Andrea Chang Joins Adage, Company Crosses Milestone on Women in Leadership
The new VP of Project Delivery is ready to dive in to “interesting and complicated digital projects” and she’s bringing her technical expertise and passion for growing talent. The organization is thrilled to have her, and fired up by the Leadership Team’s first female member.
Late in 2019, Adage welcomed Andrea Chang as Vice President, Project Delivery. In addition to heading up the Delivery department, which includes all Product Managers, Andrea has a seat on the Leadership Team.
Andrea comes to Adage after 11 years at the National Restaurant Association. After starting as a Business Analysis Manager, her role quickly shifted to include defining and implementing standards and processes for Project Management, Quality Assurance and technology delivery. Within a year, Andrea was promoted to Director of Business Analysis and Application Development. She ended her tenure with seven years in Senior Director roles, including Application Development & PMO where she led a 25-member team in Chicago and Washington D.C. Previous to the National Restaurant Association she worked for Aon Corporation, Deloitte, Arthur Andersen and Hewitt Associates.
Andrea’s background in associations is a perfect fit for Adage since we specialize in mission-based organizations, including an ever-increasing number of associations. However, the familiar industry isn’t what caught Andrea’s eye. “The focus on the user, the design and the strategy work drew me here,” Andrea says. “The fact that Adage not only appreciates strategy and design, but offers it is something I didn’t see at other organizations in the marketplace.”
In addition to that service, the mindset that Adage truly partners with clients was something that made Andrea happy to jump on board. “Adage is a digital partner for the long-term. We are invested in our client’s success even beyond the launch of their web projects.”
Getting to Work
Andrea’s 30-60-90 plans are coming to a close and she’s ready to start large initiatives in her role. One of Andrea’s first major projects will be standardization of project methodology including a documented and streamlined process, with the focused purpose of ensuring that projects are delivered with superior quality.
Adage uses an agile scrum methodology which allows for a lot of customization of process. Andrea aims to look at the company’s portfolio of work as a whole and determine what works best, consistently, then document and streamline those best practices. Adage believes in frequent retrospectives to determine how to always improve, so there’s lots of data already available.
An ardent advocate for quality, change management and process optimization, Andrea is “excited to bring her experience in these areas to continue to improve Adage’s delivery process for clients.” Formalization of a quality assurance practice and associated services as well as optimizing the Scrum methodology for client services delivery are some of the initial initiatives that Andrea has started to implement at Adage.
Women in Leadership
As everyone knows, it’s not just about the work when selecting a company – Andrea says the culture was a huge factor in her decision to join the team. “I like what Adage stands for. All the core values are also my core values. It was also the opportunity to be on the Leadership Team and have a seat at the table which you don’t see as much as we should. It’s kind of my small contribution to help move women closer to that glass ceiling.”
Victoria Sullivan, Talent Operations Manager was excited for the company to reach this milestone in regards to women in leadership roles. “Adage is a very inclusive organization so it’s great to see that reflected in our Leadership Team,” she says. “Year over year, Adage continues to become a more and more diverse organization and it’s really great to see how the culture here celebrates people’s strengths and differences.”
At Adage, women make up 32 percent of the company, so adding a female point of view to the leadership was important to CEO and President Roy Chomko. He says, “Andrea’s professional expertise and point of view will be invaluable to us, and we are so happy to have someone who has been a voice of change in the city at large on our team, sharing thoughts on how we can all be better.”
“It was really exciting to see leadership add a woman,” says Molly Lee, Lead UX Architect. “Not only does it show that women have a seat at the table, but I think it also showed the growth opportunities are there. As a pretty senior woman, there weren’t many places to look for above me to see my opportunity. Seeing someone like myself represented matters.”
Women Supporting Women in Tech
In addition to her role at Adage, Andrea is the Chicago Director of Women Who Code (WWC), an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. The organization – made up of over 200,000 members – has executed more than 10,000 free events around the world, and has a presence in 20 countries. Passionate about this work, it was important to Andrea that her role at Adage continued this effort. “One of the things Adage does really well is to develop, promote and retain women,” she says, “at this point in my career, my purpose is to teach, to share my experience and help others reach their potential.” Seeing women in leadership positions is the ultimate goal.
Logan Charles, a Product Owner, is proud of the strong culture the women at Adage have created, aimed at supporting women in tech. “I am consistently impressed by my coworkers here at Adage, and the women I work with are some of the most talented, intelligent and engaged individuals I’ve had the pleasure of knowing,” she says. “We support each other and lift each other up, and Andrea immediately fit right in. As my manager, she is supportive on both a personal and professional level, and wants us to succeed.”
Only a few months in and Andrea’s impact is already being felt: “I’ve been particularly inspired by the way in which Andrea joined the leadership team and had a great balance of both understanding our company and offering new ideas. She’s inspiring to me and has already become an incredible asset to the team,” says Logan.
Adds Molly, “It’s been really exciting to see someone who doesn’t back down from her strength, but does it in a way that doesn’t portray any of the typical stereotypes that are attached to strong women. She’s unapologetically a successful working mother, as a working mother myself, it’s really helpful to see someone that does that work-life balance as well as she does.”
Adage knew Andrea’s experience and knowledge would bring value to the company, however the impact she’s having in these other areas is a meaningful reminder of the importance of supporting women in tech and providing opportunities for women in leadership.
Learn more about joining Adage on our careers page.Adage Careers