Episode 36: Tech Maven Stephanie Donahue

Heather Newman:  Hello everyone. Here we are again with another episode of Mavens Do It Better where we interview extraordinary experts who bring a light to our world. And I am thrilled to have a wonderful person on today, Stephanie Donahue, who is a fellow Microsoft MVP. She is a speaker on the circuit. She's a business owner. She's amazing. So, um, Stephanie, say hello to everybody.

Stephanie Donahue:  Hello everyone and thank you for having me on. I'm excited. This is fun. I've been following you and the, the podcast. You've had some really amazing people on, so I'm, I'm quite honored to be here.

Heather Newman:  In good company, so that's awesome. Yeah. So, Stephanie and I recently, like the last time we were together was at the MVP Summit and uh, got, so we were a little bit ships that sail in the night.

Stephanie Donahue:  Yeah, a little bit busy on both of our parts, I guess.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, so Stephanie, tell everybody, let's start, where are you from originally?

Stephanie Donahue:  Well I am kind of based in Ohio. So right now I'm in Cincinnati. I've always kind of, I've lived in different parts of Ohio for the majority of, of my life, so very much a Midwesterner.

Heather Newman:  Excellent fellow Midwesterner over here as well from Indiana and Illinois. So that's awesome. Great place to grow up and a great place to live, so that's awesome. So how long have you been an MVP?

Stephanie Donahue:  Um, I think I'm in the neighborhood of about three years, so I'm still fairly new. I know there's a lot of MVPs that have been around for quite some time. I think it's been about three years for me.

Heather Newman:  Okay. That's awesome. And what's your specialty?

Stephanie Donahue:  I'm in Office Servers and Services and my background is, it's really rooted in SharePoint.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. When did you get started working in SharePoint?

Stephanie Donahue:  Well, I kind of tripped into it just like probably everybody else in SharePoint. I don't think anybody graduates from college and goes; I want to do SharePoint. I don't know. Maybe that happens now that they actually get exposure to it. I don't know. So my background, I kind of started up through the help desk and server support side of the house. And so I was doing a lot of the answering service tickets and more of a customer service thing and helping people with laptops as I kind of started in the industry. And I got into SharePoint when I was working for a consulting firm, I was actually doing their internal network support and help desk and they had a consultant that was out and unavailable. I think he was already booked on a project and I was supporting our internal SharePoint environment, you know, just real basic stuff. And they were like, hey, we're going to send you out to do the SharePoint install since you know SharePoint. And I was like, okay. And I was only supposed to be out there for, you know, just like a day to get the environment set up. And I was going to hand off to the consulting resource that they had originally planned to do the project and they were like, no, we like her, we want to keep her. So I actually, I got to stay for a couple of weeks and do the project. And that was, I kind of just accidentally tripped into the consulting thing that way. And from there on out, you know, they kind of utilized me here and there if they needed an extra SharePoint consulting resource then I've, I've kind of been here ever since.

Heather Newman:  Wow. That's so cool. So many of us, I think, and SharePoint sort of, I guess when we all started, it was a new technology, you know what I mean? So it wasn't something that you were like, Ooh, I want to do that. You know, so many people sort of found it by way of something else and a lot of people found it through help desk, you know, and being part of an IT team for sure. You know. Um, and you know, SharePoint being so easy to use.

Stephanie Donahue:  It takes a different skill set, right. I think that's how I ended up there was that, you know, I was still out to kind of prove myself and be like, I'm as good as the guys and I can go do Exchange and I can do domain migrations and I can do all this stuff. And, and I had a boss who kind of pulled me aside and he was like, look, you're good at SharePoint. Like, why, you know, why are you shying away from this? You need to embrace this and go do this thing. And I, you know, I thought about it and I was like, you know, maybe he's right, maybe I should go do this. And then that's really, you know, his guidance was why I decided to change my focus to SharePoint. And it was a great thing because before SharePoint was kind of in the mix with everything else that I was doing and, and it really became a focus at that point. And taking that advice has certainly served me well.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, no, that's fantastic. And as it, you know, it's, we all have mentors, right? And we all have people in our lives that kind of give us a nudge to the right way. And, um, I heard some news from you about, you just won an award, speaking of Mentorship. Why don't you tell everybody about that? Because that's super awesome.

