Sandia LabNews

The Intrapreneur

Stephanie Beasly’s award highlights a career of inclusion

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CREATIVE LEADER — Executive strategist Stephanie Beasly accepts the award as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business on Oct. 9. (Photo courtesy of Doug Smith Photography)

The San Francisco Business Journal recognized Stephanie Beasly as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business not because she is the archetypical businesswoman, but because she is anything but.

“Entrepreneurs are the people who create new companies based on ideas. Intrapreneurs are people inside organizations that generate new ideas and build programs and capabilities,” Stephanie said. “I fashion myself as an intrapreneur, which is why I’ve been able to create new roles for myself and stay at Sandia.”

Creating a career

Stephanie started her Sandia career in 2011 after years in private-sector marketing and public relations. She was hired on the communications and tech transfer business development team, and then quickly learned a pattern that would define much of the last 12 years.

Since 2012, Stephanie’s positions have included community relations, program communications, economic development and regional engagement, business development and now executive strategist.

“This place is amazing, in that you can work in so many different areas and missions,” Stephanie said. “Sandia encourages you to not only think about your capabilities in new ways, but to develop new skills and evolve yourself.”

Making the right connections

Stephanie has become an advocate for the Labs, with a zeal for connecting Sandia to the businesses and communities throughout the Bay Area.

“In California, Sandia is a small fish in a big pond, but we have a lot of influence in terms of technology, innovation and impact,” she explained. “We are a central part of the ecosystem in the Bay Area. The labs are an innovation magnet helping to draw top talent and companies to the region. Connecting our technology and people to that innovation ecosystem is an important aspect of delivering value and impact for the labs. Connecting people and ideas is my passion.”

By harnessing the innovation horsepower at Sandia, Stephanie knows it will move the needle on continuing to keep the labs relevant and creating innovation in Tri-Valley and broader Bay Area.

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INFLUENCES — Executive strategist Stephanie Beasly, second from right, is congratulated by, from left, Integrated Security Solutions Deputy Associate Labs Director Trish Benguerel, Associate Labs Director Andy McIlroy and executive strategist Annie Garcia after being named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business for 2023. (Photo courtesy of Doug Smith Photography)

“Part of my role is to help teams break down silos and improve integration, which, I believe, is how new ideas are born. I help teams find and develop solutions so they can move toward a common goal and work more effectively to meet the nation’s needs,” she said.

Stephanie believes that effective teaming comes from collaboration and living one’s values, which enables advancements and technologies that can only come through cooperation.

“I’m passionate about authenticity,” she stated definitively. “I want people to be authentic and true to themselves. It requires understanding what’s important and motivating to someone. What are your values? What is your life experience that may influence how you show up for a team or how you think about a challenge? If you are clear on your values and you live them authentically, you naturally bring your best self forward. You bring your life experiences to the table, and that shapes how you think about the problem at hand.”

Paying it forward through mentoring

Stephanie believes in mentoring others as a grassroots way to form better teams, improve Sandia’s capabilities and grow leaders. It’s something she learned from the bosses she has had throughout her time at the Labs.

“They challenged me to think bigger, do better and make an impact. They advocated for me when I needed it most and exposed me to new paths and opportunities at the Labs,” Stephanie recalls. “The best coaches and mentors pushed me to not let the status quo hold me back from my potential.”

That kind of inspiration wasn’t limited to her Sandia mentors. Stephanie is the new chair of the board leading Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, an organization of business leaders whose aim is to foster innovation in the Tri-Valley by connecting innovators into the local business climate while improving the quality of life for the region. She is the first woman to chair the board of directors.

Being the first isn’t new for Stephanie as she also held the position as the youngest and first woman to chair the board of iGATE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a thriving startup community in the Tri-Valley. She is now the immediate past chair for the organization.

But it is Stephanie’s first role models and mentors — her mother, an educator, and grandmother, a hairstylist — who put her on the path to thrive and succeed.

“When I think about the story of my life, why I am who I am is because of the strong women role models that I had as a kid,” she said. “My mom and my grandma taught me that there is a very special role that women play in helping to grow and nurture each other. I was taught not to be limited by a stereotype, they encouraged me to dream big. And they never questioned anything that I dreamt. I had some bold, wild, crazy dreams about my future.”

Their support also taught her to be a trailblazer for other women.

“You can pave the way for other women,” Stephanie said. “That actually has been how I’ve gotten to every success I’ve had, because someone opened a door, or pointed out an obstacle, or said, ‘I see this in you, even when I don’t see it in myself.’”

Now she wants to pave the way for unconventional leaders, creating a ripple effect of ways to impact the globe. Her drive to bring others along motivates her and informs her top advice for everyone she works with:

“Be authentically you and create your own path. On the way, focus on the positive and strive to bring out the best in others. Be an advocate, open doors to new opportunities and bring others with you.”

It is Stephanie living her values out in the open, for her authenticity, for the benefit of everyone at Sandia and for the communities we serve.

“If we all worked at our best and thought about the connections we have and what we learn from them — if we try to just be better, and kinder, and more collaborative — think about the world we would create.”

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