In this week’s ‘Meet the Executives’ series, we interview our CMO, Erin Duncan. Having been around the identity block at companies from Quest Software to Thycotic (now Delinea) and most recently Saviynt, Erin joined Clear Skye in February, and we’re better off for it, to say the least. When she’s not leading the marketing team, you can find her on the tennis court, working on her garden, or walking with her doxie, Jack. Read more about her role and what led her to Clear Skye below.
Erin and Jack love wandering around the Columbus Metro Parks (photo credit: Patti Meinert)
What do you do at Clear Skye?
I guide the marketing team. Everything from product positioning, digital campaigns, events, and partner marketing, we have a small but mighty team that executes our plan. Marketing at start-ups usually requires you to wear many hats, and Clear Skye is no different. I also work cross-functionally with sales, product, operations, and customer success to make sure we’re aligned in how we go to market, tell our story, and share the success of our customers and partners.
When and why did you make the jump to Clear Skye?
I came over to Clear Skye in February 2022. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away— Oh wait, yeah, my story isn’t Star Wars—I worked with our CEO John Milburn at Quest Software. After having been in the IAM space for a while, he thought the role would be a good fit for my skills.
I’ve spent 20 years in marketing, the lion-share in product marketing at software companies. Product marketing requires such critical thinking and building frameworks around target markets, positioning, messaging, audience development, content, and more. This role provides me a great opportunity to use those skills and build new ones. I’m glad I took his call; I love working at Clear Skye.
What sets Clear Skye apart from other places you’ve worked?
Identity governance is challenging. Our customers have been trying to get value from IGA solutions for nearly 30 years. Everyone at Clear Skye is bought into the problem we’re solving, and we’re all working to delight our customers, which include organizations from ABB and Sanofi to AAA and Premise Health. There’s a lot of respect among the entire team and a ton of talent in both the identity space and on the ServiceNow platform.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
Clear Skye will be wildly successful! We will be delighting hundreds of our customers with transformational IGA solutions and new products on additional platforms.
"Is this racquet big enough?" Erin will do anything to win a match (photo credit: Patti Meinert)
Most will agree, from failure comes success. Tell us about a learning moment in your professional life or a valuable piece of advice you’ve picked up along the way.
I think this advice stands for both work and life: nothing that is meant for you will pass you by. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we think is next and we’re incredibly disappointed when it doesn’t happen—a new promotion, a role we think we’re perfect for, a friend or love interest that doesn’t work out. The things that are meant for us land squarely in our lap.
It’s important not to get wrapped up in the ‘what.’ Focus, learn, level-up, and always be ready for the next thing—whatever it may be. What if what’s next is even bigger and more amazing than the thing you thought was next? Sometimes the universe has something much better planned for you.
Who inspires you—career or otherwise?
My inspiration comes from my mom. She raised four kids on her own and is amazingly resilient, artistic, and creative. I’m also inspired by many leaders that I’ve had the pleasure working for and with over the years. They’ve been with me through hard times and always lifted me up and cheered me on. I’m looking at you Aggie Haslup, Mandy Sadowski, Katie Birch, and John Milburn!
For me, inspiration has always been about the people, their stories, and the relationships we’ve built—not leadership platitudes and hollow advice. Similarly, I’ve been really inspired by a number of authors: Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, and Glennon Doyle to name a few. Whether it’s a work or life challenge, they always seem to know what to say to put things in perspective and keep me moving forward.
Where can we find you when your work hat’s off?
I love to travel and be outside, especially on hikes and walks in gardens. I’m a photographer and landscapes and flowers are my favorite subject matter. I also love live music and try to get to concerts as much as I can. The last show I went to was Shinedown and The Pretty Reckless. You’ll also see me rolling around my neighborhood with the windows down, singing with the radio cranked up. I’m an avid tennis player and fan. Getting to all four majors is a bucket list item. Last but certainly not least, I’m a dog mom to a demanding and stubborn and oh so cute doxie named Jack. He loves to travel with me and meet new friends, both canine and human.
Sunflowers in a field in the South of France (photo credit: Erin Duncan)