Valerie Belli of Canon, Victoria Hensley of PSIGEN & Ekta Sahasi of Konica Minolta
August 7, 2017 (Hamburg, NJ) – The Cannata Report’s Annual Women Influencers Issue (August 2017) spotlights three women who standout in the business technology, managed services and imaging industry for their game-changing, entrepreneurial-like roles that are propelling their companies, and them, to the top.
Valerie Belli, vice president of Enterprise Business Solutions at Canon Business Solutions; Victoria Hensley, chief operating officer of PSIGEN Software; and Ekta Sahasi, vice presidentand founding member of Konica Minolta’s Business Innovation Center (BIC) grace the cover of The Cannata Report’s 4th annual Women Influencers Issue.
In the accompanying cover story featuring exclusive interviews, Belli, Hensley and Sahasi open up about their careers and successes, and discuss diversity, innovation, collaboration and the future of the business technology industry. Written by The Cannata Report’s Features and Story Editor Sharon Tosto Esker, the article provides in-depth profiles of the three leading executives and includes case studies to exemplify each executive’s current groundbreaking endeavors.
Valerie Belli, Canon
Belli, who oversees the work of more than 800 employees, believes in thinking big, even when she was nine and working and making deals in her parents’ antique shop. Driven by a can-do attitude that has propelled her throughout her career, Belli surrounds herself with energetic, imaginative and radical thinkers but does admit her hiring practices have changed throughout the years. While at one time she hired mostly women to counter the male-dominated industry, she came to realize “I was participating in the problem, except I was coming at it from a female position and perspective. I realized there was a lot of talent out there, and you can’t look at talent through sex or color. You have to be wide open to all the talent so you can select the best.” Today, Belli believes her team should “look like the street. I think that it’s important to have that perspective. You have to look like your environment and society. You can’t be biased or you’ll miss out on the possibilities.” While Belli confirms the industry remains very male-oriented, she says the biggest change is among today’s current and target customer landscape. “I like to say that women count, as in 1-2- 3. Simply put, women are counting the women on the other side of the table. If your company doesn’t have women, that counts against you because your clients are very diverse, and they are going to take that into account when considering you.”
Victoria Hensley, PSIGEN Software
For a COO in the workplace technology industry, Hensley brings a unique background. She’s worked for NASA, where she developed software for several orbiting satellites as an engineer, including atmosphere research satellites that measured the ozone layer, enabling researchers to monitor the hole in the ozone over the Antarctic. “I was brought up to think that I was no lesser than a man and no greater than a man. We are all equal, just different. I have always had that mentality that I can do whatever it is that I set my hands to. If I wanted to become a rocket scientist, it didn’t occur to me that I couldn’t.” At PSIGEN, Hensley oversees engineering and marketing and has been instrumental in instituting processes that encourage open and efficient communication and innovation. “I’ve implemented practices to enable people in our company to move as one, as opposed to a big, bureaucratic ship. As we grow, we’re still able to maintain a nimbleness that plays a significant role in our success.” Says Hensley, “I have a natural tendency to teach, train, mentor, and help inspire the acquisition of knowledge, which personally helps me lead.”
Ekta Sahasi, Konica Minolta
“A cornerstone of success in my career has been the ability to bring a diverse mindset and perspective to the problem at hand or the challenge a company is trying to address,” says Sahasi, who co-founded and led the Research and Innovation Lab for both eBay and online payment portal PayPal prior to her current role as founding member of Konica Minolta’s Business Innovation Center (BIC). Sahasi believes collaboration helps determine the success or failure of an enterprise. “I think many women are able to understand group dynamics very well. If you understand group dynamics, you can presumably facilitate tighter collaboration, whether it’s between groups of people or different eco-systems of an enterprise coming together.” Says Sahasi, “Instead of using the phrase that change is the only constant, I like to say, rather, that learning is the only constant. People really need to have the mindset of agility and an orientation to learning. They need to have the versatility to apply their knowledge in many different ways to come up with new and innovative concepts. Collaborating and adapting to ideas and the changing eco-system are also important.”
“Our 2017 Women Influencers issue is a shout out to the traditionally male business technology industry that if you are not striving to create a diverse management team, not just by gender, but by age, race and perspective, you are limiting your organization’s overall success. It’s as simple as that,” said CJ Cannata, EVP, publisher of The Cannata Report. “In this issuewe celebrate the accomplishments of a host of female executives and their respective companies who are making strides and pioneering change, and it is especially gratifying that a record number of advertising partners supported us by making this the largest issue in our history.”