Christopher Beck has a well-established résumé of creating and maintaining highly skilled, highly diverse, and globally active departments capable of helping companies scale at the speed of business. The Modere chief technology officer understands how to meet business expectations by implementing systems that increase productivity, reduce overhead, and add true value. The executive has also proven instrumental to mergers and acquisitions by analyzing systems for redundancy, identifying synergies, and analyzing cost envelopes. Beck also serves on the board of directors for Latino Professionals and sits on the advisory board of the School of Humanities and Global Studies at Rampo College of New Jersey.
Beck shares his drive to diversify any team he’s leading, the importance of community involvement, and inspiring the next generation of tech leaders.
What do you do today?
I’m the chief technology officer (CTO) at Modere, an omnichannel, consumer products company that develops and markets clean health and wellness products through e-commerce and direct-to-consumer channels. I oversee all areas of technology including e-commerce, data, back office, and commissions.
What was your biggest professional accomplishment over the past year?
Over the past year, my biggest accomplishment has been identifying opportunities to drive the business forward. This has been challenging during a period of uncertain economic times, but we have to try to be strategic and forward thinking. This will put us in a greater position to continue to drive and direct company growth in the future.
How has your identity and your connection to your culture evolved as your career has progressed?
As my career progresses, I see the lack of Latinos/as/es represented in corporate executive positions and boardrooms. We represent about 20 percent of the US population, but only 4.1 percent of board seats at Fortune 1,000 companies. I’ve been driven to try to diversify any teams I’ve managed. When it comes to technology, Latinos/as/es are even more underrepresented as we make up only 6 percent to 8 percent of the tech workforce. This has to change, and more opportunities need to be created for our people in order to force through meaningful change.
What community involvement is important for you outside of your role? How have you seen your own community change during your career?
Community involvement is critical. Outside of my role, I try to volunteer my time and resources around really powerful organizations that aim to help people and communities. Whether that be an organization that helps families who have a child going through cancer treatments, or an organization that works to promote Latinos/as and provide help and support as their careers develop.
The theme of this year’s Leadership Summit is Conexión: a reminder of the cultural connection that bonds Latinos and a call to embrace the exponential power we wield when we move as one. What does conexión mean to you and how has it helped you in your life and career?
For me, conexion means being the bridge between the past and the future. We need to understand how to navigate different challenges and situations, while staying true to our culture and history. Although we may not be able to rely on the past to provide a road map, we can appreciate the efforts of those before us. We need to realize that change is within our grasp now, and we need to drive relentlessly towards that.
This is the first generation of Latinos who have the potential to see people that look like them in virtually every kind of role and leadership position. Many of us, and those who came before us, had to make our own way and find mentors who may not have shared our experiences. What does mentorship mean to you and how are you passing your own experiences forward?
For me, I wasn’t able to take advantage of many senior executive contacts to help guide or mentor me. I truly had to find my way and I appreciate that struggle to learn and develop, but that was a different time. Now I hope to inspire and help the next generation of talent to seize their opportunities. I try to advise and guide them on how to avoid some of the challenges they come across, and how to navigate the tricky waters of corporate America! I serve on my current company’s DEI Council and helped pilot our mentor/mentee program.
Technology workers need to see a path for themselves to grow from entry-level positions to the C-suite.