As we recognize and celebrate Pride Month, we sat down with Cloudera’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group Leader Peyton Kettering for this month’s Employee Spotlight. We talked with Peyton about his work in Cloudera Sales, important lessons learned, and his perspective on Pride Month.
Peyton works in Cloudera Sales as an Account Executive (AE) and has been with the company for a little over three years. “In my current role, I manage the sales cycle, prospects, and convert new business,” he said. “I also maintain and develop existing client relationships. In a typical day, I’ll research accounts, reach out to them, and develop sales plays, a prescribed set of steps or tactics to move a sale along.”
Peyton adds, “In sales, we tend to collaborate and interact with various internal teams across functions throughout a given day, like marketing, engineering, or customer enablement. Sales is very much a team effort and requires tight coordination, especially lead from a team of AEs to make it possible to both sell and deliver.”
Peyton lives in Austin, Texas with his boyfriend and three pets (one dog and two cats). “Austin has a great bar and restaurant scene,” he said. “Not to mention fun competitive activities like Trivia nights and Pickleball. I recently joined a league!”
From organizing political campaigns to developing sales plays, it’s really about connecting with people.
“I did not think I would ultimately end up in a sales role,” Peyton said as he reflected on his early career choices. Peyton studied Political Science and Communications at the University of Texas at Austin where he took an interest in student government. “I was the Voter Registration Chair, and oversaw all activities, campaigns, and events related to voter registration on campus, leading to 6,000+ students being registered to vote for the 2020 election.”
He adds, “As a political science major, I always had a strong interest in civic engagement and politics. What I truly enjoy doing is connecting with people and helping them and thankfully that is what I still get to do in my current role at Cloudera.”
Peyton started his career at Cloudera as an Inside Sales Representative (ISR). As in ISR, Peyton worked on developing new sales to meet a prescribed monthly and quarterly goal, also known as a quota. “Being in sales development is a high-pressure and demanding environment and it forced me to develop and fine-tune my prospecting and lead-generation skills,” he said. “As such, I was able to exceed my quota for both years as an ISR and when the organization was restructured, I was moved into the Account Executive role.”
The dichotomy that works together: Innovative individuality, and the power of collaboration.
“My favorite thing about working at Cloudera is the people,” Peyton said. “We truly have a great group of individuals who are knowledgeable, positive, and always ready to lend a helping hand.” He adds, “I have a network of colleagues spanning across multiple teams and time zones who I know I can always depend on. The strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork at Cloudera creates a supportive and inclusive workplace culture. People genuinely care about each other’s well-being and celebrate each other’s successes.”
Peyton described Cloudera culture as having a collaborative atmosphere. “It is really a group effort to bring our solutions to our customers,” he said. “If you need help with something at Cloudera, there will always be someone there to provide guidance, bounce ideas off, or jump on a Zoom with you to figure it out.” He adds, “That being said, Cloudera also celebrates the individual. New ideas and innovations are celebrated and supported. Empowered Cloudarans are free to explore new avenues of technology, pipeline generation tactics, marketing plays, etc. This has proven to be invaluable in staying ahead of the curve in the ever-changing tech space.”
This dichotomy, between individuality and collaboration prevalent in the Cloudera culture has helped Peyton develop as a person. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is never to be afraid to ask for help,” he said. “I tend to be more of an individualistic person and try to rely on myself more so than others. While this has its good qualities like taking on ownership and being self-motivated, it can be limiting.” He adds, “I’ve learned, if you don’t know how to do something, ask; if you think there is a better way to do something, ask! Everyone has their own experience, knowledge, and viewpoint when it comes to solving a problem and the beauty of working in a collaborative environment is that you have access to all of that knowledge too, you just have to ask.”
Pride Month: Both a celebration and a time to work towards a better tomorrow.
Peyton is the leader of the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group at Cloudera. As part of the community, Pride Month is particularly important to him. “With anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and rhetoric reaching its fever pitch, I feel it’s important to note that Pride Month goes beyond celebration; it also serves as a reminder that the fight for LGBTQ+ rights are ongoing,” Peyton said. “While drag bingos and parades are fun and serve their own purpose in creating joyful and inclusive spaces, it is crucial to also highlight the need to address discrimination, promote equal rights, and work towards creating a more inclusive society where LGBTQ+ individuals can live authentically and without fear.”
Outside of Cloudera Peyton is an active volunteer as an election site worker and as a volunteer voter registrar, leveraging his knowledge and interest in politics to do his part in supporting the democratic process.
Thank you, Peyton, for your contributions to Cloudera the LGBTQ+ community, and for telling your story!