Debbi Gillotti

Cues and Views

Healthcare technology executive Debbi Gillotti, in brief.

March 14, 2022
2 Minutes
Debbi Gillotti

Home: Mercer Island, Washington.  Age: Older than I look, hopefully. Birthplace: Scranton, PA.  I have never met Joe Biden.  Profession: Healthcare information technology.  Organization: nVoq Incorporated.  Title: Chief Operating Officer.  Preferred pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: University of Pittsburgh, Georgetown University.  Languages spoken: English.

Current project: Professionally, penetrating the home health and hospice industry at nVoq (a SaaS provider of speech to text solutions making clinical documentation easier) and scaling our organization for rapid growth.  Personally, ramping up my professional network with the aim of a for-profit board position.  Latest accomplishment: Joining CHIEF and immersing myself in all it has to offer.  Latest contribution to others: I’m a mentor for three different college programs.  I love learning from the student community and helping them with issues.  That also helps me stay current with what’s top of mind for Gen Z.  What’s been your big (or biggest) leap? Pivoting between high profile C-suite IT leadership at Starbucks to relative obscurity within Microsoft general management and now COO for an emerging, but still under-the-radar, SaaS company.  Not a typical career path, but somehow it’s all worked out.  Hobbies: Cooking, reading, exercise, college and pro sports; spoiling our three Siamese/Balinese cats!  Watching bad old TV shows with my husband.  Last book read: There is Nothing for You Here, by Fiona Hill.  One of the best reads, she’s amazingly insightful and inspirational.  Recent unique acquisition: Thrilled with my new bionic hip enabling me to resume age-defying Bar Method poses.

Personality profile: Outgoing, inquisitive, upbeat, engaging.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Supportive.  Moral compass: The Golden Rule and Karma, in general.  How do you define a perfect friendship? Have  fun, share joys and sorrows together. How do you define an ideal business relationship? Trust and execute for mutual benefit.  What is your greatest joy? Making a positive impact for others I love and serve.  Building a great and well performing team.  What is your greatest fear? Not being physically active and having to depend on others.  What natural talent have you neglected? I was once a pretty good classical pianist, but more recently I'm lucky to crank out “Jingle Bells” at the holidays.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Nurses and any front line service worker these days! What is at the top of your bucket list? A return trip to New Zealand and Australia.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Room service and great pillows at a luxury hotel. Don’t invite me camping; it won’t work out.  What is your go-to workout? Swimming laps, Bar Method and long walks.

What book have you repeatedly read? “As Always, Julia”, a compilation of letters written in the '50s between Julia Child and her friend Avis deVoto.  A densely written but fascinating time capsule of cultural and social norms of that era in the  US/Europe, going well beyond recipes.  Every time I pick up a new tidbit of trivia and marvel at how they did all this across  the Atlantic without texting AND the determination to knock down traditional barriers inhibiting their success.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? “The Way We Were”, generally around Valentine’s Day.  I also love the original M*A*S*H.    What is the best advice you received in your career? When others underestimate you because of your appearance, or your gender, use it to your advantage.  Be charming and disarming.  What modern technology innovation do you most  appreciate? Being able to work remotely, which I’ve done myself for over a dozen years now, has been a game-changer in so many ways. What is your go-to source of news and information? Online WaPo and NYT; BBC World News.  Twitter for the latest sports gossip.  What experience has had the greatest impact on you motivationally? I’ve been the only woman in the room too many times in my career.  From male-oriented golf outings to corporate conferences and board rooms, the need for change was and still is apparent.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Advancing inclusion. What change would you like to see in the world? A new generation of enlightened leaders who understand the implications of climate  change.  

What mega-trend most excites you?

I’m encouraged by the power of amazing young women kicking ass in so many fields today.  Still work to be done, but we are making things happen!

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Life Definitely Not According to Plan.  What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Charlize Theron. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A fashion designer, as evidenced by my highly successful but oh-too-brief Barbie clothing business at age 14.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Entertaining all our good friends in our home for a lovely dinner with great wine, knowing someone else would have to clean up the next day.  What advice would you give your younger self? Don’t worry about what others think and don’t let others steer your career choices.  Follow your instincts and do what makes YOU happy.

Personal mission: To be grateful for everything I’ve gained and giving back to others as best I can. Finishing the counted cross stitch project I've been working on since 2017.  Favorite quote: "There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women” (Madeline Albright).

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