Cyrena-Marie Arnold – Creating History: Women in Tech & Business Leadership at Athenium Analytics
This March we celebrate Women’s History Month by recognizing some of the fantastic women at Athenium Analytics. Our company is so proud to have so many exceptional women across all of our teams, including meteorology, data science, engineering and product management. These women are making history every day by solving some of the toughest problems in the insurtech world. Karlene Kiskinis, Design & Social Media Manager at Athenium Analytics, will be interviewing women all month long and sharing their stories and insights about their careers in tech.
Meet Cyrena-Marie Arnold. She is the Vice President of Customer Success here at Athenium Analytics. Cyrena’s hard work and dedication has earned her a nomination for NH Tech Alliance 2019’s Tech Woman of the Year!
Name: Cyrena-Marie Arnold
College / Grad School (and Majors): Metropolitan State University of Denver, BS Meteorology, Minor Mathematics
Title: Vice President of Customer Success
Time at Athenium Analytics: Began June 2015 (in my 4th year)
How did you start your career?
After several internships, my first post-college job was as a meteorologist for a NASA Contractor (AirDat) where I installed weather sensors on aircrafts. I had to monitor and QC the entire network of over 300 sensors.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I knew since the age of 5, when I saw my first tornado in Colorado, that I wanted to be a meteorologist.
What was your very first job?
I was an elf that took pictures of kids on Santa’s lap. That job was followed up by being the Easter bunny!
What motivates you?
I’ve known most of my life that I want to be involved in the weather. The path to where I am now had some challenges, hurdles and a few set-backs, but I always overcame. I want others (specifically my daughters, grade school kids and even adults) to know the path can be hard at times, but they too can achieve their dreams if they truly want to.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Keeping everyone happy! Customers, developers, business development and the tech teams…everyone needs to be on the same page and in agreement for us to be successful!
What is one of your greatest professional achievements?
When I worked in Alaska, we needed to collect data under the strictest of guidelines with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). We used a SODAR (a type of radar that looks up to measure wind) in a way that had never been done before and had to state our case to the EPA, hoping they would agree. Not only did they agree, but our way of measuring wind became the new standard with this type of instrument! Alternative answer: Flying on icing and turbulence test flights (meaning flying into as much icing and turbulence as we could find) with a NASA contractor. I only threw up once!
What was the most challenging part of getting to where you are today?
Math! In 7th grade, I was failing pre-algebra and knew this was detrimental to a career in meteorology. So I worked and worked at it until I got it. This happened many times later too! Calculus 4, Differential Equations…none of it was easy but I always gave it everything I had.
What is one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Any problem can be solved with communication, and good communication is critical in any relationship.
What unique skills/experiences were you able to bring at Athenium Analytics?
I spent my career before Athenium Analytics working in extreme weather: as Director of Summit Operations for the Mount Washington Observatory in Alaska, and working in icing and turbulence detection for aircraft. I’m very familiar with many of the meteorological datasets that go into our weather solutions.
What made you interested in working for Athenium Analytics?
I had never seen anyone else use the data I spent a career collecting in such a practical, unique and understandable way.
What inspires you to keep working at Athenium Analytics?
Our solutions keep getting better and better. Just when I think we can’t make any more improvements to our risk assessment tool or our claims verification tool, we do. It’s exciting!
What has been your greatest success thus far at Athenium Analytics?
My greatest success is growing our customer relationships and providing data and solutions that are gamechangers in the industry. In 2015 I managed a small customer contract that has since grown by an order of magnitude. The $4k/month contract has now grown to over $40k/month. That speaks volumes to the quality and necessity of our data and solutions.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
I love to be outside and travel! My family and I love to sail, hike, ski, swim, bike and run. Anything that gets us outdoors! I’ve also been an equestrian for most of my life and have an off-the-track thoroughbred that I rescued many years ago.
Any hidden talents or interesting facts about yourself?
I volunteer my time with many different STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) organizations and events across New England, sharing my career path and story with kids of all ages. It’s a true passion of mine and one that has earned me the honors of “NH Tech Woman of the Year” and placed me in the Union Leader’s “Forty Under 40.”
Stay tuned for more insights from inspiring women at Athenium Analytics!