WIA Profile: Natalie Pannon
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
Pannon’s been with the company for three years, first starting in AdultCentro’s support division and later moving up to sales with the release of ModelCentro.
We’re proud to honor Pannon as WIA Woman of the Month with this Q&A interview.
How did you get into the business?
Ever since I joined the workforce (as soon as it was legally possible), I was looking for “my thing.” I was looking for the occupation that would be so much fun that, as per Confucius, “I wouldn’t work a day in my life.” I was quickly disillusioned with my journalism major, and after sampling everything from bartending to teaching to legal services, I was never quite satisfied.
Three years ago, I was busy with the wholesale precious stones trade and extremely bored, believe it or not. I was never one to be fascinated with shiny stones. Once you learned the color/clarity, costs and negotiations strategies, it became such a tedious routine that it was impossible to enjoy. So a decision was made, and I ended up going in for an interview with AdultCentro. At the time, I decided to join the support team, thinking it would be the most technically challenging and, therefore, fun. I did feel nostalgia as I grew through the ranks and became “Head Sales and Marketing Manager,” since the times at customer support were absolutely awesome! Still, I never regretted the choice I made — AC had become my family.
What in your background prepared you for what you are doing now?
I believe that no experience is in vain. I was taught that since childhood and have believed it ever since. “You can never know what knowledge you will need” is a motto I have adhered to for life. I have a master’s degree in journalism, and it has helped greatly with marketing and advertising, as well as general communication skills, interacting with people and paying attention to detail. Teaching taught me patience and public speaking. Bartending gave me the best skill of all — making an awesome cappuccino. Every single thing I’ve done has been valuable, and believing in that makes life just a little more pleasant.
How do you answer the question of whether women lead differently than men?
I never thought gender mattered when it came to leadership skills, and nothing has been capable of proving me wrong so far. The whole “women are nicer bosses” is a huge lie, as well as “men are better at organization” and “females tend to be more involved with family.” It all depends on the specific person; everything else is a huge stereotype. I try hard every day to be a good leader for my team and provide them with the right amount of guidance, attention, inspiration and supervision. It is hard work and a huge responsibility, whether you are male or female. As to being a woman in the adult industry, I always have found it an advantage (sorry, guys). Never have I had a reason to think of us — women in adult — as an oppressed minority. We are not and we never will be.
Who inspires you in this industry?
First off, I would like to say that this entire industry is inspiring. It is populated by hundreds of incredibly professional people, who have been role models for me ever since I joined the thriving community of the adult industry. If I had to write a list of people who inspired me, it wouldn’t fit on the page. I guess the first person on this list would be Stan D’Aman, because, firstly, I have never met a bigger workaholic than myself before. Secondly, I admire how his innate creativity helps him steer AdultCentro to new horizons. It is he who comes up with all the incredible ideas hat revolutionize this industry. This ability of inception is truly rare and valuable. I really appreciate the opportunity to work on his team.
What’s a typical workday like?
My workdays tend to look very hectic at a first glance. However, between heaps of Skype chats, emails, and phone calls, setting and achieving long- and short-term goals, meetings, management tasks, working on marketing campaigns and taking care of social media, there is a certain sense of harmony amid the fast pace and differentiation of tasks. Organization was never my best skill (here we go with a gender stereotype) but working in a dynamic environment is both stimulating and enjoyable. I work with some of the most funny and outspoken people I have ever met, which requires a thick skin and a lot of patience. That is just one more aspect I particularly appreciate about the team and my job.
When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?
There aren’t many people in the business who still don’t know that I have been taking twerk, reggaeton and dancehall classes. I suppose this is one of the few industries where I can say that “out loud.” These are both a great workout and a passion of mine. I love reading and am a huge sci-fi geek at that. From the dusty “Dune” to the urban sprawl of the “Foundation,” to even the childish fairy tale of the “Martian Chronicles,” these series are reasons I have drastically under slept for weeks. Lastly, I’m a hedonist at heart, so delicious food is something I cannot live without. Yes, I’m one of those people who have a three-letter reply to the popular question: “What do you do in your free time?” — “BBQ.”