Whitney Foard Small ’79

Senior Director, Corporate Communications, for Tyler Technologies

What advice would you give to a girl graduating from Williston today?   

Read widely, travel often, be curious, learn languages, and love what you do.

Tell us about a woman who is your hero and why?

Cynthia Owens, girl reporter extraordinaire. Cynthia was The Wall Street Journal correspondent for Thailand when we first met. I was and still am in awe. She went on to work for ABC News in New York, and CNBC Asia Pacific. She then switched it up and brought her intellectual horsepower to integrated strategic consulting for companies and products. Cynthia is smart, thoughtful, worldly, wonderfully accomplished and incredibly generous. My hero!

What do you think is next for women in your professional field?

I think the women in my field of corporate communications will continue to experience opportunities to move more fluidly between roles. Some may switch back and forth between corporate and consultancy roles, bringing a more diversified set of skills. Others will find opportunities to move between the private and public sectors, providing and acquiring critical expertise. Finally, many will move into leadership roles as the paths to the C-suite become more diverse and inclusive.

What motivates you in your work and life?

I like variety, so my job has always given me that, sometimes way more than I requested! I always tell my teams to get done whatever they can today, because we have no way of knowing what tomorrow may bring. I also like variety in my hobbies. If you work all day at the computer, a little manual labor is good for the soul.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

From my faculty advisor at the University of Minnesota: Go West to China.