Brenda Schafer: VP of Product Management & Marketing, LocationSmart

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Bio:

Brenda Schafer joined LocationSmart in May of 2010 and is currently Vice President of Product Management and Marketing. She is responsible for product direction and strategy, channel support and enabling new business development. Brenda also oversees strategic marketing for promoting and fostering the LocationSmart brand. She has over 15 years of product leadership in enterprise software, with a strong emphasis in wireless and location technologies. Brenda has an entrepreneurial spirit and proven track record with five prior successful start-ups. Prior to joining LocationSmart, she provided product and strategic marketing leadership for Laser Communications, MapQuest, InfoGation, Questerra and dMarc Broadcasting. Brenda holds a B.S. in Speech Communications from Millersville University.

What do you do best?

I effectively solve problems. I can quickly determine core challenges, problems or needs and clearly communicate what the issues are and why it’s important to solve them. This is a critical element of pragmatic product management, which I thoroughly enjoy. Many times, people don’t articulate what their real issue is and it requires some detailed probing to understand what’s not working… then comes the fun part, which is designing the solution.

What makes you the best?

Determination and drive to excellence. I am highly organized in both my work and personal life and I triage priorities well, but my relentless drive and determination to be at the top of my game, whether on the treadmill or in a meeting, is what allows me to be a strong contributor to successful outcomes.

What are your aspirations?

I consider myself a start-up junkie. I like to take small ideas and mold them into big opportunities. I have been a part of 5 successful start-ups in my career. I aspire to continue to make a difference with the products I help conceive and personally with a “passing it forward” mentality of helping others and bringing them together to do great things.

Biggest Success?

Learning that “Success” is a state of mind early in my life. This gave me the confidence and advantage of trying to shoot for the stars and the insight that you won’t always make it on the first try. My biggest success is in my career are the products and services that led to successful exits to both AOL and Google.

Most Challenging Moment?

When I moved to San Diego for work, I was in need of a good product person on my team. Another colleague and friend of mine also relocated to the area. Because I knew the quality of his work, I immediately brought him onto the team. Unfortunately, he was going through some personal life changes and struggles, which negatively impacted his work. It ultimately ended up costing him his job, which was really tough. We do still remain friends to this day despite those challenges.

Motto?

One day at a time. We are all running the race in life, many at half or full sprint, and it’s important to embrace each day and be thankful for what it brings.

Favorite People/Role Models?

I have been blessed to have supportive, loving and creative family, friends and colleagues who have influenced and shaped who I am in life. My biggest role model though is my Mother. She was the “Mother Teresa” of our town and was someone who was always in service to others. She inspires me greatly.

Favorite Places/Destinations?

I love Hawaii, especially Kauai. It is a place where I can truly relax and enjoy a certain peace that I have not felt in other places.

Favorite Products/Objects?

My paddle brush and flat iron for my hair would be at the top of the list personally and I love my iPad, iPod and Cannon camera.

Current Passions?

I have been super excited about learning more technical aspects of photography and hitting my personal bests on my workouts at Orange Theory.

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