C-SUITE AWARDS 2020 SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC COMPANY: Wendy Montgomery | International Game Technology PLC
WENDY MONTGOMERY has had a career full of marketing and general management roles around the globe.
The senior vice president, global brand and marketing communications, for International Game Technology PLC landed in Providence two years ago, and said returning to her passion of marketing and having another global role were what drew her most to the company.
“Marketing is a wonderful mixture of art and science,” she said. “There is an analytical piece in terms of the discipline focusing on objectives and how to get to them, and then you look at how to tap into motivations and create awareness and desire for a change in behavior.”
Kim Barker Lee, IGT vice president of diversity and inclusion, said while Montgomery’s marketing expertise and global viewpoint were attractive for IGT, she came into the organization from the unique vantage point of being a customer through her work at Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp.
“I think it gives her a view on how we can do things from [a] customer and player perspective, and that’s an innovative approach for us,” she said. “She has provided us with insight that has helped our global position from [a] marketing and branding perspective.”
Montgomery rose through the ranks at IGT quickly, moving to the C-Suite within a year of joining the company. She was the only woman in the C-suite at the company at the time.
“I brought a different perspective that was valued and a leadership style that was different,” she said. “At the time, the organization was looking for more diversity, and my style enabled me to be accepted in a way that I could add value from a diverse perspective.”
‘I brought a different perspective that was valued and a leadership style that was different.’
WENDY MONTGOMERY, International Game Technology PLC senior vice president, global brand and marketing communications
Montgomery said respecting and valuing people is her main strength as a leader. She believes that a people-centered focus is a key component of leadership and appreciates hard work and what people bring to work every day.
“I’m a passionate person and I’m authentic; I show up the way I am,” Montgomery said. “I think that as a leader, providing frequent communication and providing context in a frequent and relatable way with passion and enthusiasm is the mark of my leadership style.”
In fact, when IGT launched its global Women’s Inclusion Network diversity and inclusion group in 2018, Montgomery volunteered to be the co-executive sponsor despite still being new to the organization. The WIN group really attracted Montgomery to IGT because she had been involved with it in her previous position.
“I had seen the power of bringing women together, not just for women’s sake but to the value of the organization, as a way to break down silos between levels and from a bringing the organization together perspective,” Montgomery said. “It was another way I thought I could contribute from a leadership perspective that was not just about business but a culture change and helping to support women.”
Montgomery said she always believed it’s important to help and support women in their personal and professional lives, and that women have more to prove in the professional world.
“I think it’s really important to support each other and for us to continue to strive for the equality we deserve in the world, which we don’t have,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery said moving to a new country wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her husband and 13-year-old son, and they have found Rhode Island to be a welcoming community.
“This was an opportunity for us as a family to expand our horizons,” Montgomery said. “It takes a village and the people of Rhode Island have been very welcoming and friendly to us and have helped make the transition easier for us. We’ve found Rhode Island a great place to call home.”
“[Montgomery] is really at home here in Rhode Island,” Barker Lee said. “She is a role model to our organization and in the gaming industry. We should be really proud she is here in Rhode Island and I’m really proud to see a newly minted Rhode Islander recognized in this way.”