Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 43

level, coming to head an entire division herself.
" From there, " she goes on, " I moved
on and ended up starting a company [Listen
Technologies] with two other people I used
to work with. "
For Schaeff er, starting a company from
scratch was certainly an exciting experience.
However, aſt er nearly 18 years, she realized
that her ambitions were drawing her in a new
direction. " I chose to step out of that because
I wanted one more experience, " she
emphasizes. Bearing that in mind, Schaeff er
joined QSC in 2015, and she has been with
the company ever since.
Keone, the current president and CEO of
Listen Technologies, had a slightly diff erent
experience. Boasting a background rooted
in technology, she entered our industry as
vice president of marketing at Listen Technologies.
" I was deeply steeped in technology,
but not in AV, " she explains. " So, I [came in]
as an outsider from the soſt ware industry. "
Naturally, Keone's fi rst instinct was to learn
more about her new industry home. " I took
a bunch of AVIXA courses to understand the
industry I had stepped into, " she says.
Keone then highlights when she took
the proverbial bull by the horns to rise up
even further. " When our vice president of
sales leſt , I went to my boss and told him I
wanted that [position] in combination with
my [current] job, " she recalls. " I gave him
a two-minute pitch on how I've been in
sales and how sales and marketing align
with each other. " According to Keone, she
initially began the position on a temporary
basis, but she soon became the chief
revenue offi cer. In that role, both sales and
marketing reported to her. Ultimately, that
led to her becoming president and CEO,
her ascension to which she considers her
greatest achievement.
Schaeff er and Keone emphasize that
these positions didn't just fall into their laps;
instead, they had to ask for and demand
them. Essentially, for women who seek
opportunities like these, the message is
clear: You must be willing to create those
opportunities for yourself.
Creating Opportunities
Transitioning from a position at one level to
a higher-level position isn't an easy task for
women in our industry or any other. In fact,
it oſt en involves learning to manage fear in
commercialintegrator.com
order to seize opportunity. Keone further refl
ects on her experience requesting the vice
president of sales role. " When I was walking
from my offi ce to Russell [Gentner]'s offi ce, "
she recollects, " I was literally terrifi ed. [Being]
at the offi ce itself was hard, but between
those fi ve feet is where I had to manage my
fear of rejection and ask for what I wanted. "
Keone stresses that women must overcome
that kind of fear and take those chances. She
wisely advises, " Once you fi gure out how
to go for it without letting the fear stop you,
there's nothing you can't do. "
'Get your seat at the
table instead of waiting
to be invited. And if
you're unsure of how, ask
around, because that
gives you a roadmap of
your career growth.'
- Cory Schaeff er, QSC
Schaeff er echoes the message of taking
initiative, saying it leads to change. As an
example, she cites local AVIXA Women's
Council groups whose purpose is to
diversify our industry community. " This
industry is [still] too male dominated,
and it doesn't have diversity, " Schaeff er
says. " The best way to change that is not
to wait for somebody to do it; instead,
look at what I can do with my little part.
And every little thing we do creates more
change. " Thus, she advises, " Get your
seat at the table instead of waiting to be
invited. And if you're unsure of how, ask
around, because that gives you a roadmap
of your career growth. "
For Schaeff er, participation also means
a lot, especially for those in leadership
roles. She explains, " Imposter syndrome
is real, but you've been invited into the
Cory Schaeff er
director of alliances and ecosystems
QSC
Erin C. Maher-Moran
multimedia services manager
Johns Hopkins University
Maile Keone
president and CEO
Listen Technologies
room for a reason. So, put yourself out
there and participate! "
It is paramount for women to drive the
changes we seek. However, companies
likewise must take responsibility and provide
opportunities for women and others
from marginalized groups. From a hiring
perspective, Maher-Moran admits that she
feels an extra sense of responsibility when
considering female candidates. Maher's
team currently has 6 employees - four
males and two females including her.
She speaks on the hiring of her two male
employees and one female employee.
Acknowledging that it takes a conscious
eff ort, she adds, " I made it a point to pay a
little extra attention to prospective female
employees because I wanted a wider
APRIL 2022 Commercial Integrator 43
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Commercial Integrator April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator April 2022

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Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 1
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