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#WomenOfConcept – Get to Know Seven Women and the Moments That Shaped Them

Published on Apr 5, 2021 at 3:54 pm in Concept Culture, Employee Spotlight.

There’s no doubt that as people, we should always acknowledge the incredible contributions women have made to our history, culture, and society.  Thankfully, the month of March is a healthy reminder and a great opportunity to celebrate women’s history, and we did just that with each of our seven #WomenOfConcept.  

Throughout March, we sat down for a brief Q&A to learn interesting career tidbits, inspirational stories, and advice they’d give their younger selves if they could do it all over again.  

 

Darlene Dralus, Senior Engineer

Time at Concept Technology: 9 Years 

Darlene Dralus, Senior Engineer ✨Q: What’s a recent moment in life that you’re truly proud of?

✨A: Post-tornado last year, many local operations went down for hours, even days. I took the lead on getting us up and running and we were back in business by about 8:30 a.m. that morning. This was definitely a team effort, but I took the lead getting our servers running in our disaster recovery environment.

✨Q: Who’s been a strong female influence in your life?

✨A: This may be cliché but my mother is amazing. She is always curious and learning. She took piano lessons in her 60s and just took up knitting at 80. She’s kind, tough and always open to new experiences.

✨Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

✨A: Don’t sell yourself short. Looking back I realized that I underestimated myself. Oftentimes, I was so aware of how much I didn’t know that I failed to recognize how much I had learned and could do. I needed to channel my inner Stuart Smiley. I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me!

 

Charli Brown, Business Operations Coordinator

Time at Concept Technology: 5 Years

Charli Brown, Business Operations Coordinator

✨Q: What’s a recent moment in life that you’re truly proud of?

✨A: In 2018, my husband and I launched our Airbnb in Inglewood. It’s been featured in Nashville: At Home in their Inspiring Spaces segment, and will also be featured in an upcoming article for the travel blog, A One Way Ticket, as one of the 10 Best Airbnbs in Nashville, TN. I have a love for all things home decorating and my husband and I both thrive in hospitality, so it’s been a very fun endeavor for us!

✨Q: Who’s been a strong female influence in your life?

✨A: I’m a fond admirer of Christine Caine who founded the anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign, and Propel Women – an organization that celebrates every woman’s passion, purpose, and potential. She’s a great speaker and spreader of hope.

And Taylor Swift, duh.

✨Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

✨A: I would say, don’t try so hard to be a “people pleaser.” You simply cannot please everyone, and that’s okay. Sometimes learning how to say no is one of the best ways to say yes to your mental health.

 

Megan Long, Chief Operating Officer

Time at Concept Technology: 6 Years

Megan Long, Chief Operating Officer✨Q: What’s a recent moment in life that you’re proud of?

✨A: Not many know this, but there was a period in school when I would take spare change to CoinStar to see how much money I had for groceries that week. I’d often have to choose between driving to class or to work, depending on how much gas I could afford. I was finishing two degrees, working a full-time retail job and a part-time internship. It was tough, but I’m extremely proud of that time in my life and the grit it instilled in me.

✨Q: Who’s been a strong female influence in your life?

✨A: I greatly admire all the women of End Slavery Tennessee. Derri Smith created an amazing organization, and leadership has grown an inspiring team committed to ending human trafficking in our communities. I’m truly honored to serve on their board.

✨Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

✨A: I’ve always been the youngest one in business settings – I still am. Imposter syndrome made me a quiet observer in many meetings instead of an active participant. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that age isn’t always synonymous with experience. You deserve to have a seat and a voice at the table.

 

Madysen Socaciu, Support Analyst

Time at Concept Technology: 8 Months

Madysen Socaciu, Support Analyst✨Q: What’s a recent moment in life that you’re proud of?

✨A: I was so proud when I came to my last day of my first job out of college. I was the only IT person in that organization for a year, and finishing strong as a 22-year-old recent college grad, absolutely blew me away. I had tons of support from my co-workers, which was game-changing, but to walk away knowing that I made a positive impact was such a great feeling.

✨Q: Who’s been a strong female influence in your life?

✨A: My little sister, Macey, inspires me so much. She’s been my best friend my whole life and she’s worked hard to recently graduate from nursing school and become an RN in an ICU. She’ll begin her doctorate degree in nursing soon and I can’t brag on her enough. She is a strong woman and a wonderful leader.

✨Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

✨A: Life can be much harder than you think, and that’s totally okay. Sometimes, success means to fully immerse yourself in whatever situation you’re in and just learn as much as you can. Progress may seem slow, but it happens when we jump in with both feet and give it our best shot–even if we don’t know all the answers.

 

Whitney Wachter, Director of Business Operations

Time at Concept Technology: 8 Years

Whitney Wachter, Director of Business Operations✨Q: What’s a recent moment in life that you’re proud of?

✨A: I’m passionate about social responsibility and a few years ago I took the initiative to learn more about philanthropy in the workplace. This led to a sustainable program with increased volunteering efforts in the community, providing multiple opportunities for our team members and their families to give back to some amazing area nonprofits. We’ve scaled back over the past year due to the pandemic, so I’m looking forward to increasing my focus on team events in 2021.

✨Q: Who’s been a strong female influence in your life?

✨A: My mom is truly admirable. I learned by her example that compassion and reliability are highly valuable qualities. She’s also a lifelong learner and adventure-seeker who is always willing to try something new.

✨Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

✨A: Don’t let your fear prevent you from moving forward. I’ve missed out on opportunities over the years due to fearing change or failure. If we don’t allow ourselves to have some losses, we’re limiting our potential to learn and grow.

 
 

Jessica Kilpatrick, Client Services Coordinator

Time at Concept Technology: 1 Year

Jessica Kilpatrick, Client Services Coordinator✨Q: What’s a recent moment in life that you’re proud of?

✨A: One memory that stands out was being handed the keys to my first apartment. I’d always wanted to move to a big city, have my own space, and start a new chapter of my life! Looking at all that I’ve gained living in Tennessee over the past 5 years still amazes me–and it all started with that key.

✨Q: Who’s been a strong female influence in your life?

✨A: Well, he’s not female but, my dad is someone I admire tremendously! He’s the kindest, most selfless person I’ve ever known. Once, on a family vacation, I saw him give a complete stranger his shirt and a few dollars. Growing up, he was at every competition and recital. Even if it meant listening through the phone. When I think of what I want to be like when “I grow up,” he’s the face I see!

✨Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

✨A: Slow down and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Life moves quickly and it’s okay to fall off track sometimes–it’s part of growing. Don’t be so afraid of failing because the secret is that you can’t fail. You’re just learning that there’s another way to succeed!