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Heather Terenzio

3 Podcast Episodes

Latest 24 Sep 2022 | Updated Daily

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Heather Terenzio — CEO and Founder of Techtonic — on Selling Unique Concepts and Powering Through Hard Times

Exploring Talent Podcast

Today, Heather Terenzio from Techtonic joins the show. She’s a name that comes up a lot with good buzz and we’re lucky to have her on to talk about acting on and running with an idea, founding and leading her own company, challenges and successes of selling a unique concept, and what drives her. Tune in for loads of advice on building and running flexible companies that survive hardship as well as novel ways to build tomorrow’s workforce. ABOUT OUR GUEST Heather Terenzio is the founder and CEO of Techtonic Group. Techtonic Group is a software services company building web-based and mobile products for start-ups and the Fortune 1000. Four years ago, Heather founded Techtonic Academy to train people with diverse backgrounds how to code using a unique, Department of Labor (DOL) approved Apprenticeship program. This highly selective Apprenticeship program recruits people who have the desire, ambition, and skill set to be a great software developer — regardless of their background or academic training. The Techtonic Group Apprenticeship program has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Popular Mechanics. Heather believes that diverse and inclusive talent are the building blocks upon which great companies are built. GET IN TOUCH WITH HEATHER ON LINKEDIN THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS Podfly Productions: Podfly.net Veterans of Foreign Wars: VFWpost1.org OC National Search: OCExecutiveSearch.com KEY TAKEAWAYS [1:15] Michael introduces Heather and the company she founded and asks her to talk about what Techtonic is, what it does, and how it came about. LET’S PAY YOU TO LEARN [4:55] Heather touches on how being an apprenticeship company is a really interesting intersection to be in. A whole world of government, grant, and foundation funding becomes available. AGILE [7:05] Challenges are something that agile helps Techtonics overcome, Heather shares stories of how the company has iterated its processes in order to be better at what they do. IT’S NOT JUST FOR TRADE JOBS [8:32] Heather touches on some of the reactions she got from developers in the beginning even if humans have been learning by apprenticeship for a long, long time. She also shares some of the apprenticeship criteria and attributes. BEING BACKGROUND AGNOSTIC [11:42] Taking all of the barriers to entry away was the key to unlocking diversity in a natural way. Techtonics only takes the best of the best and it turns out that this is a very diverse group of people. She shares the first Apple Watch fail as an example of diversity being a necessary element of any successful project. ONCE THEY’RE IN, THEY’RE HOOKED [15:57] Heather talks about how shifting mindset in potential clients — and their HR departments — takes a while, but once they’re in, they’re hooked! UNTAPPED LABOR FORCES [19:24] Training veteran spouses is one of Techtonic’s initiatives and Heather touches on how the idea came about as well as who they partnered with to set it up. IT COMES DOWN TO GUT [22:52] Heather touches on what she looks for in her key hires for the company. She shares some stories of the good and bad fits she’s had. BUILDING THINGS [24:42] This isn’t Heather’s first company. She talks about her love of building things and what kind of person it takes as well as her experience building her first company. THERE IS NO ONE HERE I WANT TO BE IN 5 YEARS [27:48] Heather shares her path from engineering to tech. She also talks about how she made her way to the C-suite. ADVICE [30:54] Heathers shares her advice for people aiming to be CXOs. She also takes time to share the advice her dad gave her. COVID [33:11] Crisis management is about focusing on what you can control; Heather offers that in her experience leaner companies fare better in crisis. BEST WORST JOB HEATHER EVER HAD [35:20] Waitressing in high school and college; it’s horrible for a clumsy person, but it makes you so much more efficient and great at customer service. FINAL THOUGHTS AND READING RECOMMENDATIONS [37:22] [41:14] Michael thanks Heather for coming on the podcast to share his insight and closes out the podcast with his favorite takeaways. We hope you learned something today and enjoyed the conversation. Please give us 5 stars on iTunes and share your comments so we can improve and ask the questions you want to hear. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Techtonic Book: Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, by Ben Horowitz SPECIAL THANKS TO Jalan Crossland for the music Angela Johnson at OC National Search Joseph Batty at Podfly Corey Coates at Podfly ABOUT YOUR HOST For the past 20 years, Michael Mitchel, B.A., has been interviewing leaders in their fields. He started his career recruiting for United Parcel Service in Seattle, where he implemented the company's Welfare to Work program for the Washington State District. He has recruited for Federal agencies and U.S. Department of Defense contractors for classified programs internationally. He Founded OC Executive Search in 2001 to serve companies ranging from startups to Global F10. Michael is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Navy and enjoys skiing, cycling, traveling, photography as well as hiking in the Colorado Rockies with his cattle dog, Kala the Wunderdawg. FIND MICHAEL MITCHEL ON LINKEDIN AND ON TWITTER


17 Jun 2020

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'Genius Can Be Found Anywhere,' Techtonic Group's Heather Terenzio Explains

The New Stack Podcast

In this episode of The New Stack Makers,  TC Currie is joined today by Heather Terenzio, cofounder and CEO of  Boulder-based Techtonic Group, which was named “2017 Innovative Company of the Year” by the Colorado Legislature for their unique, outsourced apprenticeship program. “Genius can come from anywhere,” said Terenzio, cofounder and CEO.  It turns out, she said, that once you remove barriers to employment, the top candidates for their apprenticeship program are people who come from groups currently underrepresented in the tech industry. Unlike expensive college degrees or code schools, the Techtonic apprentices are fully paid while they learn.  Techtonic’s innovative apprenticeship program is the first-ever, Department of Labor (DOL)-registered Software Developer Apprenticeship program in the United States. Terenzio started the program because she came into coding from civil engineering. "I realized that people from any background can learn to code.  It’s just a matter of screening for the right aptitudes," she said.


20 Mar 2019

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Scaling tech apprenticeship with Techtonics's Heather Terenzio

Hanselminutes with Scott Hanselman

Scott talks to Techtonic's Heather Terenzio about how her company is scaling tech apprenticeship. Techtonic Group is a software services company building web-based and mobile products for start-ups and the Fortune 1000. Four years ago, Heather founded Techtonic Academy to train people with diverse backgrounds how to code using a unique, Department of Labor (DOL) approved Apprenticeship program. Techtonic Group was recently named “2017 Innovative Company of the Year” by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Legislature. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/culture-killing-diversity-heather-terenzio-mccollester/


27 Sep 2018