Today in our ProctorU Spotlight is Chief Marketing Officer Stephanie Dille! Stephanie came aboard ProctorU in the spring of this year.
Hi Stephanie! What is your title?
S: Chief Marketing Officer.
Where did you grow up?
S: I was born in Ohio but have spent most of my life in Minnesota.
Where did you attend college?
S: University of Minnesota (Go Gophers!)
Where are you based now?
S: I’m in Minnetonka, MN.
What drew you to ProctorU?
S: I was most impressed with the passion and vision of the people running the business. The people at ProctorU are smart, work hard and like to have fun. I also felt that I had an opportunity to make a difference and help ProctorU be successful, and that was important to me.
Based on your perceptions coming into ProctorU, what’s completely different than you thought it would be?
S: The business is more complicated than I imagined. There are many more flavors of proctoring, and the operational considerations are far greater than I anticipated. From a marketing perspective, there are multiple audiences to communicate with and different markets with different requirements. As we launch new products into these markets, it’s a huge shift for our business to go from focusing on live proctoring to different kinds of proctoring to meet our customers’ needs. Overall, it is better than expected, with so many people here that care deeply about our customers and creating such kick-ass technology solutions. It’s a great business to be a part of!
How many kids do you have? Tell us about them!
S: I have three kids. Allie, 22, just moved to Seattle after graduating from Miami of Ohio in marketing and interactive media design and is working in eCommerce at Amazon. She is my interior designer and has always been our little fashionista. Matt, my 20-year-old, is a junior at the University of Minnesota and recently changed to a new major, information technology infrastructure, that blends computer science and business. He is a member of Pike (fraternity) and LOVES all things football. And then Rachel, my baby, is 18 and beginning her freshman year at University of Minnesota majoring in product design – a mix of design, marketing and engineering. She loves all music…Prince, John Mellencamp, Stevie Wonder, Gavin DeGraw…and is my foodie.
S: We have a dog named Hazel Grace, a one-and-a-half-year-old miniature Australian Shepherd, who likes to take a lot of walks, loves people and wiggles her butt a lot.
Where do you see ProctorU going?
S: I see ProctorU continuing to grow and take its identity verification and online proctoring into new markets — both verticals and geographies. How people are becoming educated is changing, and ProctorU is positioned well to be a key part of that change. I also see us finding several niches where we can grow within the broader professional testing market such as pre-hire assessment and continuing education.
How does it feel to be a female executive? Women in America hold the minority percentage of these types of positions.
S: Being a female executive is an achievement I am very proud of, but it is only possible because I had great bosses over the years, both male and female, that taught me a lot about business, how to lead and the importance of people – both your team and clients. I am most proud that I have been able to coach and mentor others and have been able to share what I have learned and see them grow. I also try to be a good role model for my kids and show them how working hard and treating people right can help you succeed in all that you do.
Do you see yourself as a role model for young women?
S: I am honored if some people think of me as a role model. I started my career in a call center answering a 1-800 number taking orders and, through a combination of education, raising my hand to help on projects, good bosses who believed in me and seeking opportunities to grow, I have had a wonderful career. Today, I volunteer with the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) organization and serve as a coach and judge for local and state DECA competitions. Some of these young ladies have come back to me during college and told me I inspired them to go into marketing and/or business. I have also had employees tell me that over the years. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Did you ever see yourself being an executive? If not, when you were a kid, what did you want to be?
S: No, not really. I wanted to be a doctor, but organic chemistry kicked my butt in college. So, I started to pursue psychology to be a psychologist and ended up in business. I grew up the daughter of an entrepreneur. We discussed business a lot in our house, so much of working in a small, growing business is very comfortable for me. Once I found marketing, I loved how it blended numbers, creativity and strategy to solve a problem or influence behavior, and I was hooked. Since then, my dream was to be a successful CMO, and I have been able to become CMO at ProctorU. So you could say this is my dream job!
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
S: I love to cook, but usually not the same recipe twice. This weekend, for example, I made honey cashew chicken, chili, barbecue pork and zucchini bread. I like to decorate houses and help my friends with theirs. I also like to bike and run. I hope to spend more time doing these things now that I am a recent empty nester!
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? It can be as elaborate or as simple as you want!
S: I love any kind of taco. A really good coconut shrimp or grilled fresh “catch of the day” taco with a mango salsa, homemade guac with chips and a big ol’ margarita all served ocean-side with my feet in the sand would probably be my all-time favorite meal!
What is your favorite movie of all time?
S: Geez…I like so many movies! “Wizard of Oz” is probably my all-time favorite, even though I am still afraid of the flying monkeys. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “The Fault in Our Stars” are some more recent favorites. My dog’s name is Hazel Grace, like the heroine in that movie. And I still love the original “Rocky!”
Do you like to read? Who is your favorite author? Book?
S: I do like to read! My favorite business author is Seth Godin. I love his simple but impactful writing style in books like “The Purple Cow.” In terms of fiction, my favorite book is “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald…who happens to be from Minnesota and grew up in an area close to where I did!
Lastly, what has been your favorite thing about ProctorU so far?
S: The people. I love the leadership team and am so thankful for their wisdom, humor and passion. And I love my team, the marketing team, which includes sales ops, proposals, marketing and product management. Much of marketing has grown up in the business and has a deep knowledge and passion that really shows in all that we do. It is such a smart, fun group and I am proud to work with them. The people are definitely my favorite thing.