Execs of 2016: Online Industry Businesswomen Reveal Market Drivers

Execs of 2016: Online Industry Businesswomen Reveal Market Drivers
XBIZ World

XBIZ World is pleased to present “Execs of 2016: The Year in Review” — a special showcase of the thoughts and strategies of 2016’s most influential and motivational leaders as they offer their take on the year’s top trends.

Each of the executives we spoke to is among the finalist nominees for the Online Industry edition of the 2017 XBIZ Exec Awards.

What motivated me most is to encourage our development team to develop improvements to our broadcaster interface, broadcaster apps integration, and our finance team to expand pay-out methods and timing. -Shirley Lara, Chaturbate

The following question about the year in review was asked to those running for the Businesswoman of the Year Award:

XBIZ: What factors motivated you the most this year?

Jenny Gonzalez
Chief Revenue Officer,

“Being part of an extremely flexible, agile organization that proactively anticipates market needs and consistently delivers the appropriate products needed to succeed in an ever-changing business ecosystem, has been huge for me this year. The biggest motivation I could personally ask for is a work environment where gender means nothing and performance means everything. Luckily for me, that is exactly what we have achieved in our group of companies. I get to be passionate and goal driven at the business side of things, while knowing that our exceptional team of extremely astute individuals will deliver the technology and services needed to match that passion.”

Cathy Beardsley
CEO, Segpay

“I’m motivated by the challenge of being more than I am — and more than some people thought I could be. I’m inspired by leaders such as Cheryl Sandberg (Facebook) and Meg Whitman (HP) — strong women who helped build powerful companies and brands. Each day, I strive to make SegPay bigger and better, but am always focused on our clients and their business needs. Over the past year, I’ve secured significant investment in our company that will help fuel SegPay’s growth into 2017 and beyond!”

Judy Shalom
CEO, Adamo Advertising

“There are many factors that keep me motivated, that drive and inspire me to constantly try to improve my life. They include my family; my friends, my colleagues, my work, and rising competition everywhere that helps me build a business that I’m proud of. I’m always looking for new ways to expand my motivation and horizon. For example, I love to read and to learn new things that stimulate my thinking and help me to look and think outside of the box. Pouring my passion into my work and team and in doing so seeing new things take shape is what really gets me going.”

Kelly Holland
CEO, Penthouse

“We are less than a year into the new ownership, leadership and direction of Penthouse. I acquired Penthouse, this 50-year-old, iconic men’s brand, in February of this year, and immediately hit the ground running to transform the business model throughout every division of the company. We are, essentially, a 50-year-old start-up. That transformation, helping to raise the Phoenix from the ashes, is what I and the Penthouse team lives 24 hours a day. Although our first year has confronted us with all manner of challenges, the entire Penthouse team, from back office to executives to our Penthouse Pets, have drawn around the same common purpose, a vision for this company that we believe in, to move us forward every day.”

Laurel Hertz
Co-Founder, ChargebackHelp

“Challenges motivate me — pushing the benchmark for our company, ChargebackHelp, to improve year over year is what gets me going. I like pushing myself to build new relationships and strengthen current ones. A big part of that means being a proactive listener: anticipating the needs our clients, partners, employees and competitors. Wherever the industry is at — whether it’s up or down — we’re always in growth mode. We thrive on generating more revenue, reducing redundancy, and improving efficiency. That keeps us hungry for new opportunities, and vigilant for where we can add value to our brand. It helps that I’m surrounded by a lively, diverse group of people — not just my team, but our partners and clients as well.”

Laurie Biviano
Vice President of Marketing and PR, CCBill

“This year, CCBill has been in full expansion mode, adding innovative new features and products to our service offerings, and integrating third-party solutions to position CCBill as a payment-as-a-service platform. Cornerstones for these efforts include the further development of new CCBill systems, such as FlexForms 2.0, our dynamic checkout system featuring CCBill Pay, a ‘log in and pay’ stored payment service that gives consumers the ability to quickly make multiple purchases from any CCBill processed website, and from any device, anywhere. To enhance the CCBill platform, in 2016 we also continued to add an assortment of integrated shopping carts, marketing and business software and service solutions to our CCBill Integration Partners program, to help our merchants hit their business goals and fill in their technology and service gaps. Throughout this growth period, and really, since joining CCBill in 2000, an ongoing motivating factor for me as a business and marcom leader within our organization has been to remain authentic. Being able to contribute my personal strengths and professional talents in ways that have a positive impact on our business, and our company culture are huge motivators.”

Megan Stokes
Partner, New Media Group

“As cliché as this sounds, our partners really motivated me this year. I have seen each of them push hard on new products, think outside the box and hustle hard. There is a quote ‘Surround yourself with like minded people. Success is a group activity.’ I think that quote and lots of coffee sum up 2016 for me.”

Mia Zhu
President, Mobius Payments

“The satisfaction of a job well done and a satisfied client is what motivates me. I strive to maintain a positive disposition and I have an innate drive and ability to establish and accomplish my goals. Effective in June of this year, Visa transitioned to a global chargeback threshold and in anticipation of this change, we set out in January with a mission to help our merchants stay within card association regulations and lower chargebacks. There was a problem and we knew we had to help merchants lower their fraud ratios and lower their chargeback count. It was a difficult project for a few months but not insurmountable. Developing an innovative idea, the team planned and executed the task, and by May, we were testing our new systems and training merchants on our platform. The results were overwhelmingly impressive, in some cases, lowering merchant fraud by two percent. Everyone was happy.”

Shirley Lara
COO, Chaturbate

“What motivated me most is to encourage our development team to develop improvements to our broadcaster interface, broadcaster apps integration, and our finance team to expand pay-out methods and timing. We constantly strive to improve these features so that our broadcasters, many of whom are single moms (or dads), students, etc., can continue to make a good living from the safety and privacy of their own homes. It is so rewarding to help our independent broadcasters accomplish these goals and to simultaneously enhance the entertainment experience for our members.”

Vicky Vette
Owner, Vette Nation

“Being a woman in this business it is so flattering to be acknowledged for my business acumen. That alone motivates me more than you could know. The industry seems to be looking for ‘the next big thing’ (such as VR, or what 3D was supposed to be). While I am intrigued by VR’s possibilities and look forward to shooting our first scene, I am much more basic and level. I believe in the same thing, year in and year out — steady growth, not biting off more than you can chew. As always my primary goal is making sure the girls in our network are happy. That said, we now shoot only in 4K, and it is stunningly beautiful! That was a great decision and I am glad we were early adopters on that bandwagon. I hear a lot of chatter about how ‘paysites don’t make money anymore,’ or ‘there’s just too much free porn.’ That motivates me even more, because it is simply not true. If you treat the fans with respect and provide quality entertainment, are interactive, give great and timely customer service, never be dishonest or ensnare anyone, they will happily give you their money.”