Stephanie Donahue:  Yeah, I'm really excited about this! So I have been participating in the Microsoft mentorship program. It's part of the diversity and inclusion branch at Microsoft and, and the idea is that we place mentees and mentors together. So if you're looking for help, you can apply as a mentee. And if you're looking to help others you can apply as a mentor and they match people based on what your skill set is versus what someone might be looking for assistance on. So I've done it a couple of times now. I just, it sounds like we're at the end of our second cycle and at the end they give this opportunity to the mentees to give feedback on their mentor on how things went. And, my mentee this time, Mike, he's awesome. He had submitted some nice feedback and as a result, I guess they now have a most valuable mentor award, which I was very, I'm very excited to be the very first recipient of that. And so it's, it's great. I'm excited. It's such a good program. And, and Mike, I've also worked with Joanne. She tweeted me as well when all that came out. And, um, it's, it's so exciting to be able to give back and kind of share some of the knowledge that I've gained over time because IT is a rough business and there's a lot of politics and things to navigate. And so I think that program is, is amazing and it's a lot of fun to be able to work with others that are kind of coming up through getting to know the community and getting to know others.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Well, congratulations and well deserved. I know you and your personality and the way you are with people. So that is not a huge surprise, but it is a really great honor. So congratulations. You know, that's,

Stephanie Donahue:  Thank you!

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. Yeah, I think, you know, you and I talk about and are involved in, speaking of diversity and inclusion, we do a lot of different talks and, and things there, you know, with Ignite last year and some of the other things coming up. Are you finding, you know, like we're technologists, right? And I, you know, for me, I'm on the marketing side and then I also, you know, help champion those things. Do you find that you're being asked or that you're compelled maybe a little bit more to sort of play in the diversity and inclusion realm these days? Are you finding that you're being asked to do that or you just do it? You know, just curious.

Stephanie Donahue:  I think it's a little bit of both. I guess I've felt for a while that people have reached out to me to help mentor others. And you know, a lot of times that, from a diversity standpoint, given my background and who I am, that's women in tech, right? So, I have been pulled in a number of times to be like, Hey, can you talk to my daughter? Or Hey, I've got someone on my staff, I'd love for you to, to mentor, to talk to. And so, from that perspective, from a women in tech, I do feel like I've been pulled in somewhat. And it's usually more on a one to one basis, you know, I'm not running any big programs or anything like that. But it's, it's flattering to me and I do think it's awesome that what I'm starting to see is, you know, the men that have been in tech for a long time, they're becoming, you know, fathers, they have daughters that are interested in tech and, and as a result, I'm seeing a lot of support for women in the office and the business world because I think they're starting to connect that, right? They want that same kind of support for their daughters. And so I see them really embracing women in tech and I think that's starting to open their eyes too, to the diversity and inclusion at a bigger level that it's not just women in tech, it's everyone, it's humans in IT, I think is the term I've heard from others. And so what I see happening is really things are really starting to open up for everyone. Um, and, and people are embracing it as a whole because really we need more skills in IT. We're desperate for, for folks who can, who can kind of handle the constant shifting and the new things that are being thrown out and it doesn't care, you know, we don't care who you are as long as you can get in there and dig in and learn and do stuff. Like it's great. So, yeah, I guess that's a long winded answer but, but yeah, I do. I definitely feel that I'm pulled into some of those mentoring opportunities for sure.

Heather Newman:  No, that's great. Yeah, I agree with you. I mean, I think there's, it is humans in IT or humans in tech for sure. You know, I think that that shift, I think, you know, supporting women and you know, we're continuing to fight against, you know, imbalance in gender and wages and all of those kinds of things. But I do think that there's steps in the right direction. And I think that opening up the conversation to make, making sure that we are inclusive and that we're looking at all the different ways that we are different is super important and, yeah, it's been, it's been cool to work with the different teams and to work with you and to work with, you know, the Women in SharePoint gals and Karuana about conversations on how we can, you know, make sure that we also include the, you know, the white males.

