March 20, 2024 – Synergea Author Andy Hilliard and Career Advantage Caroline Dowd-Higgins

March 20, 2024 – Synergea Author Andy Hilliard and Career Advantage Caroline Dowd-Higgins

Andy Hilliard – CEO of Accelerance and Author of Synergea: A Blueprint for Building Effective, Globally Distributed Teams in the New Era of Software Development

Five years ago, I started piecing the points in my trajectory together. I will
admit that a lot of it was happenstance and lucky, but if you put yourself
out there, things will happen!

Andy Hilliard

At age 26, Andy Hilliard had a quarter-life crisis that changed the trajectory of his life. In an effort to find himself, Andy joined the Peace Corps in 1988. On assignment in Costa Rica, he fell in love with the culture—and the woman who became his wife. The experience led Andy to dedicate himself to enriching businesses and individuals through valuable cultural exchange. As CEO of Accelerance, Andy helps companies find the talent they need to scale high- performing, globally distributed software engineering and product development teams. Software development outsourcing is experiencing a new renaissance, fueled by a scarcity of technological expertise, centers of excellence in unlikely places, and tools that facilitate remote work. What was once a tactical move to save a few dollars, outsourcing software development to experts in other countries has become a strategic imperative. Businesses of all sizes and across all industries are forming alliances with multiple nearshore and offshore partners to drive innovation and improve resilience in an uncertain world. Andy and Accelerance travel the world, assessing and certifying development partners with a proprietary matching system, so clients can connect with confidence to the top 1% of outsourcing partners worldwide. The Accelerance team also helps clients optimize their outsourcing partner relationships through mutual understanding, communication, and effective management. Previously, Andy founded the groundbreaking nearshore software development services company, Isthmus Costa Rica. He began his global software services career as a Division Manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions during its formative years. Currently living in Kenwood, California, Andy has visited more than 60 countries. He holds an MBA in International Business, Finance, and Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

Caroline Dowd-Higgins – Speaker & Executive Coach I Career Management & Leadership Development | Women Leaders | Talent Development | TEDx Speaker | Media Host | Book Author, Feature Contributor, & Blogger and Author of Your Career Advantage: Overcome Challenges to Achieve a Rewarding Work Life

I often hear career coaches say follow your passions and that will lead to a
great career and you won’t feel like you’re working. I think that’s bunk! It sets
people up to think work is going to be this extraordinary thing all the time.

Caroline Dowd-Higgins

Caroline Dowd-Higgins is passionate about unlocking the art-of-the-possible in her work with individuals and organizations as a certified executive coach, a best-selling author, a dynamic speaker, and sought-after consultant. Her new book, “Your Career Advantage: Overcome Challenges to Achieve a Rewarding Work Life” is empowering people to enjoy their careers and love their lives. Caroline hosts the award-winning podcast, Your Working Life with listeners in 34 countries. She is proud to be a certified Minority Women’s Business Enterprise. Her celebrated TEDxWOMEN talk about reframing failure is available on YouTube. Caroline Dowd-Higgins can truly relate to the concept of career reinvention because she has experienced it herself – more than once. Having left the professional music world as an opera singer, she leveraged her transferable skills to forge a path in the corporate and higher-education spheres, eventually ascending to senior executive leadership roles. Recognizing that careers are rarely linear, she departed from traditional employment to establish her own speaking, coaching, and consulting practice, driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to make a more significant impact in helping others. Her greatest satisfaction stems from empowering women to own their self-confidence, enabling them to stand taller and embrace their potential. Specializing in assisting women leaders in optimizing their strengths and refining their emotional intelligence to navigate the complexities of the professional realm, Caroline believes that seeking out resources to flourish is crucial, with executive coaching offering a secure environment to address challenges and devise solutions. She understands the transformative nature of granting oneself permission to define success on personal terms and is dedicated to assisting women in activating their empowerment. Drawing from her own experiences of failing forward, taking risks, and identifying one’s purpose, Caroline offers actionable lessons. With over two decades of industry leadership and private consulting under her belt, she possesses firsthand knowledge that can help individuals overcome obstacles and elevate their careers to find meaning and purpose. Caroline firmly believes that everyone deserves to design their own career trajectory, ensuring it doesn’t happen by chance but by intentional design.