Barbara Spiering

Cues and Views

Digital customer experience and MarTech executive Barbara Spiering, in brief.

Barbara Spiering

Home: Seattle, WA.  Birthplace: I’m a Washington native.  Profession: Technology leader, builder of transformative teams and experiences.  Organization: Starbucks Coffee Company.  Title: Vice President, Marketing Technology and Quality Engineering.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird).  

Current project: Evolving personalization at Starbucks through technology and data.  Latest accomplishment: Making it through the pandemic with emotionally healthy children.  Latest contribution to others: Participated on a panel to discuss menopause in the workplace.  Let’s normalize this topic!  What’s been your big (or biggest) leap? Taking a four-month sabbatical and taking time to re-learn who I am.  Hobbies: Whenever I can, I am in my garden with my hands dirty.  Last book read: Where You Are Is Not Who You Are, by Ursula M. Burns.

Personality profile: Energetic, direct, funny; a bit sarcastic.  Moral compass: Would I be proud to tell my children about it?  How do you define an ideal business relationship? One that enables co-creation aligned around a common purpose.  What is your guilty pleasure? Nachos with all the fixings.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Artists (musicians, painters, creators).  I admire that personal expression can create a shared human experience.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Going into a shark cage to dive with a great white shark.  

What book have you repeatedly read? Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Jaws.  What is the best advice you received growing up?  Why does it matter what “they” think?  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? The internet.  The democratization of knowledge will help balance the the scales and bring about greater equity.  What is your favorite app? The Starbucks app, naturally!  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Nature.

What change would you like to see in the world? More listening, less talking.  We need to truly understand one another and build greater empathy.  We have more common ground than differences.  What widely held belief do you reject? That I can have it all if I work hard enough.  I can’t, and I need to embrace “good enough” sometimes.  What mega-trend most excites you? Corporations publicly declaring their ESG goals and leading with values.  There is a lot of power when voices are united, and it can affect positive change.

What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Sandra Bullock.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? An architect.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Sitting beside a lake with my family, cooking and eating together.  What advice would you give your younger self? There is a difference between confidence and arrogance.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? The summer after a college semester abroad.  I missed an opportunity to travel through Europe with newly made friends and should have taken the leap.

Personal mission: To live in peace and help others along the way.  Personal motto: It’s just a conversation.  Don’t over think it; don’t avoid it; don’t make it bigger than it is.  Favorite quote: “If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up.  Who’s going to know?” (Julia Child).

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