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Get to know #TeamIntermedia’s female leaders: Part 1

To celebrate the strong, passionate and powerful women in business and tech, we held an informal roundtable with some of Intermedia’s respected female leaders, including:

  • Gina Hayes, Director of Strategic Client Services Managers
  • Melanie Lombardi, Director of Communications
  • Nancy Sandstrom, VP of Core Operations
  • Nicole Scalese, Manager of Partner Development
  • Irina Shamkova, SVP of Product Management
  • Deborah Stroud, Account Manager for Customer Success
  • Susan Tait, Director of IT

Below is part one of our two-part series, where we dive into their personal tech journeys, advice and what inspires them in their profession.


What advice can you share about being a woman in tech?

Nicole: Avoid the typical tropes of the “woman in technology” by building genuine relationships. Grow these networks within your organization, and create space for a more diverse workforce to grow and thrive.

Gina: Every woman should seek out a mentor. Find someone who exhibits the qualities you would like to cultivate within yourself.

Irina: Never stop learning at any age or stage. Change happens quickly. Volunteer and take initiative. Successfully accomplishing a goal that you set out to achieve not only increases your confidence and self-worth, but it establishes you as a person who can get things done.

Never stop learning at any age or stage”

Deborah: Know when to hang your hat and when not to, but never let go of who you are. It’s hard to recover from that. Never compromise your values.

Why do you believe you’ve been successful?

Melanie: I love storytelling. Every day, I get the opportunity to craft narratives that speak to and inspire people. It’s a career that never grows stale or old. I believe I am successful at what I do because I knew this was my career path by the time I was 12. I was laser focused and just went for it. Passion propels growth.

Deborah: I found a way for my passions and career to align. I’ve had a varied background including accounting, information systems, technical customer service and project management. I’ve been successful at the customer success and customer account management roles because of my historical background. Understanding all the inner-workings of business (from accounting/finance to manufacturing, distributing and operations, to HR and payroll) helps me become a person my customers can rely on and trust. I’m able to truly understand the needs of their business. When my customer is successful, I cannot begin to describe what that feels like. I really hope to continue to do this for the rest of my life.

“I was laser focused and just went for it”

Nicole: I entered the workforce as a Systems Engineer. Since then, I have worked in a variety of Information Security, Systems Administration, and Technical Support roles. I believe I’ve been successful in this current role because I’m able to utilize my technical background to help our internal sales teams and external channel partners excel.

What insights can you share from your experiences?

Gina: Never be afraid to try something new. Just because you start out at one place in your career doesn’t mean you have to stay there. I thought I would always be an engineer writing code, but I realized there was something else I really enjoyed more, so I took a different path.

“Never be afraid to try something new”

Susan: Don’t limit yourself. Don’t assume that just because something seems hard or difficult, that you are going to fail. Be careful not to box yourself in. I went to college for History, and now I run IT.


Take part in the action! Share quotes, feedback and pictures of the female leaders you admire with the hashtag #TeamIntermedia.

About The Intermedia Team

Intermedia helps over 135,000 businesses connect better – through voice, video conferencing, chat, contact center, business email and productivity, file sharing and backup, security, archiving, and more – from wherever, whenever. And, as a partner-first company, Intermedia goes to work for over 7,300 channel partners to help them grow their revenue and maximize their success.