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From a young age, Renette Youssef knew she wanted to travel the world. Growing up in Australia, she remembers telling friends and family when she was just 11 just years old that she wanted to live in different countries and experience their unique cultures.
Is it any surprise then that Renette is now a self-described natural-born traveler? “I’ve done the math and have visited more than 35 countries, some multiple times,” she says.
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Of course, she couldn’t possibly know at such a young age that her desire to venture out into the world would prove instrumental to her success later in life as Chief Marketing Officer of Velo3D, a leading additive manufacturing technology company for mission-critical metal parts.
Last year, she got to experience the excitement of attending Velo3D’s bell ringing ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange — a far cry from her early marketing days stuffing envelopes for direct mail pieces, writing web copy, and managing email campaigns as part of a small but scrappy team of young marketers.
“It was a very small team, so I got to do a lot and experience a lot of different marketing functions which helped me later in my career by giving me a holistic view of marketing and understanding how different efforts can come together to create synergy and perform better than they would on their own,” she says.
After many years in various marketing roles, Renette finds herself at the helm of Velo3D’s marketing team. Despite her initial skepticism about making the switch from SaaS to the world of additive manufacturing, Renette says she put aside her initial doubt after being impressed by Velo3D’s technology, mission, and CEO, Benny Buller.
Shaping How the World Views Manufacturing Technology
A thought leader and brand disruptor, Renette is helping shape the way the world views manufacturing technology. As CMO of Velo3D, she’s built an experienced team of marketing professionals and collaborated closely with Velo3D engineers, and sales leaders to develop long-term strategies for driving innovation in the Aerospace, Energy, and Semiconductor industries.
“I love that we are disrupting additive, she says. “We are the new kid on the block, the new guard, and we’re ruffling the feathers of the old guard. We’re setting the standard for what additive is, and what can be achieved with metal 3D printing, which is getting customers the parts that they want without having to redesign for additive.”
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A born communicator with an enthusiasm for helping others, Renette has always been driven by her desire to bring people together with good storytelling.
This gift for storytelling was put to good use this year with the premier of Renette’s first podcast series, Laser Focused, which takes listeners on a journey of discovery with the leaders that are changing the world with new design and revolutionizing how we think of advanced manufacturing.
Renette says that she has always been an admirer of innovation, specifically leaders who inspire others through the groundbreaking work they do. The podcast has set its focus on doing just that, with guests like former BMW CFO Stefan Krause and modern-day rocket man, and CEO of Launcher, Max Haot.
Of course, Renette has led many initiatives over the years including creating targeted marketing campaigns focused on communicating the value propositions of Velo3D’s manufacturing solutions to key audiences, including customers and partners.
Setting the Stage as the Company’s First CMO
As the person responsible for bringing Velo3D’s marketing and branding to life, Renette has played a key role in defining the company’s identity.
As she explains it: “I am basically responsible for helping people understand who we are, what we do, how we’re different, and why that’s important.” Under her guidance, the company has launched its full-scale marketing efforts and is now working on developing its brand further.
How personal travel lends itself to taking a company global
As someone who has lived and worked across three continents and cultures, Renette has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to be successful in different countries.
“Working internationally has helped me understand that everyone works differently,” she says. “The way people think about business is different depending on where they live. The types of messages they need to hear can be different, too. Working internationally gave me a higher emotional intelligence than if I had not had these experiences.”
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With the company experiencing tremendous success, with further growth potential on the horizon, Renette is keenly aware of the job she and her team must embark on to reach their goals.
“We are focused on growth in Europe, Japan, and Australia, she explains. Even though we’ve established a lot of credibility in the US, we need to approach these new countries differently. It’s a lot of researching, planning, and figuring out the best way to tailor our messages to meet the needs of these important new markets.”
Advice on getting started and succeeding in your career
Renette’s story is one of adventure, ambition, and achievement. Looking back, she is clear about the lessons she’s learned along the way, but perhaps more importantly, has had the time to reflect on the characteristics needed to succeed in the professional world.
“Passion, curiosity, determination, ambition, a work ethic instilled in me by my father, being inspired by people around me to do my best, those are all things that led me to where I am today, she says. “And to any women out there that want to build a successful career, don’t be deterred by a “glass ceiling”, push through it and build strong relationships, work collaboratively, and don’t forget to market yourself and celebrate your successes.”