Marianne Baldrica is an energetic, can-do professional who relished the opportunity to earn her degree, while working full-time throughout her college career. Her employers at AMFAC saw her brilliance, drive and potential, and hired her right out of college for public affairs, public relations and investor relations roles, despite the fact that her degree was in OD. Marianne describes AMFAC as a well-led, women-embracing company adept at making opportunities and encouraging growth and change in its employees.
Life changes including a new husband necessitated a move to San Diego, and a search for a new role, something not easy in the late 80s when San Diego was a bedroom community for LA, and tech companies life Qualcomm and life science companies were nascent. But the largely military community, coupled with a tech and business community did create an HR opportunity for Marianne to help translate between two very different groups of people. Her experience there also provided an opportunity for her to see for the first time how an employee-owned company managed the quarterly sales of options, and the impact of the quarterly sales on people, team and companies.
Life and relationships changed again with her divorce. With the option of returning to her Portland roots, remaining in San Diego, or heading for Silicon Valley, where she went to school, and which she described as comparable to Florence-in-the-Renaissance, her choice was obviously for the magnetism of Silicon Valley. And her work option here was set: working with a colleague from the past in the high-flying fast-IPO days in an independent investor relations firm helping companies like KLA, Electraglass and Varian with their public offerings. Yes, Silicon Valley was on fire, and people like Marianne Baldrica worked behind the scenes to fan its flames.
Not every company they helped continued on to be big and successful. In fact, some are no longer in existence. But enough people witnessed Marianne’s work and results to welcome her as the first woman regional vice president at NASDAQ. Today, as the Western Region VP, she currently oversees the NASDAQ relationships with all the NASDAQ-listed companies in the 13 Western States, which includes 50 of the 100 largest Companies listed on NASDAQ. She provides strategic and consultative financial advice to investor relations, treasury departments, CFOs and CEOs of these companies and also works with pre-IPO companies in the same space about 18 months in advance of an IPO. Her deep network includes entrepreneurs who have that great idea and who are persistent enough and lucky enough to get it funded, VCs and institutional investors who see these great entrepreneurs and ideas and fund the company, and investment bankers who assist with pre-IPO pricing, counseling and document-preparation, and government officials and elected who have a vested interest in the economy overall. Marianne also wanted to comment that NASDAQ, like AMFAC, is also a female-friendly company, with a woman CIO and a woman EVP, and several Vice Presidents in other business segments.
Marianne’s advice for women and money include: be independent, take care of the needs of yourself and your children and family, and save early and often, for anything can happen.
Her advice to entrepreneurs interested in working with NASDAQ is to be persistent and passionate, be smart about your product, market and relationships. She adds that woman may be uniquely qualified to be passionate and to build companies that can scale.
Marianne concludes by remarking that it’s an incredible time to be an entrepreneur, and the world *can* be your oyster, if you’re passionate and effective enough to make it so.
Please join me in thanking Marianne Baldrica, for her candor, advice and stories.