Episode 187: Cultivating Talent through Investment w/ Manisha Sheode

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Leadership is a privilege that positions you to bring out the best in your team and help them to reach their potential. Manisha Sheode, Executive Director of Product Development at RGA, would tell you she tirelessly advocates for the people and products in which she believes. In this episode, Manisha shares her passion for talent development as a female in technology, mentor to rising leaders, and community member in the startup ecosystem. Learn how to lead through service and help others share their “something extra” with the world.

Bio: Manisha is an Executive Director at Reinsurance Group of America, Inc leading their Product Development teams. She is a seasoned, growth minded executive with over two decades of corporate industry experience in leading innovative and impactful technology projects with an established professional network of leaders at C Suite levels. She has passion for building and leading high performing teams. Excels at conceptualizing, planning and delivering on efforts that positively impact customers and community. Adept at leading with courage and kindness and rallying teams towards achieving shared, meaningful goals. Has a keen eye for crafting culture, branding and messaging. Having spent equal amounts of time in the US and abroad, easily bridges across different cultures. She is thoughtful, open minded and approachable. She is a tireless champion for St. Louis economic development efforts and proud of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that has developed over the last decade

Startup Mentoring & Engagement: As a creative person with passion for bold innovation and a penchant for sustained growth, she feels strongly about ‘small things with big potential’ and has a deep interest in startups and venture capital. Over the last 5 years she has followed St. Louis as well as global startup ecosystems and built a network of C-level executives, including startup founders. She finds learning about their journey and product innovation extremely insightful. To keep her interest fueled, she has made time to participate in product pitches at CIC Cortex, attend technology meetups, volunteer with Launch Code, Venture For America, St. Louis MOSAIC and Refactored.AI as product judge and is a pro bono advisor to various startup founders that she has met along the way. She is currently on the Growth Grants committee at Arch Grants, attended Arch Grants gala in person in 2019 and virtually in 2020.

Journey: Manisha has been a proud St. Louis, MO resident for over 20 years. She was born in India and grew up in the city of Pune well known for its many universities and established technology and innovation hub for global corporations. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Engineering, she began her career as a software developer with Selectica Inc, San Jose, CA. She moved to St. Louis in 2001 and pursued her graduate degree at University of MO St. Louis. She joined BJC Healthcare’s medical informatics team as a developer and later on spent 15 years at Bayer. Always a quick learner and problem solver, she took on increasingly larger responsibilities and has worn many hats in the technology industry. In the last 10 years, she has led several large product development organizations of over 50 people in the agriculture and finance vertical to deliver value to customers via software solutions worth upwards of $14M. This was accomplished through strong partnerships and collaborations. She has led high value training programs and done substantial hiring, outreach and volunteering work in the technology space. Some highlights of her work experience:

  • Started as an engineer out of college, Manisha has 22+ years of exposure to all aspects of technology management including secure software development, agile and cloud transformations, custom software development, third party integrations, vendor and license management, budget and forecast exercises, stakeholder & executive level engagement, risk management at various stages of planning and execution
  • Panel speaker, panel moderator and soon to appear on a local leadership podcast
  • Co Chair and committee lead for United Way Fundraiser program ‘Inspire’ for 5 years
  • Interest and experience in event coordination and wonderful event host for both personal and professional events
  • Talent acquisition, emerging talent scout, people and organization culture development
  • On personal side, relocated from India to Unites States at a young age and have insights from two wonderful cultures
  • Adept at juggling two active boys, a very active puppy and massive social life
  • Fosters a strong professional network in and outside of St. Louis ecosystem
  • Keeps up with numerous hobbies and stays motivated to help bring out the best in others, one meaningful interaction at a time

Manisha’s Something Extra:Practice being an advocate for your team.

Links and Mentions: 


– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Scott Crosby, Executive Producer
– Daniel Williams, Recording Engineer