Jodi Liscio

Jodi Liscio, dog lover and self-described introvert, admits that while she hasn’t met a canine she doesn’t like, people do occasionally exhaust her. Still, she doesn’t let it stop her from following her passion and pursuing a business to revolutionize the pet service industry.

We sat down with Jodi to learn more about what led her to leave a 25-year career in technology to start her own businesses and her flair for design that led to another exciting side hustle.

What is something interesting about you?

I love building homes, and I have built many homes in the Columbus community, one of which was featured in the Parade of Homes. I love doing spatial planning and creating ergonomic workspaces for home and corporate offices. Having a workspace that feeds your mind, body, and soul is so important. It is so much more than just visual appeal. It is also about creating efficiencies and supporting stamina for a full workday in the space provided. It is about making the invisible visible in people, places, and things.

I even designed and had a home built featured in the Parade of Homes with P and D builders. It was a wonderful collaboration experience and incredible innovative design coupled with the most energy-efficient home certified at the time by AEP.

This hobby even turned itself into a small side hustle called L Designs Dublin.

What made you decide to pursue this career path?

My career, to date, has been in financial services, mainly in IT functions. I have loved the work that it has presented to me over the 25 years. It has taught me some of the most critical skill sets, yet skill sets that transcend any industry. In January, I decided to leave my position as CIO of Technology Shared Services role to pursue my health and an exciting passion project. I’m opening a company with disrupting technology in the pet services industry and am excited to be the President/CEO of this new business venture. Not only is it an exploding part of an industry but it also gives me an opportunity to give others an opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. I am intentionally creating a strategy to ensure that my purpose in life is connected to the outcomes of my business. This includes ensuring diversity in hiring to give under represented groups visibility, this includes offering mentoring programs to elite high school students in their field, and most of all, it ensures that I am providing for my community in ways that there is high need to be filled.

My new business venture is truly transforming customer-centric design of how the pet services industry operates. It’s taking a boring and stagnant industry and bringing about an amazing transformation for its customers. I’m excited to be an early adopter of the business and be part of the advisory board, given my experience in business and technology, as well as an owner/operator of the local Columbus and a southern market.

What challenges have you overcome in your career, and what lessons learned?

There were three major challenges:

First, I was the only woman in the room for many years, so I groomed myself to work and behave like every man I worked with. I lost my authentic self, in some cases, because it would have taken longer to achieve the successes I wanted to pursue.

I also suffer with several disabilities, including a rare congenital heart defect. I never used these conditions as excuses, but my health and learning aptitude was not equal to my peers, and it required me to work longer hours and have greater grit and tenacity to achieve the same accomplishments as my peers.

Finally, I didn’t always have the qualifications to do the job that I was given to do. It was important that I had strong mentors, coaches, and advocates along my career path who helped speak well of me when I wasn’t in the room, connected dots for others, helped promote my credibility, and truly shared their wisdom and advice with me to help me make the best decision I could as quickly as possible with as little risk exposure.

What was the most memorable or surprising aspect of your career?

Earlier this year, I created a Women in Technology Employee Resource Group. In doing so, I launched this group with my esteemed college and leadership coach from Edge Leadership, Christy Uffelman. That day, starting with about 150 people, truly brought tears to my eyes. The power of the room was overwhelming. The gift of encouragement, a supportive network, and courage were beyond words for me. I was breathing in every word I heard and loving every part of the experience.

Being able to provide each woman the gift of the Peer Coaching Revolution truly was a fantastic tool to put in their hands. Especially when it is an amazon best seller, that I worked with Christy to help provide content and transformational experience.

What advice would you give to starting out their career?

My advice would be to have a career strategy, but be flexible with that strategy so you do not turn away any unexpected paths that come along and could bless you with valuable learnings and skills. Specifically early in your career.

Ensure that you build your own personal board of directors inside your organization outside your organization and personally and professionally too. Keep you accountable to your plans and also provide you mentoring, coaching, and advocacy in every aspect of your life. You should desire to achieve a very full and rewarding life on your terms and no one else’s.

What information or resources do you leverage to make critical decisions?

I am a performance manager by nature. I make decisions based on data and the narrative it tells. However, when you do this, you have to know the data is credible and well-sourced. Most of this comes internally to me from my organizational systems. However, there are great industry trends you can achieve from Gartner and from the WSJ or HBR.

When it comes to leadership, I follow Gary Vaynerchuk and Simon Sinek, as well as Brene Brown. Each are very different, but they truly embody every aspect of my leadership style.

Thank you to Jodi for sharing her journey, advice, and insights from her long and exciting career. Do you know an interesting person we should meet? Send us their information, and we’ll follow up.

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