The Valley’s tech community is having a renaissance. Along with that growth has come a huge influx of people helping to move the industry forward. As in years past, the Phoenix Business Journal has recognized those making a difference through its Top Tech program and this year is no exception. Diana Vowels is at the forefront as Arizona’s technology industry has continued to expand.
Traditionally, industry and education have existed in separate worlds. At Galvanize, General Manager Diana Vowels works to bridge this longstanding gap by bringing industry partners, ambitious students, world-class education and passionate founders under one roof.
What was the first time you knew tech would be your career?
From the moment I fired up my first computer, a Macintosh II, (the first Mac to support a color display), I knew tech would drive my career.
What’s your biggest career accomplishment?
Surrounding myself with an amazing team at Galvanize, a team that has been a catalyst in driving the tech community forward in Phoenix. The tech community in the Phoenix area has been historically spread out in various parts of the Valley. What’s changed in the past three years is we’ve created a central hub, a place for entrepreneurs to engage, build a community and grow their companies. I’m proud of the members at Galvanize and my role in bringing powerful voices together to collaborate and grow the Phoenix startup community.
Who is your tech industry inspiration?
Bill and Melinda Gates for demonstrating that business success can and should be a path to do greater good for the world. It’s not enough to dominate business and be a successful capitalist; you have to be a good human, too.
What’s the best thing about working in a tech-related field?
Every day, I am surrounded by people who inspire me by doing amazing things and following their passion to transform their lives. Whether it’s a student who’s transforming their professional career or an entrepreneur building the next big thing, I’m surrounded by passionate individuals making a difference in the world. It’s inspiring.
What’s the hardest thing about working in a tech related field?
Keeping up and retaining top talent. Culture is so important; even outrageous salaries can’t make up for a toxic culture.
What’s the biggest challenge in adapting to the pace of technology in your work?
You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. As soon as you start to get comfortable, it’s going to change.