Ambitious Women Spotlight Series – Meet Tina Romanello

As Head of Sales Training and Enablement for AdRoll, a division of NextRoll, Tina sits cross-functionally to ensure the Sales and Success teams have what they need to deliver the best experience for customers. Like the Jellyfish, one of NextRoll’s culture creatures, which highlights transparency – Tina believes in communicating transparently to share both successes and opportunities. Says Tina, “Acting on employee feedback helps to keep the machine working and we have already started to implement more engaging training, and identified additional tools that will free up time for our teams so they are able to focus on customer-facing activities.” Let’s hear more!

What do you enjoy most about your role?  

There really is so much!  

First, I love defining the desired outcome of a given project and then developing the plan to achieve it. It sounds simple but it’s the dynamic aspect of executing a plan that most excites me. I find satisfaction in knowing what’s not working and where improvements are needed in real time so that the appropriate refinements are made along the way.

Next, it’s growth, for both myself and the members of our team. The Owl is another culture creature I align to as it represents Growth; hiring good people and helping them to grow. When it comes to our team, each and every time they provide feedback, they help me to grow.  I love hearing them share what’s working, what’s not, and where they need more. It is with this knowledge that I enjoy pushing people outside of their comfort zones and giving them the chance to see themselves as bigger and helping them to grow.

Finally,  I love working across teams to collect varied perspectives in order to act with purpose and achieve meaningful outcomes. Early on in my career I signed up for Sherpa Coaching which is a rigorous one-on-one coaching program.  It was an incredible experience and through it I uncovered my passion: getting people “on the bus” and driving that bus. 

What are your career aspirations? 

My goal is to be a Chief Learning Officer.  I’ve had a great career so far filled with the opportunities to fail forward more times than I can count (backwards too) and have seen the impact a cohesive, well-rounded learning program can have on employees. 

HBR wrote about the Transformer CLO which highlighted how learning has moved away from what people view as traditional learning. Today, it’s about  how to “cultivate curiosity and a growth mindset” which enables people to support themselves when adapting to new situations. It’s building learning content in a way that engages employees from the start, making it accessible in a way and at a time that is convenient to the learner and constructing learning experiences that foster curiosity as opposed to the learner having to just show up, listen and watch.  

Learning really can be fun and that’s what I aspire to build here at AdRoll.  I aspire to create a learning culture that ensures each employee is given the resources, opportunities, motivation and feedback to crush it every day by people who can positively challenge them to grow.  

What does ambition mean to you?

Ambition is hope. Ambition is defining a goal and taking the necessary actions to achieve it however impossible it may seem and the adversity that may arise. When the goal seems unattainable, grit and perseverance kick in to make the impossible attainable and celebrated.

What words do you live by?

There is always a greater purpose at play. Each situation is an opportunity to learn a lesson, big or small, that I may not understand in the moment. That mindset helps me to approach life with a more open mind and remain able to consider the possibilities of “why” or “why not.” 

In my late teens I was in a bad car accident driving 50mph in a 30mph zone on a street I knew well.  Basically, I took a few moments to look away and hit a car in front of me that was at a dead stop (think red light). When I looked up, a child’s bike was on my hood because the front of my car was in that car’s trunk and I could not move. I remember looking up to the sky in that moment and saying “God, I know there is a lesson to be learned here, not sure it needed to be like this, but hopefully it will become clear soon.”  

In the end, I learned the kindness of strangers and the importance of paying my bills. You see, the stranger whose kid’s bike I crushed had just picked his car up from being in the shop and I totaled it. It was a time when I was transitioning to independence and had paid my own insurance, only I didn’t know it needed to be renewed every 6 months. And it wasn’t.  After numerous attempts to reach the man, his lawyer finally allowed me to call him and apologize. I asked about his kid’s bike and he was so kind to me. I was lucky and have not forgotten to pay my car insurance since.

Who’s your favorite woman leader or mentor and why?

My mother, Sandra Sherwood, because she’s got grit, has the most determined mindset of anyone I’ve ever encountered, and makes no apologies for being her authentic self, regardless of the outcome. She came to this country at the age of 18 speaking no English and facing resistance. She has been her authentic self since well before it was even a “thing” people talked about.  My mom is larger than life and always has been.  

She was born the eldest of seven children in Seoul, Korea at a time when boys were more revered and preferred. My mother watched her family lose everything and went from giving her brand-new school shoes to other kids who were in need, to having to drop out of school and clean school buses with a toothbrush to help take care of her family. She knew what it was like to have to take responsibility and I realized at a young age that cleaning my own bathroom with a toothbrush was nothing compared to what she experienced. Mom raised me saying, “If you are going to do something, you must give it your very best so you have no regrets.”  As an adult, I appreciate that mindset and do my best to live with (few) regrets.

What’s your superpower? 

People tell me I have two. 

The first is endless, positive energy and given my profession, that is table stakes. People are always watching the attitude and actions of leaders. I know I do. And if I expect people to show up as their best selves for a session I know they expect me to bring the best of myself into every presentation/training I deliver. 

The second is vision. While I may be responsible for Training/Enablement, I always look at how our team’s needs and how we solve for them fit into the bigger picture. If my team is creating content for Sales/Success, how might we structure the build in a way that helps cross-functional teams to better understand our organization, their role, our customers, etc. 

Feeling ambitious? Learn how we empower women here at NextRoll and help them thrive in their careers.