Stephanie Donahue:  Absolutely. We want to make sure it's everybody. On that note too, there are smaller things too that we don't think about and something that hit me like a ton of bricks the other day someone had posted on Facebook about their challenges with being colorblind. And so, there are actually a large number of people that have some level of colorblindness. Right. So you, you might not be black and white, it might be that you have trouble distinguishing between shades of red or shades of blue or you know, you have the Red Brown, you know, color combinations that are challenging. And someone had posted to Facebook about how it was difficult to read a color coded email. And like something so simple that I've done my entire career that people don't even think about is challenging for others. And so just opening up some of those conversations. My own children are colorblind, my dad is colorblind, in the very basic version of that, but it hit me like a ton of bricks that it's in my own family and I never considered that those color coded emails where a challenge. So just, you know, just kind of spreading the word and, and helping people understand what it means to be inclusive and that sometimes it's, it's not just, you know, as a person, but it's your everyday interaction and something as simple as an email that can change someone's engagement with, with you. So really interesting.

Heather Newman:  That is interesting. I mean all the times that you see, you know, a lot of the times it's like a, a bold highlight in red, which, you know, if you have that.

Stephanie Donahue:  Red, specifically, is a challenge, right? Red is the most common challenge with color blindness. So, yeah.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Wow. Yeah. No, I think it is. And it's, it's things that we don't often see. You know what I mean? That that is something you don't walk up to somebody and be like, Hey, I see that you're colorblind, you know what I mean? It's all of those things and the neuro diversity and understanding that everybody that, you know, there's, there's mental health issues in our world as well, that people don't always respond in the way that if you put air quotes around the word normal, you know? So I think all of that is really exciting. And you, um, you did a presentation last year in the diversity and inclusion track a couple of them. What, what were you presenting on? What was, what spoke to you, cause I know that you had some presentations out there in the world. What were your topics?

Stephanie Donahue:  Yeah. So at Microsoft Ignite last year, I spoke on myths of business ownership and kind of my perspective on being a woman in tech and some of the challenges and things that I've run into and kind of the idea behind it was we are constantly faced with all of these like get rich quick schemes and like people that think it's, they, they kind of pitch the idea that it's easy to make a lot of money and the, the route to do that is to be a business owner. And you know, the four hour work week and all you have to do is lean in and everything else is, it just follows. So I just wanted to talk about my journey because all of these people that are, you know, writing these books, I couldn't relate to them. I don't, I don't have an Ivy League degree. I mean, I went to Ohio State, I have a degree in computer science, which I thought was pretty, you know, pretty good. It's okay. But I didn't graduate from Harvard. I don't have a law degree, you know, I don't have an MBA from Yale. So those things that it's great that they all felt, you know, that they had been successful in what they did. But I, I don't live in Silicon Valley. I live in the Midwest and you know, I didn't have all these things that these people had and I was trying to raise a family. I had two small boys as I started my business. And it's hard. It's hard. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. And so I just wanted to talk a little bit about, you know, that you've got to put the work in, you've got to put the time in. But then also, you know, it is possible, even if you aren't, you don't have that Ivy League degree and you're not living on a coast and you know, like me, you're in the Midwest somewhere. You can make it too, you just put your head down and work, but you've also, you know, you've got to lean on your, the people around you for help and to open yourself up to that help and, and stuff. So that was kind of the, the, the direction I went with all of that myths with business ownership.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. Yeah. I mean, it's like, where are you dropped into the world, right? Like, it's looking at like how we, each one of us, like we're plunk, you know, and you're like, well, you know, like I grew up in Michigan, you know, for example, and so, you know, it's like what you do with that and what you're given and what your opportunities are, you know? Who your family is and what kind of education can you get and all that kind of stuff. I mean, all of those things are so valid, right? It's, it's kind of the whole deal. So I think that's such a cool topic. Did you have another one? Am I remembering correctly?

