As part of our regularEmployee Spotlight Serieshighlighting members of the Styra team, we can't wait for you to meet our new Vice President of Marketing, Megan Scofield!
We are excited to have Megan bring her extensive experience in marketing leadership and B2B cybersecurity marketing to Styra! In this Q&A, Megan shares what drew her to Styra, her management philosophy, and the James Bond character she relates to.
Tell us a little about yourself/background.
While I am a rare San Francisco Bay Area native, I didn’t realize as I was growing up that I was at the center of Silicon Valley! I went to California Polytechnic State University where I double-majored in Agriculture Science and Agriculture Business. It wasn’t until a summer marketing internship at Symantec that I became interested in cybersecurity and tech.
I’ve spent the last 15 years in B2B cybersecurity marketing, helping brands achieve their goals during hyper growth. Before joining the Styra team, I was Vice President of Demand Gen at Armis and before that, I had spent nine years at Palo Alto Networks - most recently leading Cortex Demand Gen Strategy. I helped Palo Alto Networks grow into a global cybersecurity leader and bring Cortex XDR to market working alongside a vibrant, dedicated team.
What made you choose a career in marketing?
My interest in marketing began very early in life. At first, I thought I wanted to be involved in event marketing. As a child, I had dreamed of being the person in charge of running the Olympics. As I learned more about the different facets of marketing and business, I realized it is not a single person, and that I was interested in more than just event marketing.
After taking my internship at Symantec, I joined a startup where I was able to wear many hats, and then a demand gen team at NetApp. Aside from a short period working in the non-profit space, I have been working in tech ever since. I guess I got lucky, the fast pace of tech marketing and being a part of something that positively contributes to the world keeps me excited about what I can contribute every day.
What drew you to Styra?
The technology! Speaking with CEO,Bill Mann, and the rest of the Styra executive teamabout the Authorization problem thatOpen Policy Agentand Styra solve immediately got me excited about joining the company. Authorization is a difficult problem that continues to grow and evolve as companies embrace cloud-native technologies. Styra and OPA solve for cloud-native authorization, and I am excited to be a part of it!
The other big thing that drew me to Styra is the culture. Culture is huge for me. Early in my career, I had a mentor who worked hard to create an environment that was inclusive, safe, and filled with high integrity, genuine people. This led to the creation of a dream team. I’m always looking for those elements now that I’ve had a taste of that kind of culture. I see these principles shining through at Styra.
What are you most excited about as you start your new role as VP of Marketing?
Collaborating with a team of genuine and smart individuals to drive growth and awareness for Styra. There is tremendous momentum as developers embrace OPA and share the technologyStyra DAScan offer their companies to provide consistent authorization. I’m excited to share the amazing possibilities and solutionsStyra DASprovides with companies that are starting to embrace cloud native.
What is your management philosophy?
I like to work closely with my team to build a strong rapport and trust. Once we have built that trust, I am hands off. I truly believe that you need to give people the freedom to run fast and own their work. I focus on giving my team the pride of full ownership and the ability to forge their own path while still nurturing an environment of collaboration and frequent communication.
My alma mater's motto was "learn by doing," and that has always stuck with me. I have always found it easier to learn when you are in the trenches, doing the work. Giving my team full ownership of their work from the start enables them to quickly figure out the best and most innovative ways to succeed.
If you had to work, but you didn't need the money, what would you do?
I would focus on supporting the healthy development of children and teens. I would likely accomplish this by teaching, coaching sports and fostering. I originally went to school to become a high school agriculture teacher, which is a job where you are an advisor for life with the ability to enlighten the younger generation every day. Outside of working with children, I am a bit of a real estate nerd. So maybe something in that space as well!
What fictional character do you identify with the most and why?
Aspirationally, maybe “M” from 007(yes, the Judi Dench version). M is the mastermind behind the scenes with all the key intel, she works with Q to deliver the cool gadgets, deals with 007s issues and puts out his big fires … sounds an awful lot like leading marketing, right?
What is one food that you cannot resist?
I love all forms of bread — garlic bread, pizza, pasta, rolls, and everything else full of gluten! My favorite would be a simple piece of sourdough toast with butter. My husband shares my love of bread and even bakes his own from scratch. I love when the house fills with the scent of freshly baked bread.
If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what song would you choose and why?
At a previous company, I would walk around with a speaker blasting an upbeat song for the team on Friday afternoons. I rarely have favorites, but the first one that comes to mind is Walking on Sunshine. It was a fantastic song for encouraging people to get up and dance. Three-o-clock on a Friday doesn’t have to be dreary! Virtual dancing is allowed as well nowadays. 😄