On this episode of The Third Act Podcast, we talk with The Challenger, Jeannie Diefenderfer, whose innate pursuit of the hardest challenges led her to a highly successful global career at Verizon. Jeannie spent 28 years working for Verizon following her education at Tufts University where she studied chemical engineering. Picking the hardest major and on the lookout for the toughest challenge, she joined the wonky and male-dominated Network Group at Verizon, eventually working her way up to the Senior Vice President of Global Enterprise Customer Care.
Along the way, she realized the value of her relationships, both personal and professional, leveraging both to join commercial and nonprofit boards as she moved into her Third Act. Most importantly, she learned the importance of being fully present, both for her family and for herself.
Jeannie put her passion into action, giving back to boards with her industry knowledge and expertise that has built strong leadership in both for-profit and nonprofit boards.
(00:30) Introduction to Jeannie Diefenderfer
(01:33) Act 1: Tufts University and seeking the challenge
(03:48) Act 2: Verizon on the horizon
(06:08) Serving as SVP of Global Enterprise Customer Care
(07:19) Building a global presence and network
(09:39) Determining when is the right time to pivot
(11:52) Finding your confidantes: who’s in your corner?
(14:39) Challenging traditional husband wife goals
(16:07) Advice for family life and integrating it into your everyday
(22:30) Serving on a for-profit board: getting the position, pros, cons
(27:44) Act 3: Advice for aspiring board members
(30:44) Finding balance in life through yoga, golf, hiking, and being present
(34:18) What aren’t you done with yet? Openness, fearlessness, nonjudgmental
Additional links and resources
Connect with Jeannie on LinkedIn here. To hear more from Liz Tinkham’s podcast guests, subscribe and listen to The Third Act from your favorite podcast player.