Driving Forces, a new interview series presented by Audi, is an off-the-cuff exploration into topics like innovation and parenthood in the Greater Philadelphia region. In each interview, we pair two remarkable local women in an array of industries and task them with questions, from the probing to the playful.
In this installment, femmeandfortune.com founder Melissa Alam and Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO of software company Monetate went for a ride in the new Audi A4. Alam, who also works as a digital strategist, interviewed Duncalfe about her biggest inspirations, Monetate’s goals for the future and — perhaps most importantly — her favorite way to caffeinate. Here, a few of the most interesting details we learned about the CEO (including her most recent reads!):
1.This isn’t her first go-around at Monetate. “I’ve been with Monetate a year and a half as CEO but I was actually on the board since the founding of the company eight years ago.”
2. Unsurprisingly, the life of a CEO doesn’t offer an abundance of free time. “Day-to-day life as a start-up company CEO is packed. I spend all of my time with other people. It’s either going meeting to meeting [internally], or, my favorite thing, being out with clients or prospects. So [I’m usually] travelling around, going to conferences and shows, or [I’m] with bankers or investors, working on helping everybody understand what it is we’re doing, where we’re going, and making it happen.”
3. She’s something of a jet-setter. “I just got back from Miami. I was slow because last week I was in Seattle, Atlanta, back here in Philadelphia and then Miami. I travel a lot.” She also mentioned she’s been hankering to go to Morocco.
4. It’s not all about business, though. “Every year as a family we go to Cape Cod. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid, so that’s really fun. I think if I look back, though, my favorite vacation ever was a white water kayaking trip in Alaska — way north of the Arctic circle — so that was an incredible experience.”
5. In the spare time she does have, she’s kind of a book nerd. She specifically has a penchant for mystery novels. “I literally have a pile of books on my bedside table because I read half [of the book] and then I move to the next thing.”
6. Despite her busy schedule, she doesn’t guzzle espresso. In fact, Duncalfe rarely indulges in a cup of joe, preferring tea instead.
7. Her mom is her biggest inspiration “[She’s] now 84 and still working. [She] loves life like few people do and has incredible friendships and relationships. I just have endless respect for that. You know, it seems more attainable than saying Gandhi or somebody. It’s a hard thing to keep going through life with that degree of positive outlook.”
8. She’s Philly educated. The CEO attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied psychology.
9. Don’t ask her to attend a meeting over bacon and eggs. “[I’m a] night owl! Do not schedule me before noon if you want my brain to work.”
10. She has a thing or two to say to her 20-year-old self. “I would [say] to trust myself. When I look back at the mistakes I’ve made, it’s largely been times when I didn’t trust my gut.”
For more information about the Audi A4, click here.