Stephanie Donahue:  No, I don't think so. Not for the diversity track. I did, at SharePoint conference, I also participated in the, I think it was a mothers in tech panel. We had some really great conversations there as well. I actually kind of took note of everyone at the SharePoint conference that had participated. We did have kind of a smaller group very intimate group and reconnected with everybody then at Microsoft Ignite. So, for those looking to reach out and to talk to others, you know, we all kind of have similar, similar challenges, you know, women in tech, moms in tech, the diversity thing. So having those groups at those large, those groups at the big events like that is really inspiring, you know, to get to talk to people and kind of get their perspective on things.

Heather Newman:  Totally. I mean, one of the best things we can do in our life is build strong friendships and relationships. Right. So that's super cool that you did that. I didn't know that. That's awesome. Very cool. And so, talking about being a business owner. So, I know that, you know, you and Mark Rackley, will you talk about your business and who you are and what you do and all of that so everybody understands that as well? And how long you've been in business, that'd be great too.

Stephanie Donahue:  Yeah. So, so I started this venture about six years ago or so. And so it's called PAIT Group. It's Powerful Alone and Invincible Together is the acronym there. And that,

Heather Newman:  I didn't know that. Say it again. Say it again.

Stephanie Donahue:  Power. Yes. So PAIT, it's P-A-I-T, PAIT Group, Powerful Alone and Invincible Together and that's the name that we, and it was kind of one of those things, you know, you come up with a name overnight and you're kind of just throwing ideas out and, and that's kind of where we landed. And, um, so we're very team focused and we're a collaboration services groups. So I thought it made a lot of sense for us. But we do Office 365 and SharePoint consulting and we're very much in the mid-market, although we're starting into some larger enterprise size businesses now. Um, but what's different about us is that we, we don't do exchange migrations. We don't do VOIP implementations. No telephony. We're very focused on the collaboration stack within Office 365 and Microsoft tools, so Teams and SharePoint, Planner, Stream Business Apps meaning Power Apps and Flow. So, we stick to the business side of things and try to translate the techie stuff and make it valuable to the business. So that's kind of what we do. And I, I left, I was at a, a different consulting firm before that and I was frustrated. And then the reason I left was that they were like, well, why can't you just finish a project and be done? Right? It was like email, when you migrate email and you complete it and email works, you know, you're finished kind of thing. In SharePoint if you're doing it correctly, that kind of continues to evolve and change and there's always something else you could do. And, you know, we set out to change the way we were engaging with customers to help them through that process. And that's really what I became passionate about was it's not just tech, it's about creating a digital workplace. It's about changing the way people work. And so that's really, that's where our sweet spot is. It's like how do you start that change in that evolution in an organization and that's, that's where we sit.

Heather Newman:  That's cool. So, with kind of all of that that you do, is there something that's bubbling up right now that you're seeing that's sort of across the board for everyone like that all of your clients are maybe struggling with or, or wanting to get to? Is there anything that sort of comes top of mind around that?

