Meet Veliz Perez: Vera’s Newest Team Member Who Eats Risk for Breakfast

When you’re trying to solve an old problem in a new way, you have to seek ideas from unconventional sources. One of the truly great dynamics of Silicon Valley, and tech companies in general, is the willingness of people to take risks, try new things, and chart a different path in the name of improving others’ lives.

In that spirit, I’m extremely excited to introduce you to Veliz Perez, the newest member of the Vera product marketing team. As a former corporate lawyer specializing in private equity, and with a background in international policy and risk assessment, she brings a unique perspective to the challenges of securing sensitive corporate data in a highly connected, collaborative economy.

On her first day at Vera HQ, we sat down for a few minutes to talk about her background, her approach to building trust in business, and her advice for anyone looking to make their next career leap.

You have a rich and varied background. From risk assessment to legal, through sales, and now product marketing. What drove your jump into technology?

Law gave me an incredible framework to understand and minimize risk. The legal industry as a whole however hasn’t seen much innovation and I was inspired by companies like SlackBigPanda and RelateIQ that are automating time-consuming processes and improving everyone’s user experience.

For me, the most appealing part of technology is that there are no rules or prescribed solutions. If something isn’t working, recreate it. Through sales and now product marketing, I serve as the voice of the customer on what’s working and what can be improved in our product. I still get the satisfaction of representing customers, and I get to do that with a fantastic team at Vera.

Do you see data security and compliance emerging as a top issue for legal firms?

Law firms are treasure troves of data and they’re slow to adopt new technology, which makes them a perfect target for hackers. They are privy to sensitive client information, corporate records, strategic plans, trade secrets, and much more. Attorneys are often at the center of our new, “networked economy” — they regularly work across borders, with multiple corporations, and between a constantly shifting landscape of regulation.

The FBI has singled out legal firms as one of the most vulnerable entities in cybersecurity. Since 2011, 80 of the top law firms in the country have been hacked, giving cyberspies in China, Russia, and other countries access to financial data, patents, acquisition plans, and competitive information. The American Bar Association – the organization that sets the model rules of ethics and behavior for lawyers – responded in 2014 with a new Cybersecurity Regulation mandating greater competence and diligence in lawyers’ security practices and stressed these are “linked directly to our nation’s economic and national security.”

Trust is at the core of any attorney-client relationship. As law firms continue to collect massive amounts of data on mobile and through e-discovery, they must secure information differently. Security can’t simply be delegated to the firm’s IT department with a training for lawyers once a year. Law firms must instead invest in products that attorneys – even those most uncomfortable with technology – can use seamlessly on a day-to-day basis, even if they missed the annual IT training. The concept is revolutionary but the solution is out there.

What is your advice for others looking to make the leap into technology?

There are two things I’d recommend to anyone looking to leap into a new industry, whether it’s tech, or something completely different:

  1. Think about what gets you out of bed in the morning and why. Find a company that lets you channel your interests and give them an action plan on what you’re going to do for them.
  2. Translate unconventional work experiences into needed skills. I’ve never thought of law and product marketing as all that different. Both boil down to messaging clearly and persuasively, understanding your customers’ needs and advocating for them.

We’ve got a superhero theme for our team here at Vera. If you had to choose, which superhero would you be?

Invisible Woman. She’s an original member of the Fantastic Four, can manipulate light waves and create force fields that make her and her team invisible and impervious to attack. Her powers are unexpected and she always catches her opponents off-guard.

We’re excited to have Veliz here at Vera, and to see what amazing things she’ll accomplish in the future. Welcome aboard!

Our team is growing fast, and building trusted relationships with some of the most trusted, beloved brands in the world. If you’re looking for a new challenge, you’re passionate about helping people protect their privacy, and love to find creative solutions to complex problems, check out our job openings here.

Written on August 27, 2015
by Grant Shirk
Tags:
  • Industry