Just Ask: Board-Ready Bootcamp Alum Lisa Walker On Starting Her Board Journey

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MassTLC’s award-winning Board-Ready Bootcamp is designed to improve the quality of board governance and composition at tech companies by preparing underrepresented tech leaders, including African American, Latinx, LGBTQ, and women, to serve on tech boards. 

Over the course of several weeks, participants – who must be current tech executives nominated to attend – receive high-impact training on board fundamentals, strategy, and governance in a small group setting, all while having the opportunity to network with top tech leaders in the region.

Board-Ready Bootcamp is now accepting applications for the Fall 2021 cohort. It’s truly a personalized and transformational experience, and the best way to understand what makes the program special is to hear from the alumni themselves. 

Today, meet Lisa Walker, Vice President Brand & Corporate Marketing at Fuze.

Since participating in the Fall 2020 Board-Ready Bootcamp cohort, Walker has joined startup GoRemote as an advisor. 

Read on for her takeaways from the bootcamp experience in her own words. 

 

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On the biggest lesson from her board journey

After taking the board readiness bootcamp in the fall of 2020 I walked away with one thing on repeat in my head. Just ask. It seems so simple but what I took away over the course of the bootcamp, in listening to the stories of so many board members, is that getting started on a board journey requires building your own pipeline and putting yourself out there.

After the bootcamp wrapped, I made a list of smaller tech companies that were building exciting tools for the future of work, which is the space I am so passionate about. I then narrowed the list to companies with founders who I had interacted with personally, liked and respected. One company, GoRemote, immediately rose to the top of my list as a perfect fit based on my experience at Fuze as VP of Brand. I sent a note to one of the founders, Ian Fraser, with the following message “I know you don’t have a board right now but as you think about building one, I would love to throw my hat in the ring as a marketing expert.” He immediately got back to me to let me know that they will be planning on building a more formal advisory board at some point in the future, but in the meantime, would I like to come on as a paid advisor. And just like that, my board journey began. 

My first experience as an advisor has been phenomenal. I spend time with the team weekly to strategize on all things marketing. Depending on the hot spots, I either get to share my deeper expertise on the brand and communications front or flex some of my other marketing muscles that I don’t use as much in my day-to-day role at Fuze. 

My hope is that the current advisor role can become part of a larger program as the company moves into its new chapter but regardless the learning experience has been phenomenal and I NEVER would have started the journey had I not taken the bootcamp. 

On board diversity and her role

One really interesting piece of the experience as an advisor for GoRemote has been the realization that I am also representing a female perspective, which is really important because their buyers and product admins skew female. Often I am the only or one of a few female voices in the room. The team has been really open to feedback and making changes that make the brand or product experience more compelling to women. Having diverse advisors not only brings different perspectives to the table but also can help address any blind spots.