Stephanie Donahue:  I think right now the, the tool set is overwhelming for a lot of people. You have so many different things going on in Office 365 that they don't even know where to begin. So, the conversation we're having over and over, it's like, where do we start? You know, and, and what, why do we use Teams versus SharePoint or why do we use Teams versus Yammer and just trying to sort out for them what belongs where. And, and help them with kind of putting a roadmap together and figuring out what's next. So, you know, typically that might start with let's do the Intranet first. That's a SharePoint thing, a Modern SharePoint thing. A lot of modern conversations going on. And a lot of migration conversations going on and how do I get from a legacy SharePoint into a modern SharePoint, that sort of thing. So, outside of just the tech, the conversation is how do we get two kind of diverse groups of people. You've got the folks that have been around forever and they have all the knowledge in your organization and they've been using email for many, many years and they don't want to use other things they don't want. Yeah. They don't understand SharePoint. They don't understand why we want to do things on mobile. They just want to sit at their desk and print things and print emails and print documents. And then you've got this other generation coming out of college and they've had laptops and tablets and phones for like, since they were little and they don't understand why we don't need mobile. Like why would you, why do you think we don't need mobile? I need everything. My own son sat the other day and updated his Weebly website from his phone. On our couch. You know, what are you doing over there? You need to be doing homework. And he's like, I am doing homework. I'm working on my website. Like on your phone? Like this is how their minds operate. The bigger conversation isn't the tech. It's like, how do we bring these two really different groups of people together? Really it's more like a phased group right? We've got those of us in the middle of that have kind of seen the evolution and, and kind of need a little bit of both worlds. But how do we bring all these people together to work more efficiently, to communicate better? That's really the message. How do you change people's way of working when they've been so well established and, and yet at the same time embrace the people who are going to be the future of the business. It's a really big challenge for a lot of people and being able to influence change with both, is a challenge, but also it's a pretty cool thing when you really get that moving.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. Yeah. It's that, um, diffusion of innovation curve. It's like the early adopter, you know, the, the ones who jump on first and then you've got that bell curve, you know, and then the laggards, you know, really, you, you need all of those people in whatever teams that you're putting together for change management or putting together for technology. And you're right, it's not about tech. I mean it is about the tech and learning the technology, but it's really about human beings and how they are. Right? Yeah. I've walked into places too and they're like, oh, we really like your products, but we don't want to learn anything new. Like I'm about to get my pension. And I come in everyday and I'm happy to go home and take my kids to soccer practice. And that's about it, you know? And that is a huge problem. It's about just like how do we get people to be literate or PC or technology literate or human literate on the same level at work, you know? Yeah. You're right. That's a big, that's a big thing. And that is

Stephanie Donahue:  And that whole, that whole career impact thing is interesting too. You do have people that are leaving the organization soon. They're like, don't move my cheese. I'm almost done. Right? My own grandfather was one of those, he was at the end of the evolution of going from paper. He was an engineer. He always, he did all of his drawings on paper and they were like, if you need, if you want to stick around, you've got to learn how to use a computer to, you know, AutoCAD was the beginning of all that. And he said, no thanks. I'm going to retire. You know, I don't, at my age I don't want to learn that stuff. So, you, you do have that set of people as we transition into SharePoint, into Office 365 you've got those that don't want to touch it.

Stephanie Donahue:  But what we're also seeing is that this can also be a career, the thing that people will remember you for. So we've, we've got some people coming in to say, Hey, this is I, this is my legacy at this organization. I've got two or three years left. I want to really change things. This is, yeah, this is what I want them to remember me for, is that I brought all of this technology and change and that digital workplace. And so they look at it and embrace it as something that they can leave for others. And I think that's a pretty cool thing too, to be able to walk out the door and know that, that you've transitioned from maybe a legacy intranet and the old way of doing things all the way down to forms on, on the manufacturing plant floor. Right? It's, it's a pretty neat transition to be a part of.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. Well, and it's about finding who that person is, right in an organization too. And sometimes they're, they're sitting there, the diamond in the rough waiting to, you know, pop up and be amazing like that. Yeah. That's super cool. Interesting. So, you are a speaker, you run around the world, you have clients you put on conferences, you do all that kind of stuff. So for you, how do you chill out and, you know, find some time and all of that stuff as far as balance goes in your life?

Stephanie Donahue:  So, it depends on the time of year. I have different levels of stress relief. In the summer you'll find me at Lake Erie, my mom lives on the water. It's the house she grew up in. So it's a fantastic place for me to go up and just relax. We go up every weekend, all summer long. And that's kind of my chill place. I just, I could really let go up there. But of course I live in, in Ohio, right. So that's maybe three months of the year and the rest of the year I have to figure it out. So at the moment my, my kind of a stress reliever is to run. So, I'm training for the Flying Pig Marathon, which is in I think about two weeks here. And it's a big, big race in Cincinnati, Ohio. It's a tough course. It's pretty hilly. So that's what I do. I go run and I say I run until I can't feel my legs and I can't think anymore.

