Born and raised in the St. Louis region, Erin Williams has had a front-row seat to the technology explosion in her home city. The vice president and chief information officer of Hussmann has put together a successful career spanning some of the largest enterprises in the world.
Before joining Hussmann, Erin quickly rose through the ranks at Energizer Holdings, leading various global transformation and digital innovation projects. She takes her role as a business change-maker seriously, but is also laser-focused on preparing the next generation of leaders – particularly female professionals – for success in their careers and overall lives.
Erin recently sat down with our communications team to chat through her involvement with our St. Louis Technology Leadership Experience (TechLX), for which she currently serves as a first-time mentor for our recently launched cohort.
Can you share a bit about your upbringing and how it shaped who you are today as a successful executive for a major corporation?
I grew up in Florissant and moved to St. Charles County as a kid. I stayed here all through college and earned my master’s from University of Missouri-Saint Louis. My parents met at a young age and my mom was an hourly worker. Now she is an executive in town and did it all in a very self-made manner. As her career took off, my dad kind of took a back seat for us at home and really held the house together. They were a great example of how to compromise and raise a family together.
What are some of the main benefits of the TechLX program and why are you excited to join the mission as a mentor?
It’s such an important program for up-and-coming professionals looking for ways to break into leadership. TechLX teaches participants how to boost their business acumen and get more comfortable in creating stories focused on delivering business value.
What can participants expect from enrolling in TechLX?
TechLX really creates that safe space where you can work on your leadership skills with others who are there for the same reason. I call myself an extroverted introvert, so it takes a lot of energy for me to jump into those networking situations. TechLX helps people like me more comfortable with those types of experiences.
You have a passion for diversity and inclusion…how does the current under-representation of women in the technology space impact the industry?
Sometimes women can be so focused on their own career growth when they get to the senior leadership level, that they forget to reach back and help others behind them. I want to catapult women and let them shine. It’s such a rewarding experience. I’m incredibly passionate about this area. I co-founded an employee resource group focused on this and am confident it will make a big difference.
TechLX is a leadership development program that empowers, equips, and champions high-potential IT professionals as they grow into the next generation of CIOs and technology leadership of St. Louis. Since its inception in June 2018, the St. Louis chapter of TechLX has engaged more than 80 companies in the area and has graduated more than 150 participants. For more information on TechLX, contact Kendall Brewer, Director of Leadership Programs at Technology Partners.
About Technology Partners
Technology Partners is an award-winning, St. Louis-based company that provides solutions through talent, technology, and leadership development. In business for nearly 30 years, the company has partnered with hundreds of corporate clients across a range of industries nationwide. It is a certified Women Business Enterprise and was built upon a revolutionary transparent-margin business model.
Since 1906, Hussmann has provided innovative products, services, and solutions for preserving and merchandising fresh foods. It is recognized throughout the world as a leader in manufacturing, selling, installing, and servicing display equipment and refrigeration systems for customers in the retail food industry.