By Rocky Graziano, Human Resources Program Manager
Curious what it takes to be a CEO Award winner at Cerence? We’re excited to continue this new series in which we’ll spotlight each of our inaugural winners to get to know them a bit better!
Make sure you check out volume one for the background on the CEO Award, our highest level of recognition at Cerence.
Let’s dive in…
Guy, Senior Manager, R&D PMO
Years with Cerence: 4
Guy was a key contributor to innovative new cloud processes that positively impacted more than 300 of our R&D team members. This included updating our ticketing system for the organization while simultaneously leading a team of junior project managers on complex and critical projects.
Guy is a natural leader, and people are drawn to his leadership style and listening skills. He is inclusive yet decisive when it comes to making decisions that could impact a project, weighing all likely outcomes and estimating the route most likely to bring success. Silver-tongued and even-tempered, Guy is a unifying force on our team, helping different mindsets and viewpoints come together for a common goal. Using personality, logic, persistence, and strong communication skills, Guy is one of our best examples of trust, mutual respect, and collaboration.
Outside of work, you can find Guy enjoying the outdoors with his family – his wife and their two children, who are in their twenties – embarking on adventurous activities like canoe-camping. Guy’s family are dog lovers, with two border collies and an Australian Shephard. While Guy gets out of most of the dog duties because his wife is a dog trainer and avid runner, the two are also small business owners: together they own and operate a high-quality pet food and accessories store.
Ana, Principal Technical Project Manager
Years with Cerence: 3.5
Ana was a critical asset during our spin-off in 2019, taking the helm of the projects most critical to our current and future success. She is a pro at keeping the lines of communication flowing to guide teams with various deliverables, especially when the information is unclear or missing pieces. She is a perfect fit for the day-to-day responsibilities of her role as Principal Technical Project Manager, taking the helm leading projects important to our growth and sustainability strategy. Ana’s skills have saved the day for many monthly releases, ensuring we have met customer commitments despite the large number of stakeholders to coordinate with. She's shown the same leadership qualities as she’s spearheaded the logistics of a major project, taking on solo project management of multiple infrastructure projects. She is a trustworthy member of our organization whose ideas and opinions carry a lot of weight.
When she is not working, Ana is passionate about the arts, visiting museums whenever she travels. She loves drawing and painting, but admits she is a much better engineer and project manager than she is a painter. She longs for the days when she can be in the audience of a live concert, traveling the world with her better half, meeting with her friends from all over the world, and enjoying a meal with her family.
Dan, Senior Manager, IT End User Services
Years with Cerence: 12.5
Dan is the leader of the End User Services team, which was selected as our team winner in this year’s CEO Awards. Dan led the team through many challenges during the spin out and stand up of Cerence as an independent company, including setting up the influx of new hires across our global organization with technology, accounts, equipment and more. 2020 became even more challenging with the pandemic, causing the team to shift to a 100% remote environment. Dan and the team worked long hours to accommodate the workforce as they adjusted to this new reality. The team continued to innovate, adding a new ticketing system within the Service Desk that shortened response time and enhanced the IT user experience for our Cerence team members.
When not triaging tech issues, Dan enjoys spending time with his family. In the summer, they go to their lakeside family cottage in Maine, where they relax, eat – Dan is a master griller and meat smoker! – and spend as much time as they can on the water. With his technical background always in mind, Dan is also working on making his home “smarter,” so he can eventually control everything from an app!
Guy and his dogs, Ana, and Dan and his son
Congratulations to Guy, Ana, and Dan on being recognized as CEO Award Winners! We look forward to sharing the last installment in our CEO Award winner spotlight series soon. For more on what it’s like to work at Cerence, visit www.cerence.com/careers.