Tara Rand is the WWLF City Rep for Boston/New England.
Where did you get your start in the industry? What is your current role?
I am blessed to have spent my entire 30+ year telecom career at 3 wonderful organizations in New England: Verizon Wireless (10 years), Crown Castle (19 years) and now for over 3 years at national veteran services provider, SAI Group, headquartered in Salem, NH.
Early on, I dreamed of a life in politics, as a State Rep or Senator specifically, so I majored in Political Science and Communications at Regis College-Weston, MA. My 1st job out of college was working in Boston’s State House for a State Rep but I soon realized how politically connected you had to be in Massachusetts and I was not, being from the very small town of Ridgefield, Connecticut. I just happened to have a friend mention to me that Bell Atlantic (now Verizon Wireless) was looking to staff up their new wireless division so I was intrigued, went for the job and was hired...the rest is history!
Most of my time at Verizon Wireless was spent in the Engineering Department. I worked in RF Design where I was focused on Regulatory matters and network designs and also in Real Estate/Site Acq, leasing up and permitting their core infrastructure throughout New England. Verizon Wireless ultimately entered into a Joint Venture with Crown Castle and I was asked to join Crown Castle’s Sales Team to lease up and generate services revenue on their assets in New England/CT, Canada and Upstate NY. The transition was seamless in that I was working with all of the same assets and team members, many of whom I am still friends with to this day. At Crown Castle, I also held the roles of District Manager-NE/Upstate NY and National Sales Account Executive working with large emerging technologies clients as well as the local wireless carriers in New England.
What are your top 3 leadership lessons or advice?
Give Back…Being elected & re-elected by my industry peers as the current President of the New England Wireless Association (NEWA), being asked to assume the City Rep-New England/Boston role for WWLF and becoming a NATEWon Mentor are the highlights of my career as all enable me to give back to our industry in some way. Helping to establish the new NEWA Scholarship Fund and Co-Chairing the Annual NEWA Charity Golf Event for past two years are of special importance to me as the monies raised is given back to those connected to the wireless industry. Over the years, these three organizations have all played major roles within the wireless industry and I am proud to be associated with them.
Be Honest…It’s my trademark in work and life, no exceptions.
Ask…Be inquisitive, ask questions to learn more or understand something better, see if you can help someone or solve a problem(s) by providing possible solutions. My desire to fully understand the wireless world continues to lead me down a variety of paths, some very challenging, all of which I have and will continue to embrace and learn from. Knowledge is key, don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn more every day.
How has being a part of WWLF impacted you personally or professionally?
I became a member of WWLF early on in my career as it was a great opportunity to get more involved within the industry and build new relationships. In addition to being the City Rep, I recently joined the Industry Relations team and am helping with Membership as well. Being a WWLF member has opened doors to new relationships within the industry which have proven to be invaluable.
My proudest membership moment is when SAI Group hosted an educational event at our office in New Hampshire…the weather wasn’t very good that evening but we ended up having an excellent turn-out for the event and it was a huge success!
How do I define career success?
Success to me isn’t about how many awards and/or prizes you win during your career, it’s more encompassing than that in my opinion.
Success to me is about the true trust-based friendships and relationships established along the way. It’s about loving what you do and the industry you are in. It is also about being grateful for opportunities that you create or come your way. It’s giving back however and whenever you can. It’s about happiness, being joyful and in the best health you can be in. It’s about being blessed to work in a safe and healthy work environment with exceptional leadership. And it’s about the innate desire to learn more and always do better, every day.