People of Kuma – Theodora Wills

People of Kuma – Theodora Wills

Theo has observed surgery, was once a volunteer radio personality for a non-profit broadcasting service for the blind and visually impaired, and has only had one sip of coffee in her life. Continue reading to learn more about our awesome Senior Director of Privacy.

Tell us about your role. What’s a typical day like? 

As Senior Director for Privacy, I have the best of both worlds; I do client-facing work and I help in the development of internal strategic business development initiatives in the privacy space. I am a morning person, so I am usually up around 5 am, take five intentional breaths to transition from sleep to the start of my day, and then get out for a workout or (very slow) jog. Through the day, I coordinate with team members and clients on strategic and operational deliverables and strategize on how we can bring Kuma services to new sectors or expand offerings to existing clients. I take mental breaks during the day by participating in virtual lunches, brown bags, or peer meet-ups, and taking my dog out for a quick walk to get a little fresh air and sun.

What’s been your proudest moment at Kuma?

Having joined Kuma only three months ago, I am still just excited to be working with such a sharp, innovative, and customer-focused team.

What do your friends think you do?

Most of my friends are in an industry where they can make the connection between their work and what I do, but for those where the connection is not so obvious, I explain my job as helping organizations to not have to send those letters telling people they have compromised their data.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I would do a voiceover for the Fresh Air podcast or co-host “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” on NPR. I don’t care for audiobooks, but I love talk radio and the whole podcast genre. There is an art to getting people to just stop and listen. No gimmick, no flashing lights, no fancy graphics.

Who inspires you?

Theodora Lau. Other than having a fabulous first name she is a FinTech consultant and founder of Unconventional Ventures. She looks at technology innovations and corporate customer experience across many sectors and challenges organizations to “better address the unmet needs of consumers”. This drive for inclusivity touches older adults, gender bias, socioeconomically challenged populations, women in their role as primary caregivers, and many other underrepresented segments. She really focuses on society’s responsibility to ensure our collective march toward innovation is not at the cost of leaving certain folk behind. Additionally, from a personal standpoint, I admire how she has shaped and reshaped her career path to serve her desire to do good rather than what society deems to be a success.    

What’s your favorite local business?

You’ll never run out of great small businesses to try in Columbia, SC, but lately, I have been loving Crave Artisan Market and Café ( …. the best curry chicken salad, hot dogs (make sure you get the chili and coleslaw on it), and Goddess Salad. Also, Crave is a great place to get locally sourced specialty items like Bradford watermelon rind pickles.  (Hey, don’t knock it till you try it!)

What advice do you have for someone interested in joining the privacy and security sector?

Find a mentor.  Find someone who will help expose you to the various privacy career paths and help you navigate the path that is right for you.