Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.

What is your name and title?

Deena Tearney, CEO at Pacific Point Inc.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

Pacific Point is a Salesforce consulting firm, rooted in Honolulu, Denver and Sydney. My role is to lead the strategy and growth of the company.

In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?

To always be learning. I have realized that I have so much to learn, every single day.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?

Despite the pandemic, Pacific Point had the incredible honor to be recognized by Inc. 5000 alongside so many impressive businesses. This ranking is not only a testament to excellence of our consulting team, but also highlights the growing need for technology solutions that strengthen businesses and enable personalized customer experiences. Now, more than ever, we are hyper-focused on delivering valuable Salesforce solutions and business results for our clients.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

As a woman in technology, which is male dominated, I work hard at finding the balance of being an empathetic leader as well as a boss. However through my leadership style, I am proud to say that once people join our company, they rarely leave unless its personal reasons or moving cities. I am very proud of building this work family.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?

Mentorship has been an important part of my career development. My primary approach to mentorship is through indirect mentors. I felt that I would gain the most value by watching closely how leaders and peers handled situations in my day-to-day job and situations I knew and understood well. I would ask colleagues their perspectives on things that were happening right in front of us. For me, it is a very practical form of mentorship in what to do (and what not to do) without those people even realizing they were mentoring me. I think what is key in mentorship is that you still trust your own intuition.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

Starting your career is the time to focus on learning and build skills and experience. Hard work and taking ownership are essential throughout your career. I like this quote on Instagram, “Instead of begging for a seat, build your own table”.

Seek opportunities and work hard, you got this!

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?

I founded Pacific Point with the goal of bringing CRM and Salesforce to the Hawaii market. Seven years later, Pacific Point is the state’s leading Salesforce consulting firm and is currently Hawaii’s only consulting firm that is a certified Salesforce partner. Growing nationally and internationally has been extremely exciting, although there was definitely a learning curve. Because of the challenges with traveling to our Sydney and Singapore offices, my goal for this year is to focus on our growth in the Denver area, and to connect with community in all of the cities we have offices in.

Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?

I have a passion for encouraging youth to pursue careers in business, leadership, and
technology. I support various youth programs that are focused on topics such as STEM, Women in Business and Leadership, and Women in Technology. My career in technology has been really rewarding for me, so I want to encourage young women to consider careers in this field.

When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?

Pacific Point joined Pledge 1% in December of 2019. We actually have had our impact program running for several years but felt it was time to “make it official.” We love volunteering our time to inspire students, especially girls, to pursue careers in technology through hands-on workshops and professional mentoring. Recently, we taught a hands-on workshop to junior high women on building a lemonade stand on the Salesforce platform.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?

In my spare time, I love to golf – it’s a great mental game for me. I get distracted with a lot of things throughout the day and many different things happening at once. I love clearing my head when I play golf and focusing on one thing – hitting the ball. Fresh air and playing with a friend is also a huge plus!

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

I’m a huge fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and listen to his podcast in the car if I’m not on calls or with family. He is such an inspiration to me with his raw communication on positivity, gratefulness, and kindness, yet counter-balanced with his grit to work hard and fight for the win. His insights on marketing bring me a lot of value as well!

What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?

We sent special packages out to our employees with a Pacific Point trucker hat and a bottle of wine. (Many thanks to 1813 in Australia as well as Empathy Wines and Darioush in Napa Valley, CA for making it happen!) Then we put on our company hats, poured ourselves a glass, and signed on for some much-needed (re)bonding. It was a great chance to rehash old office jokes, nerd out about shared interests, and generally reconnect with some of the people we’ve been missing. As an added bonus, we strengthened our international bonds that in the past relied on long plane flights to build and maintain.

I know logging into a meeting with no agenda can seem daunting for some teams. If that’s a concern for you, sending items for the meeting can help break the ice or have a few non-work topics ready just in case. Once the ball is rolling, your team will remember what it’s like to…well… be a team.