Women in Technology -- Stefanie Maragna
This summer, we’re kicking off a Women in Technology blog series focusing on some fantastic women in leadership roles here at the Sage Intacct office of Sage. These women come from all walks of life, and are mentors, moms, bosses, and even beekeepers. Their stories and wisdom inspired me, and I trust you’ll find the same.
This profile is with Stefanie Maragna, Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Events, at Sage Intacct.
Brittany Benson: Stef, thank you so much for talking with me today! Can you tell me a little bit about your role at Sage Intacct? What does your day to day look like?
Stefanie Maragna: Of course; it’s a pleasure to participate in this Women in Technology blog series. Here at Sage Intacct, I lead a team of amazing people, and we support the public relations, social media, analyst relations, field marketing & trade shows, customer advocacy, and partner marketing functions of the business. My team wears many hats and I often tell folks or introduce myself as the CAM – Chief Amazing Officer. I like to think that my team and I make things happen.
In addition, I’m also a wife, mom, stepmom, daughter, and sister. These “titles” are just as important as my work ones.
Sage Intacct is a global company, so it’s important to be flexible. I sometimes end up jumping on conference calls early in the morning and later in the day. But I have flexibility in my job, a supportive team, and a company which helps me juggle the balance of work and being a mom.
I make it a point of taking my two-year-old boy to school every day and being home for dinner time with him. Having my son at the age of 42 was a little miracle for me and time together with him is magic. At the end of the day, if I don't take care of my family, none of what I do is really worth it. Fortunately, Sage Intacct not only understands this, but encourages a work/life balance.
Brittany: That’s fantastic! Can you tell us a little bit about your path to this role and how you got involved in the world of technology?
Stefanie: I spent 9 years in sales and marketing roles for Kraft Foods in Australia and decided to take a break and do consulting work. I was fortunate that one of my close girlfriends was going on maternity leave and asked me to fill her position for 12 months while she was on maternity leave. She was the head of marketing and communications for a mining software company – so I guess that was my start in the technology space.
From there, I was fortunate to take on a role as Global Communications and Marketing for Mincom – a software and services company that provided business software to industries including mining, public infrastructure, defense, oil and gas in more than 40 countries across North America, South America, Australia, South East Asia, Africa, and Europe. I spent five years there before moving to the Bay Area in California where I have worked for software companies including MarkLogic, Salesforce, Host Analytics, and now Sage Intacct.
Brittany: With such a busy role at Sage Intacct, where does your work ethic come from?
Stefanie: My work ethic comes from my parents. I grew up on a farm in Australia helping my parents sell pineapples from as early as six years old at our roadside fruit stall. They’ve had their own business for 50 years, so from a young age I watched them work and grow their business and learned to work hard, take chances, and never give up.
I’m incredibly grateful for the family heritage and the values that they instilled in me. My mum is almost 80 and still runs the family farm.
Brittany: You and I have chatted a bit previously about how, as a leader and mentor, it’s important to stay curious, driven, and inspired. How do you achieve this?
Stefanie: My parents always instilled in me that it’s important to have a passion for life – both personally and professionally. That has allowed me to bring my best self forward, and I love what I do; Whether that is being a mom, wife, corporate professional, or even a beekeeper.
I am excited to learn from others and create a team culture of trust by consistently leading by example with both actions and words. I am inspired to groom the next generation of corporate professionals and to give them the opportunity and exposure to the corporate environment. I truly love what I do and I hope I can set a young person on the start to a great career path.
Brittany: If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Stefanie: I would tell myself to spend time building both personal and strategic relationships – this can help achieve success. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice – it doesn’t compromise your independence.
Brittany: And what advice would you have for a younger woman maybe earlier on in her career?
Stefanie: The most important thing is to always stay curious, and to never think you have all the answers yourself. If you’re constantly looking at things differently and opening yourself to different perspectives and new people, you’ll find success. Sometimes being the only female in the room or on the team – I would treat that as an opportunity. Persistence pays off! Stand up, speak up, take initiative and lead. We all have our strengths and uniqueness; leverage it.
Brittany: Can you share how the work gets done?
Stefanie: Planning is key and cultivating a great mindset with a good attitude and teamwork is important. Investing time in understanding the business, getting feedback, studying the industry, and making a point of meeting lots of customers to understand their pain points and success stories – that all helps get the work done.
I’ve also learned to listen to and trust my instincts; to be resolute and not second guess my decisions. I believe in trusting and empowering the team around me to do their jobs and consistently be supportive and adding value when they need it. I try to always have the attitude of, "What can I do for you?" or letting people know that they can count on me or I can roll up my sleeves to support them.
Finally, giving credit where credit is due is super important in ensuring the work gets done. The way to stand out is to stand together and to acknowledge each other for their contribution.
Brittany: What do you feel are the best parts and biggest challenges of your work?
Stefanie: The best part about my work is seeing how the success of implementing our software transforms not only our customer’s organizations but how it personally impacts the individuals in these companies. Being able to work with the best team and company in the business is also fantastic.
In regards to the challenges, it’s sometimes overstated, yet true, that Silicon Valley is a dynamic and competitive space to work and hire in. Our biggest challenge at Sage Intacct is to quickly hire the very best individuals to join our expanding team.
We aren’t just looking for intellectually smart candidates, but people that will also contribute to a customer-centric culture, that are curious, passionate, and who enjoy being a part of team. From the top down, Sage Intacct has a corporate mentality of, “We’re all in this together; how can we help one another?”
Brittany: What are some of the things you’re passionate about outside of work?
Stefanie: First, my two-year-old is my world – I am so lucky to have him.
I also spend a lot of time serving on non-profit boards. I love the opportunity to help, use my expertise, and support great organizations. I love giving back; whether that is helping colleagues, charities, customers, or the company being successful. Helping others is what drives me. I believe that only you can be the change in the world. So, you have to want to be that change.
Lastly, a lot of my off-work time lately has been spent rebuilding our house and rebuilding our local community in Santa Rosa, CA. In 2017, over 5,000 homes were destroyed in the fires, including our own home. The resilience of our community is outstanding, and we are doing all we can to support each other. It’s amazing to see.
Brittany: In closing, do you have a vision for the future?
Stefanie: I simply want to be the best I can be: that means being the best mom I can be, providing the best opportunities I can for not only my family, but also the people around me. That, to me, is the vision of the future.
Honestly, I love my life, I really do. During the day, I feel empowered in my role as a mentor, a helper, and a leader. And then always, I love my role as a mom and a wife.
To check out the other blogs in Sage’s Women in Tech blog series, view:
Brittany Benson is the Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Sage Intacct.