At Utah conference, tech innovators tout role of leadership in career success

Published: Thursday, June 19 2014 4:30 p.m. MDT

Organized by Utah Business magazine, the Rocky Mountain Leadership Conference held Thursday in Salt Lake City was a forum to inspire business leaders and help startups grow and build stronger institutions.

Jordan Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — To be successful in the world of technology and business requires intellect, fortitude and vision. Throughout her career, Carine Clark has exemplified each in equal measure.

Clark, 49, the president and CEO of Allegiance Software — a data analytics firm based South Jordan — has been an executive-level leader for Altiris, Novell and most recently Symantec.

One of the featured speakers Thursday at the Rocky Mountain Leadership Conference at the Grand America in downtown Salt Lake City, Clark said the Beehive State is one of the most fertile grounds for potential leaders in the nation.

“You have an educated, young workforce that appreciates technology,” she said.

Clark also said that she is very supportive of guiding more women into the tech sector by encouraging young girls into science, technology, engineering and math curriculums.

“They have more opportunity if they stay in those disciplines,” she said, adding that she would like to provide a positive role model for young Utah women who aspire to become leaders in technology.

“I want to make sure that women aren’t stopping themselves (from potential success),” Clark explained.

During her comments, Clark noted her recent battle with cancer and how the unexpected medical crisis helped her tap into a strength that she wasn’t sure she had.

“It was the first time I thought that maybe this is the thing that stops me. Maybe I die at 48 (years old).” she said. “Then I realized (that) I’m not going to let anyone write this script for me. I’m going to fight this (illness) in my own way and I’m not going to give up.”

A year later, she is healthy and determined to continue being a survivor.

“It never occurs to me that I can’t do something,” she said. “For me, an obstacle is not an obstacle. It just means I have to go a different way.”

She said there is always a way to overcome adversity if one is determined to work hard and figure out an alternative route to success.

“It’s not that I am the smartest or the brightest or that I have more skills than anyone else,” she said. “It’s just that I never give up.”

Everyone has the ability to stand up and be a leader at different times in their life and career, she said.

“(They) have the potential to lead,” Clark said. “If we all carry that (notion) with us, imagine our community where every one of us is contributing, lifting and educating.”

Lawrence Coburn, CEO and co-founder of DoubleDutch — a Silicon Valley mobile technology firm — told the audience of about 400 people that disruption in the tech sector is among the leading facilitators of innovation.

“New technology opens the window for innovation … for a new way of doing things,” he said. “Keep an eye out for big changes in the environment or changes in the “rules of the game” that may open up new ways of doing business.”

He said startups have the opportunity to bring new methods and strategies to the tech world that could help the industry grow significantly, but they have to be willing to try and fail sometimes. He also said Utah’s technology sector is among the strongest in the country.

The event was organized by Utah Business magazine. Publisher Tyler Dabo said the goal of the forum was to inspire business leaders and help startups to grow and build stronger institutions.

“It‘s about providing tactical, implementable strategies, and to be able to improve your place of business, the people that you lead and the organization in which you work,” Dabo said.

E-mail: jlee@deseretnews.com, Twitter: JasenLee1

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