Heather Newman:  You went and did a, what was that Orange Theory or something when we were together, for the first time, was that right?

Stephanie Donahue:  Yeah. So when we were out in Redmond for the MVP Summit Andrew Connell and Jason Himmelstein and Rob Foster, they talked me into trying Orange Theory. And if you're not familiar, it's this crazy like you can you row, you run on a treadmill and there's floor, like weights. And, and a TRX. And so, they kind of cycle you through all of these things across the course of an hour. And I have to tell you, I've been working out for a full year. I did like all this, like waves is through Beach Body the online videos. I'm training for a marathon, so I feel like I'm in pretty good shape and I walked out at Orange Theory and I was sore for three days. So if that tells you anything. It's hard core.

Heather Newman:  It's a good workout. Oh my goodness. And um, as far as where do you go and where do you find inspiration and it can be about anything, it can be tech, work, whatever, you know, is there anything, is there a go to for you that you're like, ah, I read this person and I love it? Or somebody, you know, a blog or, I don't know. I'm always interested in sort of what, what sparks you and what gets you to moving.

Stephanie Donahue:  So, I, gosh, I'm a little bit all over the place when I need inspiration. It kind of depends on the day. I will tell you that I feed off of other people when I need to feel uplifted or to get inspired, working with others. And that's part of why I'm part of the mentorship program as much as it is about mentoring others. I get a lot from it personally. Um, it makes me happy to help other people. And so, um, that, you know, the, the things that other people are going through and that they're working through, they, they inspire me as well. And so I love that. That's, that's for me, that kind of fills my bucket. Um, but I also look to, there's podcasts that I listen to. Rachel Hollis is a big one. If you've not heard of her, she has a rise podcast. It's really kind of motivating and inspiring. She's amazing. And, um, gosh, I also, I do a lot of reading, so you'll find me all over Twitter. I consume a ton of content. So, um, you know, I follow a lot of hashtags, random stuff, business ownership books that I read. I'm very much a consumer of content.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. Yeah, no, I think, yeah, I'm all over the place too. It's just depends. But there's so many people in our industry who put out so much great content and then just Brenee Brown and those types of folks too make me really happy as well. Um, so you know, you talked about a little bit about owning a business for a while. Is there any advice you have for somebody coming up? We talked about that a little bit, but is there anything sort of like you're like, if I could, if I knew this one thing before I started my business and I know that's hard, but, or maybe two something that is like that nugget or four, depending, you know?

Stephanie Donahue:  Yes. Gosh, there's so many lessons you learn, you know, in some cases you look back and you're like, man, would I do that all over again? I'm not sure. Right. Cause it's, it's been tough. It's been challenging. And at the same time it's like, I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I love it. I love the challenge of all of it. So my advice is, is probably to get control of your fears. Do the fear setting exercises where you know, the thing that's probably held me back the most was being fearful of things, being fearful of being judged, being fearful of putting out my opinion and my content. And in the process of letting that go and you know, you talk about people that in that are your mentors or that help you through those things. Part of the reason, um, you know that that I have worked so well with Mark Rackley is that when you find a business partner that will push you through some of those boundaries and help you take some of those risks, then that pushes you to be your best. And so we're a nice balance of, of being a little risk adverse and being more comfortable with it I think. And that's why we work well together. And he's pushed me through some of those boundaries. And you know, the, the speaking thing, I'm extremely introverted at times and I was terrified of speaking. It did not come naturally to me. And he knew this and he's like, I know you can do this. And he would submit me to conferences because I wouldn't submit myself. So, um, when you've got someone who believes in you to that level and who can push you through that boundary because it's someone you trust, then then that's the sort of thing I was referring to earlier with find the people that you can trust, that you can lean on, that will tell you, you know, you need someone who will, who will get in your face and tell you, you shouldn't do this or you should. And kind of help you through that process. Lean on those people, open yourself up to trust them. Because when you have that kind of relationship in place you can get further because you can push each other. And so I think that's super important as a business owner to find someone that can help balance you on that.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, no, for sure. That's awesome. That's so cool. And I, you know, knowing Mark as I do too, it's like, I, I love, I've always loved watching you two together, you know, um, as business owners and colleagues. You can see that you trust each other and that you work so well together. You know, it's always something that kind of comes through in your relationship and it's super cool to have found that because not everybody does, you know?

