April 2019 Sponsor Spotlight - Marie Hartman


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Title: Executive Vice President, Co-Founder
 
Company: Hartman Executive Advisors        
 
Length of FEI sponsorship: Around 4 years
 
FEI leadership involvement: Board Member/Advisor
 
Work email: mhartman@hartmanadvisors.com
 
Work phone number: (410) 600-3200
 
Tell us a little bit about your career, educational/professional background and how you got to where you are today. 
 
Fun Fact: My first job out of college was with Merck Pharmaceuticals, where I was one of the first females with a non-typical business background rather than a science or military background hired within the pharmaceutical sales industry in 1988. Interestingly, the only reason I pursued this job interview was because Booze Allen Hamilton withdrew their job offer once their background check revealed I was not an American citizen (I didn’t realize at the time that being an American Citizen was a job requirement).
 
Working at Merck, a Fortune 100 company, was in many ways a foreshadowing of my future. Merck taught me about the power of data and the power of aligning the critical elements of IT (people, process/work flows and systems) strategically to an organization’s business goals. One year out of college and supported by an excellent training program, a great manager, and the right customer data in my hands, Merck awarded me the title of sales rep of the nation in 1989.  This started my leadership track within the pharmaceutical industry.
 
When my husband and I joined forces in 2004, Dave’s vision was to start an independent and strategic IT leadership advisory firm. Fast forward 15 years and hundreds of CEO and CFO clients later, Hartman Executive Advisors is the region’s only completely independent technology advisory firm. The firm has clients in 11 industries and works with business and nonprofit leaders who understand how critical technology is to their business operations, but who, in their own words, "don't know what they don't know" about IT. 
 
Hartman helps clients both develop and execute a strategic technology roadmap to ensure technology is well positioned to support their business goals.  The Hartman team also focuses on helping and enabling their client’s IT teams, providing mentoring and coaching for IT staff, as well as vendor selection, negotiation, and management, to get the “right things done right.”  Their independence allows them to be a trusted advisor and make recommendations that are truly based on business goals, need and impact with measurable ROI. 
 
What is one piece of information you wish someone had told you when you first started your career?
 
I wish someone told me about the importance of and difference between a mentor and a sponsor. A mentor helps you do a better job in your role, while a sponsor is really about your future. The driving force in a mentorship lies with the mentee, whereas in sponsorship, it is the sponsor who directs and fuels the relationship.
 
What do you love most about working in the finance profession?
 
A smart and wise nun at Notre Dame Preparatory High School once told me if I know my numbers, no one will make a fool out of me. She was right! Working in finance with smart financial leaders fuels my curiosity to understand the opportunities and challenges in their business and how to work together to achieve their organizational goals.
 
Do you think it takes a certain kind of personality to thrive in your field?What traits are most important?
 
Working for CEOs, Presidents and CFOs takes a certain personality. We look for individuals who recognize the importance of “servant leadership.” We have a saying at Hartman - “You can be the smartest person in the room, but if nobody likes you, what’s the point?”  It’s about enabling someone else’s vision and mission.
 
The traits that lead to being successful in this field are curiosity, empathy, and having passion and desire to figure out how to be most helpful with every client team that we join. 
 
What is your best networking tip? 
 
Ask good questions about the other person and listen. Do more listening than talking, especially about yourself.