Life at Expedia Group Blog
One Week With Monica May
Name: Monica May
Job title: Director, Partner Marketing Programs & Vice President of LatinX at Expedia Group & Allies for Development (LEAD)
Team: E4B Marketing and Industry Engagement
Working Location: Austin, Texas, United States
I have been at Expedia Group for three years, creating partner-facing engagement programs in the Connectivity and Innovation teams, and now the E4B Marketing and Industry Engagement’s Partner Programs team. I came to Expedia after 16 years in the hardware tech and services industry where I focused on services support and supply chain program management and digital transformation. I’ve been engaged in Employee Resource Groups since 2012 and am thrilled to be the Vice President of LEAD at Expedia.
Setting the Stage
Every Monday, I take the opportunity of a lighter meeting schedule to sit and carve out goals for the week and load balance my life. It’s important to take a step back to review what I need to Go Get Next to feel like I am effective.
I am a creature of habit and make a point to “Never Miss a Monday.” I will always start the day with a workout, followed by dropping my daughter off at school and turning on my “chill” playlist on while I spend a few minutes clearing off my desk. I have made sure my office is a space that I can concentrate in, and it doubles as an indoor workout space where I can stream a quick spin or core class. I use One Note to review last week’s list, review what was accomplished and make sure each of my 4 big categories receive attention to plan where I dedicate my time in the upcoming week.
· Monitoring progress for all-things Role related (this is week 8 of a new role!)
· Engaging with the LEAD IBG
· Making sure I’m carving out time for my Family and Friends
· Connecting with the external organizations I volunteer with
It seems tricky, but realistically not every category will need the same amount of attention every week. This week, it’s a heavy “Work Role” and “LEAD” week, and I am so grateful to have a supportive partner in my husband who will happily manage our 8-year-old daughter on weeks like these where I’m running hard in other spaces. It’s kick-off week for Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month! Our IBG’s Global Observance week is always our most active time, and we have brought something incredibly special together this year!
Powering the Day
I am that morning person who loves an intense workout to get the blood flowing, and to keep me sane during the pandemic we built out a Garage Gym at home where I could continue with weightlifting and doing HIIT style workouts. I still work to squeeze in 2-3 a week and had the time this morning! I was joined by my daughter for a bit, who is in her first year on a competitive gymnastics team. She decided that choosing out our workout tunes and practicing pull ups and pikes would be a fun way to spend time together before we get going for the day.
This week my leader, Brandon Ehrhardt, is in town for a couple of days so we can get some dedicated time to review the last several weeks of collaborative work between the Partner Programs, Product Marketing and Go to Market teams within E4B Marketing. We made sure to get some time in for relationship building within the teammates we collaborate closely with and got to eat some fantastic chicken!
Details, Details, Details
The planning continues with my big two areas of focus this week! Brandon and I are in and out of meetings with our respective peers, and we are focusing hard on making sure that we have a good communications plan going to roll out the Go to Market framework and processes to our team.
One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that when we are changing “how” teams are working together, we must make sure we are communicating with clarity and setting expectations. We are also in the early stages of planning a new initiative that will focus on identifying and creating a process to engage our Partners in a more effective manner.
Working through the beginning of a Program is one of my favorite all time working activities, and it’s always more exciting when you have a collaborator at the table. You have the chance to really dive into what the problem statement, identifying needs for Partners and for Expedia, and more importantly, a chance to flex some creative muscles that aren’t used day to day. Since we are coming from two different sides of the business, it feels like we are able to approach old problems with new eyes.
Meanwhile, LEAD’s President, Marina Gaytan is in town! She and I along with Gretel Perera, the Head of PR for Vrbo Americas, and Dalia Diaz, Austin’s LEAD Chapter President, have been working diligently to make sure the Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off goes off flawlessly. Our Latina Leadership Summit is tomorrow and we are wrapping on the last details! The food, happy hour materials and DJ are confirmed, the volunteers are committed, and I send that one last reminder email to our attendees. Gretel and Marina have prepped our speakers amazingly well, and we end the day together with a happy hour to toast the day ahead of us.
Today is the day!
It’s September 15th, and we are kicking off Latinx and Hispanic Heritage month with a bang! We have put together a half day forum to start celebration.
The Latina Leadership Summit’s goals are to showcase Latinas’ impact within the tech industry and provide a platform for Latina leaders to share their experiences. These Latina leaders will represent various tech companies, including AMD, Dell, Expedia Group, Flex, Indeed, Meta, NI (National Instruments), NXP Semiconductors, Salesforce, and Visa. The energy in the room was electric!
I am M.C. for the event, and welcome Ariane Gorin to conduct opening remarks before we head into our first panel on Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Talent. The summit provided many engaging insights and inspiring nuggets of information, and I encourage everyone to view the recorded sessions at your leisure! Many thanks to the many teams at Expedia who worked to help make this a reality. LEAD was supported by our Executive Leadership, the I&D Team, The LEAD IBG, Corporate Communications, the Austin Events Team, Public Relations, Austin Site Leadership & Global Talent Acquisition teams in the best way. We welcomed in 60 visitors who were external to Expedia Group, and saw 650 unique attendees join the forum on zoom.
Time to Reflect, Time to Wind Down!
After the rush of the week before, I am looking forward to a day to catch up with my team and family. I start the day with a short run with the dogs before meeting with team members about our offsite in Las Vegas in the next week. We are planning to do a fun session to “reveal” our team’s new way of operating by function, and we are trying to have some fun with it! We are all slightly bummed when we learn we cannot, in fact, throw glitter all over a conference room. After that, I connect with a new mentee that I have connected with through the non-profit Latinas in Tech. We are entering an 8-week mentorship relationship, and in our first meeting we spend time getting acquainted with each other’s history, and I map out her goals for the mentorship.
The topics she wants to know about are very similar to the panels that we had at the Latina Leadership Summit, and I am PUMPED to be able to take the learnings from our event to someone who can benefit from it. It’s also an early release day at my daughter’s school! Since we have an early soccer game on Friday night, we are able to get our “Friday Night Lights” on. It was so great to wrap up the incredibly active week with some down time with my mom friends – not your typical soccer moms – and see my girl and her team fly. Her team, the Red Hornets, won their game 7-0 and Alexis took the title of Player of the Week. Look at that cross-kick!
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