Stephanie Donahue:  Yeah. I think it was the Hyperfish quick video that I did, they were like, what's it like to work with Mark Rackley? And I said, you know, off hand, it was like, it's like having a brother, you know, where you can fight like crazy, right? But like at the end of the day, you know that person has your back. Um, and that, that's kind of how we work, right? You need someone who's willing to be brutally honest with you when you're being a pain in the butt. And you also need that person, but you know, despite that, you know, that argument or that disagreement that you can come back to the middle because you know, they've got, they've got your back. So definitely, you know, a very strong core to PAIT Group is that ability to be honest with each other and to be able to get through that stuff.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. So where will people see you next in the flesh as it were?

Stephanie Donahue:  In the flesh? Yeah. So my next event, after I get some work travel out of the way, I will be an SPFest in Washington DC here coming up in a couple of weeks. So that's at the end of April slash beginning of May. That will be my next event. And then I always take the summer off. As I mentioned, I go to the lake a lot. I try to stay a little closer to home base and spend time with the family. So, uh, but I'm, I always enjoy those, the SharePoint fest events, those are a lot of fun. I'll also be at Shift Happens, which is the new Avepoint conference after that. So that's in June.

Heather Newman:  Okay, cool. Well, and I think that work life balance, taking that time off is smart as well girl, you know, it's like you got to do, you got to do it.

Stephanie Donahue:  You got to take a little time for yourself and for your family. Yeah.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, for sure. That's awesome. Well, awesome. Well I just, I think you're the berries and I loved that, Stephanie and I got a chance to know each other a little bit more and kind of every time and it was fun, we actually roomed together and so that was kind of fun to like just be like, how was your day?

Stephanie Donahue:  It was great.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, it was awesome.

Stephanie Donahue:  You can be my roomie anytime. I think that's kind of a good thing that, so for this that don't know at MVP Summit, they kind of force you to room with somebody just to kind of keep costs reasonable and that sort of thing. And it's been fantastic getting to know you better. Last year I got to know Liz Sundet better. And so, you know, always being able to be paired with folks within the community I think is, is a great thing. It's always awesome to get to know more of you ladies better.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, definitely. And then, you know, it's like, and then we're like, well, who's going to this event? Let's room together there too. You know? So that's, it's been, it's been cool to kind of have that push and then be like, well wait a minute, we should just keep doing this. So yeah, no, that's totally awesome. So well everybody, we will put Stephanie's ways to follow her up on the show notes. And do you have, do you have your own, you have your own blog? Yes, I was just up there actually. Right? Yeah,

Stephanie Donahue:  I do. I don't keep it quite as up to date as the PAIT Group blog. Everything that you can find me as StephKDonahue, so stephkdonahue my Twitter. Steph K Donahue dot com is my blog site as well. And if you put that in LinkedIn, I show up there too. I tried to stay consistent.

Heather Newman:  You are, you get an a plus for personal brand. How about that? To have it same, same, same, same, same. No, seriously.

Stephanie Donahue:  I don't know if that I deserve an A+ for keeping my blog up to date. There's some good stuff out there, but I definitely owe that blog a little attention right now.

Heather Newman:  Well, okay, well you know when you have a spare moment. So anyway, um, I just want to say thank you for being on the show and it's great talking to you and hearing about your past and your future and all the goodness that's happening. So I appreciate you being on Stephanie. Thank you.

Stephanie Donahue:  Yeah, thanks for having me. This has been fun.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. Well, folks, um, this has been another Mavens Do It Better podcast and you can find us on iTunes, on Spotify, on the Mavensdoitbetter.com website. And here is to another beautiful day on this big blue spinning sphere. Thanks.

 

Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.