Third Act with Liz Tinkham

The Outsider with Judy Spitz

In the sixth episode of Third Act, we talk with Judy Spitz, the outsider. Judy started her career as an academic, but quickly leveraged her speech technology knowledge as the academic outsider at Verizon, where she rose to become the CIO.

judy spitz

Third Act Podcast

Your first act is school, your second act is work, but have you thought about what you’re going to do in your third act? Join host Liz Tinkham, a former Accenture Senior Managing Director, as she talks to guests who are happily “pretired” – enjoying their time, treasure, and talent to pursue their purpose and passion in the third act of their life.

Share this episode

Inspire others to get more and to do more later in life.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

Elevate your executive learning

Athena helps women achieve executive-level leadership expertise, polish their boardroom and executive knowledge, get closer to board seats, and make leaps in their careers.

The Outsider with Judy Spitz

judy spitz

Judy Spitz: The Outsider

Today’s episode of The Third Act podcast features Judy Spitz, the Outsider. During her tenure as the CIO at Verizon, Judy realized that the problem of lack of women in technology was not fixing itself, so she took it on herself.

Judy founded a program called Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is a unique collaboration among corporations, Cornell Tech, and The City University of New York City. The program works with women students to prepare and enable them to pursue tech careers in New York City. Its success is greatly acknowledged, most recently through a grant from Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures. Judy has taken the program national and is now the executive director of Break Through Tech.

As Judy says, “them is us,” putting the onus on the executives and leaders of today to solve the world’s problems themselves, not waiting for others to initiate change. Learn how Judy uses this mentality to guide her work in the latest podcast of The Third Act.

(01:51) Act 1: Speech and hearing foundations
(03:15) The power of a genuine comment revealed a mathematician at heart
(05:29) Working at the PC department before it was mainstream
(07:19) Act 2: Advanced applied research in telecommunications for Verizon
(08:27) Pivoting comes from knowing your strengths; Judy’s were storytelling and getting things done
(11:40) The workhorse at home and on the job
(12:45) The need to overcome the Cinderella Syndrome
(15:43) The “aha” moment as CIO of Verizon
(17:59) Them is us: evaluating ourselves as leaders
(18:34) Today’s basic literacy is understanding software
(23:26) Act 3: The Idea
(25:30) Pivotal Ventures supports the pivot to WITNY
(28:42) Conquering the fear of an idea failing
(32:32) Leveling the playing field with the win-ternship by exposing the unexposed
(37:07) Serendipity alone does not solve the problem, but it helps capitalize on opportunities
(39:02) The vantage point of an academic and experienced corporate executive

Contact Judy by email at [email protected], or on Twitter account @drjspitz. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn. Learn more about Breakthrough Tech on their website:

Get featured on Third Act

Want to share the story of your own Third Act on our podcast? We welcome stories from executives who pivoted their careers to find their passion and purpose later in their lives. Tell us more about yourself to be considered as a guest.


Athena offers live and on-demand learning, coaching, networking, and access to career opportunities for the world’s top women leaders. Have a specific goal such as a board seat, promotion, or career transition? Accelerators provide targeted, one-on-one support to help you get there.

Business Services

Businesses of all sizes turn to Athena for support in developing their executives, diversifying their leadership, and transforming their board into a competitive advantage.

About Us

Athena activates the connections, knowledge, and opportunities executive leaders need to break through the barriers that line the “last mile” of their career – to the C-suite, boardroom, or the world of entrepreneurship and investing.

Get Featured on Third Act

Let’s stay in touch.

Receive the latest executive leadership trends and boardroom news, straight to your inbox.