Kerrie-Anne Turner Telstra Business Awards Interview

Kerrie-Anne Turner Telstra Business Awards Interview

Kerrie-Anne Turner Telstra Business Awards Interview

StayinFront is proud to announce that Kerrie-Anne Turner has been named a 2015 finalist for the Telstra New South Wales Business Women's Awards. One of the longest running awards program in Australia, the Telstra Women's Awards empowers women to take pride in all they have accomplished and recognizes leaders who continue to achieve even greater success.

Holding dual roles as Vice President of Asia Pacific and Managing Director of Australia for StayinFront, and the company's only female executive, Turner has been instrumental in helping StayinFront, the leading global provider of mobile cloud-based retail execution and sales solutions, expand its operations, including launching the company's suite of solutions in the Asia Pacific region. Under her leadership, Kerrie-Anne provides strategic direction on StayinFront's operational productivity in the Asia Pacific region and has retained great talent through a time of change.

"Kerrie-Anne has been a key part of our success in the Asia Pacific and Australian markets, and her leadership both in the region and at StayinFront, has helped drive growth and strategic planning," said Thomas R. Buckley, CEO at StayinFront. "She is a force on our team and we are thrilled and not at all surprised that she has been nominated for this prestigious award."

Committed to leadership and fostering development for young women in business and technology, Turner is actively involved in national and local organizations that aim to empower young women leaders, serving as a mentor and speaker. She takes pride in delivering keynote remarks on leadership, and most recently spoke at an innovation program that launched at a local high school to provide leadership development skills to young girls.

"I am passionate about leading people and businesses – it fuels my adrenaline high," said Turner. "I have worked in the dynamic information technology sector for nearly two decades, an industry where woman account for less than 15% of executive roles. Although not without its challenges, I have found it very rewarding to be a women leader of technology organisations. I am committed to using my experiences to help young women navigate the industry, mentoring and empowering them to become future STEM and business leaders. I am very proud to have been nominated for this award."

For more information about Telstra Business Awards, please visit:

Interview with Kerrie-Anne Turner, Vice President for Asia Pacific and Managing Director for Australia for StayinFront

Question: How does it feel to be a finalist for the 2015 Telstra New South Wales Business Women's Award?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: Inspirational! I say that as I had the good fortune to meet many of the NSW finalists last week. What blows me away is these women are focused and authentic leaders and really don't know how talented and amazing they are. Listening to the dialogue inspired my thinking.

Question: What do you hope to achieve from your nomination?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: I have a passion for leading organisations and stewarding the development of great talent in organisations, with a particular focus on young women in business. The world needs great leaders and it needs more great women leaders in the technology sector. Raising the profile of women in technology leadership roles and attracting young women to the industry would be a great achievement.

Question: Why is it important to you to empower women to become leaders?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: I listened to Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fair Trade Australia, earlier this year on the work that organisation does in improving the lives of farmers in developing countries by facilitating fair trading relationships. And how women emerge as leaders in the communities through those fair trade relationships. So empowering women as leaders has both social and economic benefits, not to mention the access to talent and ideas that might not otherwise have been conceived. Creating an environment in business where women are empowered to lead has far reaching benefits for innovation in Australia. As a nation we need to innovate to be part of the future economic development of the region; women leaders who are empowered to drive innovation will be the "industrialists" of the future.

Question: What advice do you have for young women who hope to becoming leaders in big business?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: Hone your craft, learn, engage with and develop your networks. Developing leadership skills that can steward organisations into the next century will be highly valuable. And most importantly – don't be afraid to fail, and when you do fail (because you will) learn from that failure and develop.

Question: What inspired you to be involved in the NSW Premier's Lucy Mentoring Program?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: It was one of the earliest engagements I had in leadership and mentor programs – I read with interest the notion of fostering and mentoring young women, in this case university students. Programs like that simply didn't exist when I started my career – so I knew immediately I had to get involved and contribute to a program that I would have been thrilled to have access to. I've since been involved in at least 4 or 5 other mentoring programs.

Question: What is it like to mentor young girls hoping to go into the business and technology field?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: Unbelievably inspiring. These young girls are on the cusp of a technical and leadership revolution and they know it – and they want to know how to capitalise on it. It's also a learning experience for me - as I work with these talented young girls, I learn how to connect with and lead the next generation. It's a win: win!

Question: What is StayinFront?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: StayinFront provides mobile, cloud-based sales force automation (SFA) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that empower our customers in the Consumer Goods and Life Sciences industries to work more efficiently, know more about their business and performance, and sell more effectively. Our customers use StayinFront software to streamline sales operations and reduce the complexity, time and expense associated with field efforts.

Question: What's involved in your role of Vice President for Asia Pacific and Managing Director for Australia?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: In practical terms I have operational responsibility for all elements of the business in the region. That means the buck stops with me. However the role is also about developing a deep understanding of our customer's businesses. Understanding the opportunities and challenges they face in their industries drives the evolution of our technology to make a difference in their business and improve their bottom lines. I take great pride in my deep relationships with our customers. My focus is also on improving how we implement our technology, looking for continuous improvement – how can we deliver more efficiently and effectively to enable our customers to be operational faster and more cost effectively.

Question: Can you talk about how you aided in expanding StayinFront operations?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: In expanding the operations for StayinFront there is a clear personal mandate – put the customer at the centre of everything you do. That has been instrumental in our growth, while at the same time ensuring that I foster a great employee culture. The importance of these two elements cannot be overlooked as you expand and grow a business. I am particularly proud of our contribution to winning a client in the Asia Pacific region, which has now adopted StayinFront's technology globally.

Question: What's a typical day like, for you?

Kerrie-Anne Turner: How does herding cats sound? That's not the work environment – that's just getting out of the house in the morning with two young boys! I am an early riser, working globally and with a US HQ that means I am usually on very early morning conference calls. Once they end, I turn my attention to my customers and StayinFront team members in Australia. And then as the morning progresses and the Asia Pacific region wakes up, the focus turns to my Singapore-based team, and customers in that region. In amongst all of this I try to keep pace with reading articles on developing technologies and trends that may be relevant, and I read a lot on leadership and strategy.

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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