-marathons, two full marathons, four triathlons, and two Iron Man. For me, fitness helps me to maintain a clear mind and assists with decision-making.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
My most interesting story is hard to think about since been around all of the sports and am a huge sports fanatic. Growing up in Virginia and being a huge Redskins fan my entire life — -I would say with meeting Joe Theisman at the Super Bowl in Texas a few years ago. And then when I was not able to make it to the Superbowl this past year, he called my cell with a friend. Also, being on the field at Manchester United in London for the soccer Team was cool with the players. That culture is all about soccer and being down on the “pitch” on the soccer field was not your every day occurrence.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Helping others grow their career, mentoring at Colleges and being involved in the CyberSecurity discussions in VA with Longwood University coming up in October.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Keith Gabriel who is a paralympian in snowboarding. This man is remarkable. We met several years ago and we have stayed in touch and just reconnected at the US Olympics Team USA award recently. I admire his story, perseverance, disciple and he never gives up and has a personality of gold. He just won the silver medal in Korea/ Winter Olympics this past year.
Two other very interesting people that I recently interacted with were Tatyana McFadden and Susannah Scaroni, who are both paralympic athletes. I had the opportunity to meet both of these women when we ran the NYRR New York Cory half marathon and they both ended up finishing in the top two at the Boston Marathon. Amazing women all around and tremendous focus on wheelchair racing!
What would you advise to a young person who aspires to follow your footsteps and emulate your career? What advice would you give?
For young individuals I would tell them to set boundaries and make sure you are respectful of others time.
Another really important piece of advice and something that I wish I did sooner in my life would be to learn how to play golf. There is so much business that takes place on the golf course.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I bring goodness to the World by giving back to the USA Olympic Team as a trustee and believe in helping place athletes in the business world after their career in the Olympics. I mentor folks around the world and industry to help them in their career. Along with adopting orphans in India — we as a global team go there twice a year and give money and make a day of donating our time to help out with the little ones. In addition, believe in helping College students make their curriculum choices and on two Advisory Boards for Colleges.
I am on the Advisory Board for Miss Fashion Week. Miss Fashion Week is the first organization that bridges modeling with pageantry. We are also the very first organization that truly embraces diversity. Miss Fashion Week crowns in five categories including petite, plus, runway, teen and international. Miss Fashion Week offers everyone a platform to pursue their passion and promotes positive self-image, self-love and self-confidence.
I also spend time mentoring women globally, and is passionate about women supporting other women and lifting them up. STEM is a huge passion of mine. I want to encourage girls and women to find careers in this space because there is so much opportunity.
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?
My mentor who told me to learn to play golf in my 20’s because a lot of business is done on golf courses. Fast forward, I am now a member at Winged Foot Golf Club and enjoy everyone at the Club!
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
Treat people how you want to be treated. It is so important and something that I was brought up to practice.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.
Take risks daily — get out of your comfort zone
Ask for help — this is not a weakness it is a strength
Don’t let your health or stress get out of control — take care of yourself and this is why I am focused on health and fitness to balance me out, that is what works for me. Everyone has to figure out their vice and what works for them.
Don’t think age or gender is an issue — Results speak for themself!
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Since I am a sports fanatic, the NFL Commissioner would be at the top of the list.