Kelly Daley loves doing hard things. She’s a new mom to two white German shepherds and is a third of her way to a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She is a seriously intent listener. Her dedication to Synergis is inexorable but even more she favors meditation and solitude. There’s so much more to what makes Kelly Daley tick. Here’s some of what I’ve learned . . .
Early Years and Fast Pivots
Before her 12 years at Synergis, Kelly attended law school with her eyes on a career with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the agency whose many trade decisions overturned US environmental laws. Kelly saw the WTO as a way to create policies to protect, among other things, seven of the already endangered sea turtles, including the Kemp's ridley sea turtle.
Always interested in the business sector, Kelly held varied jobs from coast to coast. In Los Angeles, she worked at The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), an organization that licenses the public use of artist’s work. A small part of her job (and perhaps a foretelling) was using the Paradox database system, a DOS-based database popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In Baltimore, she worked for a dean at The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, who headed up The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing and the NBA AIDS program with Magic Johnson. It was there she learned networking skills and the value of client relationships as so much of her interactions included sensitive information.
When she moved to Pennsylvania in the early 2000s, a mutual friend introduced her to David Sharp, CEO of Synergis. She worked as an executive assistant for David and later for his wife, Katherine, an author, pianist, teacher, and minister.
In 2006, when a position opened in Autodesk manufacturing sales at the Synergis Engineering Design Services division, Kelly began working for Synergis full-time. After a year of selling Autodesk products, she was drawn to the nascent software development division, Synergis Software. “I realized how cool it was that Synergis Software developed their own document management tool,” says Kelly. “When a sales position opened, I jumped at it and have never looked back! To me, there is nothing as exciting as technology development. That plus the exponential growth we’ve witnessed with Synergis Software products and my own changing positions over the years keeps my job interesting.”
Today, Kelly thrives as the new business development and strategic account manager for Synergis Software. She’s also in charge of global Partner relationships. Her daily schedule is varied and ever-changing. “While I am technically in sales, one day I could be strategizing about digital development with multiple IT teams and our customers at Dow and the next I could be attending an online conference about the future of technology or working with our Partners on one project or another.”
“Kelly’s success comes from her discovery process and the time she invests in truly understanding her customers, their needs, business objectives, and key initiatives,” says Kristen Tomasic, president of Synergis. “Kelly is a perennial student and as such, she loves to do research. I’d say that research is one of her many superpowers and ties most directly to her success in sales. She’s fast to find different stakeholders in accounts; to nurture the relationships across the enterprise; and to establish herself as someone interested in the best outcomes for all invested parties.”
Where Dreams are Made and Family Endures
A lifelong learner, Kelly received her MBA in the summer of 2021 and is now a third of her way through a Ph.D. program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology (I-O Psychology). “This year I have begun working on a newly forming innovation team at Synergis that involves the research that I’m doing for my PhD, along with outside research on technology and business trends, among other things. The ability to follow your dreams is one of the many things that I love about Synergis. We have the opportunity and encouragement to develop our natural skills, interests, and abilities.”
Beyond support for achieving her dreams, Kelly views Synergis as a place to develop lifelong friendships with clients and coworkers. “What I like most about working at Synergis is getting to work and become friends with a multi-cultural global community of clients as well as collaborating with a team of people at Synergis Software who are more family than workmates. There are many days where I spend more time with my Synergis family than my blood family!”
According to Kelly, it’s the family values and the people that make the company unique in the technology market. “We have proven in the past 38 years that we will bend over backwards to ensure that our client’s needs are met—all the way to the development team, if necessary,” says Kelly. “On more than one occasion, Bill Stamp, a founder, and Chief Architect at Synergis Software, has jumped in to resolve an issue with our clients. If it is important to our customers, it is important to us!”
Her greatest joy at work is the people she collaborates with every day and their “untiring devotion and work ethic to create a truly unique product line and an uncommon company based on love.”
When asked what about her contribution to Synergis is the most valuable, Kelly replies,” I can’t say that I give anything more than every one of my colleagues--which is 120% every single day! I likely contribute a more academic perspective of late; and I try very hard to listen more than I speak. It’s how I understand the pains and challenges of people in their jobs and plan a way to best meet their needs.”
“As a Strategic Account Manager and Partner Manager, Kelly Daley excels at building trust through her authenticity and knowledge,” states David Sharp, CEO of Synergis. “Our customers look to Kelly as both trusted advisor and partner in technology. She has a long-term commitment to the relationships she has built with our clients—many of whom have become great friends with the Synergis team.”
Adds Todd Cummings, Vice President of Research and Development, “Kelly’s success is no accident. Her ability to deeply connect with people and her customers is truly remarkable. The result is genuine and trusted relationships in which her customers know beyond a doubt that she advocates for their best interests. She channels her intellect and her inquisitive nature into guiding customers to identify solutions that solve their business problems. It’s impossible for her to separate herself from the heart and soul of the Synergis values, they are one and the same, and she’s deeply committed to her personal growth and to Synergis’ success.”
While her relationship skills, curiosity, and ability to think strategically add to Kelly’s exceptional sales career, she’s aware that success doesn’t come without some hard lessons. In fact, Kelly’s favorite Synergis value is “Celebrate Your Mistakes.”
“When I make one of many mistakes every day, it keeps me honest and doesn’t let me sink too far down the rabbit hole of self-aggrandizement,” reflects Kelly.
Kelly admits that her personal mantra changes as often as she changes her clothes. “I attended a speaker event through The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and listened to an amazing interview of Bozoma Saint John, considered the best CMO in the world. She quoted Diane Emerson who said, ‘I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.’”
And speaking of quotes, Kelly’s favorite is from a poem of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass:” “We were together. I forget the rest.” The quote was enigmatic, so I asked her what it means. “It’s all about being grateful for the people who intersect your life—even for the endings that seem insufferable. Because all connections are in fact an experience that expands our capacity to love.”
Lifestyle and Life Lessons
For someone who loves to “work hard” and whose “obsession is to perfect anything of interest to me,” Kelly’s idea of a perfect day is “to spend it in deep meditation.”
“My most important life lesson has been to ‘try to see with one eye.’ Meditation is the one thing I love to do above all other things, and something I never grow tired of practicing.”
Her other joy is her two white German Shepherd dogs – Sascha Khan and Sirius Rose– who take up what’s left of her busy day of work and studies. Kelly exclaims, “They literally light up my day every day!”
While Kelly is a sponge who is constantly learning and growing her knowledge and capabilities, she manages to carve out a smidgen of time for movies, poetry, music, and for special causes. Here are some whimsical details about Kelly you may not know. . .
Favorite movie of all time: The Green Mile. “It shows how misunderstood true compassion can really be when viewed through different perceptual lenses.”
Best book ever: The Living Master, by Katherine Wason. “It taught me that focusing inside is much more important than anything in the world will ever be.”
Dream place to live: “I’ve lived in more places than most of the people I know, and ultimately, they are all the same. ‘Wherever you go, there you are,’ wrote Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book of the same name.”
Favorite sports team: The Baltimore Ravens (because my family loves them).
Favorite foods: A mostly raw diet (it’s also what combats her systemic Lupus). She’s been a lacto-vegetarian for years.
Favorite charity or cause? “My only sibling died of AIDS in 1996 and I support AIDS research.
Something you’d never expect: “I’m a ‘Fanilow.’ I even flew to Vegas from L.A. once to see Barry Manilow live in concert! And when he opened his concert standing on the end of our table, I almost fainted from joy!”
If you’d like to support Kelly’s favorite charity, here’s the link to amfAR.
And of course, leave her a message below or reach out to her at Synergis or on LinkedIn.