Danielle is one of Siemens Energy Leaders joining the conversation at CERAWeek, the world’s premiere energy event taking place this week in Houston. We recently sat down with her to discuss her role as the Business Development Director for Gas-to-Power Business Unit and some of the other hats she wears in her free time.
Q: You joined Siemens through the Dresser-Rand acquisition in 2015. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had since then?
Fully realizing the holistic capacity of Siemens. In my previous role, I was much more focused on selling certain types of equipment for specific applications. Now, I’m focused on selling solutions across the entire value chain. A little over a year ago, I was at lunch with a client and a colleague of mine from another division, whom I’d invited to join us so I could connect the two, when my client brought up some issues they were having with the grid and utility at one of their facilities. My colleague was able to develop a solution for the client on the back of a napkin over lunch. That was an experience in better understanding our clients’ complete picture and helping show them all the capabilities of Siemens.
Q: What are clients and customers telling you about the challenges they face?
They say their challenges are getting more complex, while also stressing the need to do things faster and more cost-efficiently. They’re looking to Siemens to develop completely new and innovative solutions. They want our expertise on design, and our insights on executing complex projects. Our clients are developing projects in remote locations, often in harsh operating environments. Everything from financing, logistics, and labor to high-level government and local relations are things Siemens has experience with. This all ties into the concept of “making real what matters”—realizing it’s important for these projects to create lasting benefits for society.
Q: In such a huge industry sector, how do you make lasting relationships?
By being open-minded and getting to know people; not just who they are at work, but who they are outside of work, too. I also really enjoy the collaborative nature of my job. Collaborating with honesty and integrity 100 percent of the time builds trust, which goes a long way in keeping relationships strong and active.
Q: What’s the most complex part of your job, and the best part of your job?
Making sure you have the right team, getting everyone on the same page, and then keeping everyone on the same page. Otherwise, you risk duplicating efforts, crossing wires or missing opportunities. The team needs to be working toward the same goal with the same information—that can be more difficult and complex than you might imagine. The best thing is helping clients find solutions to problems. In my current role, and in previous roles, clients have called me with issues relating to both equipment and service—regardless of vendor—and I’ve helped them to get to the bottom of it, no matter if my efforts meant I’d get an order or not. That’s what I enjoy, and my clients appreciate and remember it.
Q: On weekends, you’re wearing a cowboy hat, a hard hat, or a baseball cap?
First, I’m wearing the hard hat, because my husband, Travis, and I are renovating a house. After that, the baseball cap, because college baseball season is just getting started and Louisiana State University has a great team (I used to live in Baton Rouge and Travis graduated from LSU). But living in Houston, I know rodeo season is here, so I need to get the cowboy hat.
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