Denise Hayman-Loa is CEO of Carii, Inc.. She has over 30 years of strategy and business building, technology, sales and management experience while working at prominent firms such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Hamilton Lane and as a management consulting partner at Ernst & Young. At Goldman Sachs, in 1996, Ms. Hayman-Loa founded an early Internet B2B platform delivering risk management technology, data and services to clients, such as Microsoft's Treasury division, and started the Equity Divisions’ initiative to support institutional clients. In the early part of her career, Ms. Hayman-Loa managed complex technology projects and teams for front office financial services applications. A frequent public speaker and a published author, she has demonstrated expertise. Hayman-Loa has non-profit board experience as a co-founder of a Private Equity Women’s Investor Network and as Board President at Appel Farm Arts & Music Center.
How did you get into the industry?
I started on Wall Street in 1980 and worked in that world in various roles for nearly 30 years – both running technology departments and in front office senior relationship management roles. After all those years of intense work, I thought I would try my hand at transitioning to building and running a horse farm and doing non-profit work. That lasted a few years, and then I found that my brain really craved more activity, so I started working with my husband’s technology company on this cool new idea they had for a community based platform. That initial foray quickly turned in to becoming the company CEO, a role I have held now for 3 years.
Any emerging industry trends?
As in most technology related industries, the digital/social/collaboration/communication industry is always in motion. We see a lot of interest and demand for a better, less fragmented approach, to take the best of social tools and eliminate the issues. Demand for community technology continues to grow, with a priority on privacy, control, ownership of data and relationships and branding.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
Because of the growth in demand and interest for communities and collaboration technology, we see enormous opportunity in a number of channels, from entertainment, to services firms, to education and nonprofits. What we call public social media still has its place, but organizations and audiences are all seeking a deeper relationship and more engagement.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
Our inspiration for the business came from a very simple need we saw – the communication needs of a far-flung kung fu group with multiple local chapters and an international head office. The local chapters had local communication needs, but sometimes needed to be connected to the head office, or other chapters, for information sharing or large events.
This small idea then grew into what is now a fully developed end to end digital eco-system platform available globally on web and mobile – for communication, collaboration and revenue generation. We have numerous clients in different business channels utilizing our branded versions of the platform and we are growing rapidly with ever larger groups.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We have some exciting new clients we are working with that could make a pretty big impact both on our business and on demonstrating what is possible leveraging our platform – with global footprints.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
Continuing to enhance the platform by adding some key new capabilities and building up our client success team to make sure all of our clients continue to have a great experience with our technology and our services.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
The most difficult moment has actually been a series of ongoing moments, the constant financial balancing act and the length of time we have had to bootstrap. What I learned is that everything takes longer than you think it should and things that are obvious to you are not always obvious to others! But in hindsight it has also been a benefit because we have had the freedom to chart our own course, and we understand our own business better than an outsider could.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
The ideal for one of our clients is to have a seamless experience where we partner together for their digital business success and they get a creative solution that delivers way beyond their expectations.
How do you motivate others?
I have been managing people for much of my career, and found that people always wanted to be on my teams. I think the key is respect and recognition of their efforts and ideas and working side by side with them. I would never ask someone on the team to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Keep it fresh! Constantly push the envelope both in terms of reading and learning new skills and testing the traditional boundaries of roles and ideas.