Interview with Rhonda Vetere, President of nThrive
BY NADINE PELZER
(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 1 2018)
She is one of the few female key players in the Tech World and there is a lot that men can learn from her. With more than 25 years in extensive information technology management, Rhonda Vetere helps companies in every sector to succeed on their digital journey. With a lot of passion and dynamism, she leads her teams and aims to truly inspire change and growth within both the organisations and people. We spoke with Rhonda about her work, her passion for technology and her new role as President of health care company nThrive.
Rhonda, have you always wanted to become a Global Technology Leader?
I did not grow up wanting to be in technology, I was thrown into a technology role because of the leadership and organisational skills that I possess. I knew I always wanted to be in a leadership role and that I wanted to work globally, and technology ended up being the right fit and something that I am so passionate about now. My inspirational backstory is being a self-made person, and growing up working since I was twelve years old. I worked for everything, nothing was handed to me. And I wouldn’t change a thing, because that has taught me to be risk-resilient and to focus on the end game. My mom instilled in me early on to work hard, reach for the stars and that anything is possible once you put your mind to it. My competitive side came out in sports – whether it be swimming, gymnastics, diving, cheerleading, volleyball, softball, skiing, scuba diving, cliff diving or any other sport.
You connect people from all around the globe and help make their lives and work better through technology. What do you find most exciting about your job?
I lead companies and institutions towards implementing innovative tech, finding cost-effective solutions, auditing existing IT, and mitigating risks. The most exciting thing about my job is the opportunity to collaborate with folks globally. I am very passionate about using technology to change the world. I also love the opportunity to mentor others and inspire them to get involved in technology careers. To me, this is so important and really the most exciting opportunity that I have with the platform that I am on.
In the course of your career you have been working in several industries. How did this prepare you for your position as President of nThrive?
In the course of my career, I have moved from telecommunications to finance to insurance to beauty. I am constantly learning new industries and adapting my skills to help companies through major technology transitions, mergers & acquisitions, insourcing & outsourcing, and global technology operations. I pride myself on my wide-ranging, globetrotting, industry experience. I believe that in order to find the right processes and technology strategies, it’s important to take off the blinders and truly experience the culture you’re working in.
I have travelled and worked with people of many different cultures, and these global experiences have been a key part of my background. Travel helps me see the diversity of thought, people, and culture, and it has taught me that adaptability is key.
Please explain to us what nThrive is all about.
From Patient-to-Payment, nThrive empowers health care for everyone in every community. We transform financial and operational performance to enable health care organisations to thrive. We integrate our knowledge and expertise across the entire revenue cycle and we are accountable to our clients – not payors or provider owners – ensuring unbiased and focused solutions that best meet their needs.
How do you make sure you always stay a step ahead of the market?
I spend time networking with others in my field to never stop learning. Conversations and leveraging connections is huge for me. It is all about relationships. I believe true innovation comes through strategy, learning, technology, and quality. I approach situations from a global perspective, evaluating both the audience and long-term goals individually, as solutions are not one size fits all.
Which role does the digital transformation play within the industry?
The digital transformation is one of the latest buzzwords in the industry, just like Cloud was in the past – and still continues to be – and in simple terms it is pivotal to keep up with the industry on the transformation front. This can be a digital efficiency plan internally or externally to focus on improving productivity along with the end customer or consumer journey.
And each industry sector has different partners that they rely on to help on the journey. It is important to note that you do need partners to help, and identifying the niche that you want help or assistance in is the key. Measuring and following up with data and key metrics to monitor the strategy is a key to success.
What are the main challenges of the transformation for companies? And how are you solving them?
The main challenges of transformation for companies are typically the change management around people, not technology. People do not like change, so being able to successfully manage folks during times of transition and uncertainty is key.
You are focused on delivering the seamless customer journey. What does this look like?
You need to innovate in order to exceed the expectations of your customers. The way we shop is changing as much as the way we work. We need to understand customers’ needs and expectations, which vary around the world. A seamless customer journey is making things easy. It is important for customers to be able to consume value easily and not feel any disruptions during transformation.
Which emerging technologies are you watching at the moment?
Chatbots, Bitcoin and Robotics. All of these are looking at the big three above with additional security tied to each technology.
What is your personal balance to the stressful everyday life?
I continue to pursue challenging athletic achievements because I find the training to increase my mental toughness alongside keeps me physically healthy and helps me make better decisions. Over the years, I have completed over 50 half and full marathons and triathlons, and have recently begun doing Ironmans. Even though I travel 75 per cent of the time, fitness is an important part of my routine and something I encourage my team at work to maintain as well. I strongly believe in being a Corporate Athlete in and out of the board room.
What are your plans for the future of nThrive?
My plan is to help nThrive to thrive! I want to come in and work collaboratively across all lines of business and within the various businesses to transform and build competitive advantage. My mission is to use my experience and leadership to drive change in the world. I want to positively impact IT, businesses, and institutions – and the people they serve. While the word ‘legacy’ feels weighty, I strive to leave behind a meaningful, compelling one – both professionally and personally.
Rhonda Vetere has more than two decades of experience in information technology management across industries ranging from banking to technology to personal care products. She specialises in mergers and acquisitions, insourcing/outsourcing, and managing global teams. Vetere has worked in New York, London, and Mumbai, has managed organisations of up to 20,000 people. Vetere recently joined nThrive’s Executive Leadership Team. As President, Vetere will be working across several businesses as an industry change agent to assist with multiple mergers, creating synergies across the lines of business, and will leverage her onshore-offshore experience.
Picture credit © Monica True Photography