Reliving the Discovery Awards: EverString’s Award for Emerging Women Marketers in Tech

By August 31, 2016
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That’s a wrap! EverString hosted its first annual Discovery Awards luncheon. It was an honor and a privilege to bring together this group of incredible marketers at different places in their careers. Here is a recap of the connections made, knowledge spread, and people awarded, just in case you want to remember key points or find out what you missed!

VP of Marketing at EverString, Dayna Rothman, kicked off the soiree talking about why we decided to host this award (on the patio of La Mar, water softly crashing in the background on a gorgeous, sunny San Francisco Day).“There are so many awards out there for executive-level marketers, but there are very few awards honoring the amazing work of emerging women in technology–the innovative marketers that are just starting out. We, at EverString, felt the need to close that gap”. In the process of closing that gap, we aimed to provide a place where these rising stars could meet, network, and learn from one another, and their veteran, executive peers.


Social Selling Evangelist, Jill Rowley, spoke about the importance of your network and your online presence, the keys to success, and work-life balance. She said, “I think women can have it all, just not all at once”. We laughed as she talked about being nine months pregnant walking the floor of Dreamforce, explaining what it has been like to be a working mother.

She said the keys to success are passion and a sense of purpose for what you do and how you better your team. She specifically called out that perfection is not on this list. Jill reminded us to take credit for what we do and to put that out there online. Honor your accomplishments and help your next opportunity find you. “Always be learning. Always be connecting.”

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We then jumped into a gorgeous four-course family style meal where we got to have some meaningful conversations with our peers. I happened to, by chance, sit next to an awesome content marketer from LinkedIn (I am the content marketer here at EverString and LOVE what I do). We traded stories and found out that our crazy winding paths to content marketing roles were surprisingly similar!


After lunch, in addition to honoring our top 10 finalists, we announced our winners! Meghan Gill, Director of Demand Generation and Community at Mongo DB, Cassandra Jowett, Senior Content Marketer at Influitive, Nikki Nixon, Director at #FlipMyFunnel. And our grand winner, Emily Popson, Senior B2B Marketing Manager at BlackBaud. Congratulations to all of the nominees and to the winners of the Discovery Awards!


It’s time to jump into the panel featuring some of the greatest minds and careers of the industry—Corinne Sklar, CMO of Bluewolf/IBM, Maria Pergolino, SVP of Marketing at Apttus, Charm Bianchini, Senior Director of Enterprise Marketing at Marketo, Dayna Rothman, VP of Marketing at EverString, and our Discovery Award Grand Winner, Emily Popson, Senior B2B Marketing Manager at Blackbaud. This panel had some really incredible advice to give that I will use to guide me in my career for years to come. This should be out there for women of all stages in their careers to read and learn from.


What advice would you give emerging women in tech about rising above preconceived ideas of what a leader looks like or how you should lead?

Maria Pergolino: I am always myself and I have a strong personality and I embrace that. What is positive about you? Magnify that versus molding into something else you think looks like a leader. Let me put it this way, if I wasn’t who I am all the time, if I was the perfect corporate citizen, I wouldn’t have gone as far as I have gone today.

Corinne Sklar: I went to art school. I never took a business class. You have to care about what you do. Own what you want. Also, you have use data and technology to get to an executive level these days, that is just essential. Stand out. Don’t copy what your coworkers are doing or what your competitors are doing. Do your own thing. Cause some attention. That’s where the risk comes in. Best practices are good, but do something different.

Dayna Rothman: I have arm tattoos. I was self-conscious about that at the beginning of my career. You don’t see a lot of female execs, let alone female executives with tattoos. But of course, that doesn’t matter. What has made the difference for me is putting my passion into my career and showing the power of my skill-set. I try to let who I am as an individual and marketer be what defines me as a leader. Be true to yourself. Think outside the box, be you, and believe me you can be successful. We as women are breaking these stereotypes day after day. Whether that’s with gender, rocking cheetah print boots, pink hair, or tattoos.

No matter your gender, it’s difficult to maintain a work-life balance. What helps you find balance?

Emily Popson: You can’t give love and creativity if you’re depleted on the inside. I draw the same, if not more, inspiration from outside my job. Being a marketer is about making connections. I make that a priority.

Charm Bianchini: It’s important to be centered and balanced. If you lean one way or another, then pick something that helps you maintain balance. For me, I like to volunteer in the community to stay grounded.

Corinne Sklar: If you deal with this problem, then take the opportunity bring someone up and delegate. It’s an opportunity to reflect on yourself and gives another person a chance to take on something new and important.

Maria Pergolino: Just for clarification, delegating is not taking your least favorite thing and giving it to someone else. When you delegate it has to be things that you would be excited to do. Empower your team.

What advice would you give emerging women to help them succeed?

Corinne Sklar: In order to really succeed or make it to an executive level, women in business need to be seen as strategic, and understand the financial side of the business. Your team needs to feel that you can own these two things. That’s the advice I would give.

Maria Pergolino : Build relationships and hold the people in those relationships accountable. Know that if there is an opportunity, they are going to come to you. In the same vein, if there is a problem, know that these people are going to come to you and talk about it before taking any action.

Charm Bianchini: I’m going to say confidence. I didn’t have confidence early on in my career. It helped me so much once I gained this confidence. Don’t let anything defeat you.

Emily Popson: People often feel afraid to think outside the box. Use your gut feeling and try new things!

Dayna Rothman: Build relationships within your company and with your executive team. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive. I take on anything that is put in front of me regardless of whether or not I’m totally comfortable with it. Be strong, take on as much as you can, and be passionate about what you do.

Huge thanks to all of those that attended and spoke at the 2016 Discovery Awards. I hope all of you enjoyed it as much as I did!

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