Putting the T in CTO: Tracy Edwards

17 Mar 24

Learn what it takes for someone with no technical degree to be on the frontier of innovation. Take a deep dive into the illustrious journey of our CTO, Tracy Edwards.

From the dusty, agricultural heart of Central California, a young Tracy Edwards begins to make her legacy on our world. Independent, high-achieving, and always ambitious, Tracy began her journey at UC San Diego with chemistry and evolutionary biology, but it was not to be. At just 18 years old, she had to stop and reconsider what exactly she wanted from education, and to find her footing at the very start of her illustrious journey.

During her college tour, she stumbled upon Mills College in the hills of Oakland which she took a liking to immediately. Tracy would take a major in Political, Legal, and Economic Analysis (PLE). She reveled in the tri-wire balancing act of finding best compromises, a skill that would benefit her greatly later.

But graduating in 2003 was tough. The economic climate was just recovering from the dot com burst and the subsequent crisis after. Leaving college in Fresno, Tracy would start her career at Women’s Medical Group as a marketing administrator. Her job scope would soon extend beyond marketing, and she quickly realized that she needed to move to newer pastures.

Back to school, back to work

Tracy’s next gambit was in education, which brought her to California State University, Fresno. Using her PLE experience and incredible drive, she started with coordinating events and promotions for the president of the university, to creating an executive MBA program with a focus on agricultural economics in the Craig School of Business.

But being college faculty was not to be her destiny. Finding opportunities within the college board, Tracy moved to New York to start a new consulting career with 360 Media District as Client Services. Coordinating technical integration between engineers and clients, she would end up copying and pasting emails and hoping that technical teams could understand the details.

Tracy wasn’t happy with this arrangement. She went to the CTO and asked for help, and he happily took her as an apprentice. Everything from APIs to B2B integration, she learnt and adapted quickly. Suddenly, she could speak engineer language and she found herself coordinating business and engineering for client services – a critical link between two ends of the company.

Serendipity in 2018 brought Tracy to another opportunity: SVP of Products and Services for Insider Intelligence. Thanks to her product-focused approach, Tracy enjoyed her role and provided critical oversight to make their new product-centric CTO model work. But just like her start in higher education, circumstances would force her to reconsider where she wanted to be.

Energizing the path forward

2020 was a challenging year for many, and Tracy was facing concerns about her growth and personal happiness. Another coincidence later, she was referred to SBI by her network, who were looking for someone in tech. Despite lacking a technical degree, Tracy’s professionalism and proactive behavior secured her a new position as the CTO of SBI Growth.

In the four years she has been with us, she has pioneered software creation for clients, constantly on the forefront with innovations and ideas to deliver stronger outcomes and greater impact. Throughout her journey, Tracy has transformed people and companies, breaking down silos between departments and solidifying relationships.

Outside of work, she is also an advocate of Developer Relations, fostering relationships between engineering teams and the business side of companies. She has recently been on the Real Technologists podcast with Trac Bannon, which you can listen here for more details on her career.


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