This post first appeared on TechPoint.org as part of theTechPoint talent initiative series of profiles on tech rockstars working in Indiana who moved back to the state after working elsewhere. Find out more about TechPoint's talent initiatives here: http://techpoint.org/indianatech/
As one of 600 people in the tiny town in Iowa where she grew up, Teresa Becker knew she wanted to venture outside her small world when it came time to go to college. Ever since moving to Indiana for school, her small world quickly expanded. Over the past several years, Teresa held jobs with ExactTarget in various domestic and global marketing positions and most recently took her current position with Orr Fellow host company, hc1.com, as Director of Marketing.
As a senior at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IN, Teresa received a recruitment email from the Orr Fellowship, which she initially “legitimately thought was a scam.” As she started investigating further, however, her perception changed from “this is a scam” to “this is an amazing opportunity.” The Orr Fellowship and a role in the Catapult Program, a rotational program for recent grads at ExactTarget, brought her to Indianapolis after graduation, with degrees in both Marketing and Business Administration.
Moving to Indianapolis from Marion resulted in the natural shock that one would expect from a girl who grew up in a town of 600 people. “I thought Indy was a huge city!” Teresa says. But before long, her work with ExactTarget took her to much larger cities across the country and globe. As the first field marketing manager at ExactTarget, Teresa worked with sales reps across the west and central regions of the U.S. to establish ExactTarget’s field marketing department. “I was traveling almost bi-weekly. I got to see and experience many cities I hadn’t been to before: Seattle, San Francisco, Denver – I got to see them all." Teresa's exploration continued internationally through her next role on the global marketing team. She worked with ExactTarget marketing managers all over the world running the go-to-market when the company expanded into new offices. This role allowed her to travel all over the world: Europe, Australia, South America and Southeast Asia.
“I’ve been to all of these cities around the world, but I keep coming back. Indianapolis is home. I feel a sense of pride for this community. There are so many things that make Indianapolis great, but number one is people. It’s easy to meet people here; it’s easy to become involved in exciting opportunities.”
Teresa's landing pad in Indianapolis appeared in the form of a new career. She met Brad Bostic, CEO of hc1.com, and Jeff Lautenbach, Chief Revenue Officer of hc1.com (although at the time he was working for SAP) while working as a private consultant. Instead of utilizing her consulting services, Brad hired her as Director of Marketing at healthcare relationship cloud, hc1.com.
Today, she manages a team of six people, focusing on messaging, positioning, branding, PR and demand generation programs (e.g. trade shows, webinars, e-blasts, blog, digital etc.), grows referral and technology partnerships and leads research around international expansion.
It seems as though Teresa is in Indianapolis for the foreseeable future – thanks in large part to the Orr Fellowship. “Honestly, I don’t know if I would have looked for a job in Indy out of college if it hadn’t been for the Fellowship. As soon as the Fellowship came into the picture, it was pretty obvious that I had to do this. I’m so glad I pursued it.”
She just finished building a house in Westfield, where her monthly mortgage payments are less than what some of her friends in Chicago pay in rent for a one-bedroom apartment. “You just can’t beat the cost of living in Indy. There is so much to do here. It’s a great home base.” Teresa and her boyfriend, Matt, have now trained for two half-marathons on the Monon Trail. They love Mass Ave. and Fountain Square for the art and foodie scenes. But at the end of the day, it’s about the people. And for Teresa, Indy wins in that category every time. “Other cities are fun to visit and explore, but they just don’t feel like home. Indy does.”