WIT Connect Auction Candidate Highlight

WIT Connect is a unique fundraiser that auctions “time” with executives from top Georgia corporations, drawing hundreds of leaders in the technology community together to raise money in support of WIT programming aimed at developing women technology leaders, and WIT Foundation philanthropy initiatives like Girls Get IT and grants to STEM-focused nonprofits. 

WHAT: 21st Annual WIT Connect Presented by Dell

WHEN: Thursday, June 11, 2015 @ 6PM

WHERE:  Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

Nancy Cox: SVP/CTO of Worldpay and WIT Connect Auction Candidate

Nancy Cox is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Worldpay. Started in 1989 as Streamline, a simple UK-based electronic payment provider focused on point-of-sale (POS) transactions. Worldpay emerged later as one of the first online payments companies in the UK. In 2002, RBS brought them together – though they continued operating as separate brands. By 2010, Worldpay had become the largest merchant acquirer in Europe – and one of the largest globally. In late 2010, RBS sold Worldpay to Bain Capital and Advent International.  Today, Worldpay is a global leader in POS transactions. Nancy and her team will be a featured auction group at WIT Connect.

WIT Connect: Thought Leadership Series on Empowering Women in the Workplace

Initially, Nancy, armed with an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Florida, was unsure of her career ambitions. Still, her experience as a math major provided a great foundation of problem solving ability and the confidence to work in an environment where women were greatly outnumbered by men. She never gave it a thought.

She felt fortunate to land her first job as a Systems Engineer for Electronic Data Systems (EDS).  At that time, EDS was known for its superior engineering development program. The company also provided a wide range of opportunities if one enjoyed change and constant challenge (i.e. really hard work). During her time at EDS she held a variety of jobs/positions over the years giving Nancy a wide berth of experience across industry verticals.  She describes a highlight when she held an engineering position at NASA, supporting its Shuttle Processing Data Management System. She describes this time as pure fun and a true first-person connection to a unique era in our space travel history.

She also supported the Air Force’s Combat Ammunition System gaining insight into the defense arena and international travel. Nancy spent several years supporting health insurance in New Hampshire’s and Indiana’s Medicaid solutions as well as Boston’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield, before finally turning to financial services, where she has remained since 2000.

Nancy considers herself an “engineer practitioner” manager. During this time she developed her IT skills across a broad spectrum of technologies, migrating up the leadership ladder in a variety of leadership roles: from IT management, Product Management and Business Strategy, before becoming CIO in 2005 for a core banking solution business at Fiserv.

Central to many of these positions is her current boss, whom Nancy has partnered with off and on since the mid-90’s. They make a great team. Together they worked on many projects that were turnaround/rescue in nature.   Having depth of experience in developing business strategy, Nancy feels that her role as CTO is critical in both collaboration to develop strategy and providing the path for execution and achievement of it.  In her thinking, as technology is central to innovation and change, there is no better seat in the house than to be the leader of technology and make it happen.

Nancy explains, “I live life on the offense,” meaning always active, moving forward, seeking the best path to ‘win,’ not waiting for things to happen. She shared that her current boss thinks the same way. According to Nancy, “you always get the feeling we are heading somewhere important, even if the destination is not crystal clear.” 

Nancy believes the last two decades have been a good time to work in the IT space as it is evolving at the speed of light and her diverse experience has allowed her to be on the ground to see with great clarity how the IT industry has transformed the US and the world. A very exciting time indeed!

Nancy believes it has been her involvement in a “team” approach, a “team” that has sustained itself over the years in various iterations, that has “fed” her professional growth. She surrounds herself with the highest quality team mates, and these co-workers have been her mentors, coaches, and advisors. It’s a two-way process of constant learning and improving.

When she looks back over her vast and amazing career, she can point to a few things that have sustained her:  1) willingness to hunt for information…not waiting for the “how to” to drop in your lap; 2) adaptability … willingness to learn and grow and take on different assignments and to be self-taught.  New challenges excite her. 3) ability to figure things out on your own. 4) Team approach. Nancy, along with her current boss, realized they had strong skill sets that complemented one another so they have recreated a “team,” by following one another on different projects, different contracts and in different business settings. And finally, 5) Nancy has strong interpersonal skills and is big on collaboration. She believes this has been key to her longevity & success.

Nancy’s background in mathematics (there weren’t many women in this discipline when she was in college) has served her well. At a previous employer in the bank technology “space” there were 31 CIOs and only one woman (Nancy); so there is not a level playing field with men. It will take some time.

Nancy is excited to be a part of the growth of Parkmobile and to work with Cherie Fuzzell.  Worldpay is all about integrating payments for technology providers that are delivering innovative solutions to enable commerce in more consumer-centric ways.  She describes the trend in payments is to think of “consumer as POS”.  Parkmobile is a great example of this.  How wonderful to have two women: Cherie Fuzzell and Nancy Cox — powerful women in technology — making a difference!

Her personal and professional influencers over the years:

  1. Dr. W. Edwards Deming: considered the Father of Quality; his famous “14 Points,” originally presented in the book, Out of the Crisis, have served as management guidelines for decades. The points cultivate a fertile soil in which a more efficient workplace, higher profits, and increased productivity may grow.
  2. Another significant influence in her life has been Watts Humphrey and his 1995 book: Managing the Software Process.  This “Capability Maturity Model” was originally developed as a tool for objectively assessing the ability of government contractors’ processes to implement a contracted software project. Though the model comes from the field of software development, it has been used extensively worldwide in government offices, commerce, industry and software-development organizations.

In her personal life, Nancy likes to train dressage horses!

Philanthropy

Proceeds from WIT Connect support WIT Foundation initiatives like Girls Get IT, WIT on Campus, and grants to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused nonprofits and local schools. WIT is also partnering with Emory Continuing Education to enhance WIT’s professional development courses; three new Certificate Programs will begin in the fall, 2015: 1) Develop Self, 2) Manage Others and 3) Master Leadership.

Since 2007, WIT Connect has raised more than $2 million to support WIT’s mission to serve as passionate advocates for advancing women in Georgia’s technology community. Funds raised enable WIT to provide networking, thought leadership, and professional development opportunities to Georgia’s leading women in technology.

Sponsorships

To sponsor WIT Connect or get event updates, please contact Pat Hurston, phurston@mywit.org; (T) 470-823-3228.

About Women in Technology: Women in Technology, an Atlanta-based organization, passionately supports women at every stage of their STEM careers — from the classroom to the boardroom. WIT has set a goal of making Georgia the state with the highest percentage of women in the STEM workforce by the year 2020. WIT enables women to build strong networks, develop leadership skills and advance their careers. WIT is the largest, most active female-centered STEM organization in the metro Atlanta region.

For additional information and to register: click REGISTER.