Welcome: Beth Engel, a culture curator and operations Jedi master
This month we made one of our most outstanding investments: we hired Beth Engel.
Every once in awhile, you work with someone that seems to have such valuable and translatable skills that you could put that person in just about any industry or any position and they’d succeed, and then some. Beth is one of those people. And we are darn lucky she is on our team.
Throughout her career, Beth has been the curator of culture and the solver of problems. Two skill sets that normally don’t pair well. In her new role with Dundee Venture Capital, we plan on exploiting those skills to the max. She will be integral in helping our portfolio companies navigate through difficult decisions and transitions. Beth will also be able to help founders set and sustain a culture within their organization.
Most recently, Beth worked in D.C. at the FBI. (Imagine her ability to vet startups with that background!) She spent a little less than four years at the Bureau as a special advisor. Most of that time was spent helping develop leadership and what Beth calls ‘the people side’ of the business. At an organization with nearly 36,000 employees and thousands of contractors, Beth’s role was critical to ensuring a productive, mission-oriented workforce.
Fun Fact: Beth worked at the FBI when Bin Laden was captured.
Before the FBI, this Georgetown MBA was much more known for her career in the Nebraska startup world. In fact, that’s where I first saw Beth in action. Beth was our twelfth employee at Hammocks.com (for those that don’t know, eventually Hammocks turned into Hayneedle, which is now the 18th largest online retailer with nearly 600 employees).
Beth did everything at Hayneedle. Every aspect of the company from IT, HR, operations and even sales were influenced or directly impacted by Beth’s tenacious approach to finding solutions that allowed us to scale the business quickly. She understands operations and she knows the mindset of startup founders – a unique combination.
Needless to say, we made a great hire and an even better investment in the future of Dundee Venture Capital. Please welcome Beth to the team. We couldn’t be happier to have her.
In Her Words…
Hometown? Omaha, but I was born in Shelby, Iowa
Schooling? Marian High School, Notre Dame and Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business
First grown-up job? I taught middle school science in Alabama through the Alliance for Catholic Education, which is similar to Teach for America. That was before a pivot into the startup world back home in Omaha.
Favorite thing to do while at work? Glue people together. I love figuring out how to make companies thrive and how culture can be the centerpiece of that success.
Who do you look to as a mentor? I have an incredible group of leaders have taught me, steered me and helped me grow throughout my career. Dennis Wiederholt, now the CFO at DLR Group, was one of my first and best bosses. I also look to Julie Mahloch and Doug Nielsen for many of my work experiences. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say Mark has (and will continue to have) a huge influence on my career. Finally, my parents: Mike and Nancy McCarthy.
And, family? That’s easily the best part. I am married to a wonderful man, Max. He is a professor of theology and education at Creighton University. And we have four kids: Martha (7), Clare (5), Luke (3) and Peter (9 months). Omaha is a great place to grow a family! We are lucky to be able to move back home to Omaha where we can spend time with my parents, siblings, and friends.