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Conversations with the Inspiring Beth Crocker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Beth Crocker.

Beth is the Founder and CEO of Crocker Finance, a consulting firm providing advisory services to c-suite executives, the board of directors, start-up founders and non-profits. She serves on two non-profit boards and acts as the Chief Financial Officer for the Solana Beach Schools Foundation. Prior to starting her own business, Beth was Sr. Vice President, Finance for Rovi Corporation (now TiVo), a global leader in entertainment technology. She has spent over two decades leading high-performing finance teams in Silicon Valley, including such companies as McAfee, IBM, and CrossWorlds Software. Beth began her career as a consultant, and then rose through the ranks of corporate finance. Her first finance job was a one-day temp assignment that segued into a 25-year career. She is a fierce advocate for women in leadership, speaking at women’s events around the country, and authoring the viral blog “An Open Letter to Working Women: We Need to do more than ‘Lean In.’ We Need to Lead.” She is a self-described math geek, mom, writer, lover-of-sarcasm, coffee addict and world traveler.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Silicon Valley is a place of fast change, big growth, high risk, and transformation. I’ve taken two companies public, acquired other companies, been part of a company being acquired, and transitioned a finance team from California to Texas. In several cases, the success of these endeavors meant I’d be losing my job in the process. When you sell a company, the finance team is typically the first to be let go after the acquisition. I had the incredible good fortune of having strong mentors and sponsors, who were my advocates and supporters. It was rare that I would find myself out of a job for long. I would always get a call from a former colleague looking to fill a finance role. I’ve done the same for many of the people who have worked for me over the years, both men and women. While I am a fierce advocate for women, I am a strong supporter of high performers in general.

My advice to other women is simple: express yourself, promote yourself, cultivate relationships, and believe in your own ability to lead. Most importantly, find an influential sponsor and make a genuine effort to help them. When you contribute to someone else’s success, you will find that it will result in your own growth.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Crocker Finance story. Tell us more about the business.
I started Crocker Finance in early 2016, after spending over two decades leading high performing finance teams, and advising C-suite and Board of Directors in Silicon Valley. My specialty is change – whether it be through an acquisition, a disposition, re-organization or just business improvement efforts. My mission is to drive positive change through an organization by helping leaders simplify processes that can seem complex.

Most recently, I led a $3B global retailer through their first-ever acquisition. The company was looking to transform from a pure brick-and-mortar retailer to an omnichannel business, offering online ordering and home delivery to its customers. While the original plan was to build a solution in-house, we quickly discovered that acquiring a company with a pre-built solution, logistics, and tech capabilities was the best option. The acquisition was completed over the course of just a few months, and the company now has the capability to offer online options to its customers.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
I am a fan of women (and men) who take bold chances, who speak their mind, who lead with purpose but also demonstrate compassion, empathy, and authenticity. I recently listened to a podcast about Katrina Lake, the founder of Stitch Fix. I believe she is the youngest woman to ever take a company public. She began to stitch fix with no website. She used spreadsheets and a credit card. She overcame many obstacles, including many VCs turning her down, to build a multi-billion dollar company.

I also follow Sallie Krawcheck, the founder, and CEO of Ellevest, an investment company designed to help women learn how to invest. This is something that women desperately need, and she has found a way to do it that isn’t patronizing. I also love women who are putting out strong messages about equality and gender parity with humor and grace – among them Tina Fey and Amy Schumer.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Benjamin Child (boardroom photo), Christy Moore Himstreet (photo of me), Kate Franklin (paddle stand)

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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