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Jennifer Canfield

Jennifer Canfield

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

My name is Jennifer Canfield and I help companies build and execute ROI-positive customer and employee experience programs and practices with Medallia, Inc. As part of this role, I am responsible for leading a portfolio of current customers. However, I spend the majority of my time focused on educating and championing experience management throughout the Twin Cities. Experience Management is transformational by nature as it focuses on changing the hearts and minds of employees to be more customer-centric, as well as changing the hearts and minds of executives to be more employee-centric.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I earned my MBA from the world's leading women's leadership program at the Simmons School of Management in Boston. The Simmons School of Management hosts a Women's Leadership Conference each spring and my most memorable memory was hearing Sallie Krawcheck run through her personal calculation of how much time she spent getting ready for work across her life-time compared to her male counterparts. Not too long ago I moved from Boston to Minneapolis, and I recently joined Ellevate to, in part, recreate the powerful women's network I had in Boston.

How would you define your professional mission?

Inspire others to do great things.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

This requires me to be 50% seller, 30% cross-functional influencer, and 20% thought leader. It's a challenging mix, but one women excel in. Many women shy away from the selling component and it is my personal mission to recruit more women into commercial roles. I believe sales needs a major makeover and I am dedicated to reframing and reselling the concept of sales.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

I turned down a no-brainer role as a leader for a very successful team at one of my last companies in favor of a no-promises role on the least successful team. I successfully turned around my business unit from worst to first in just a few years.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I definitely have a jungle gym not a ladder career. As an undergrad I loved economics and painting equally. Unbelievably, I was able to combine these two loves after graduation by running a nonprofit arts organization for many years, while also running my own painting studio. I continued to be passionate for painting, leadership, and management. Tired of having two jobs - artist and executive director - I decided to purse a graduate program in painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. This was a great experience and I learned through this that more important than the titles of artist or director was the impact I was able to have in leadership roles -- specifically impact mentoring and developing others, building great organizations, and serving the community. Now I am guided by these three areas in all of my work. Eventually, I pursued my MBA and repositioned my career from nonprofit to for profit (a surprisingly difficult task!) and have been very successful in analytics and insights leadership roles for the past 10 years.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping build companies that are loved by both their customers and their employees and unlocking the financial and cultural growth that goes with it.

What does success look like to you?

Impact on others (people and companies), money and respect. I know lots of people shy away from compensation, but it is important for women (and men) to recognize and be able to quantify the impact they have on their organizations and clients and assure they are compensated accordingly. In my mentoring work I spend a lot of time helping women understand why this is important and also tactically figuring out how to make the case and ask.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Call me. 617-512.8010.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

1. Advocate for yourself, no one else will do it as well as you. 2. When things are hard, just stay on your feet. It's a marathon not a sprint. 3. When you fall flat on your face it doesn't represent failure. It means you are really putting in your all and striving. Stand up and say "ta da!!"

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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