It takes a special skill set to be successful as an executive in the fast paced and ever changing world of internet based social networks. Portia Kersten, Chief Financial Officer of Skout knows this first hand. She joined Skout’s executive team in April 2011. At that time the internet based social network site had been operating for just four years. The highly successful San Francisco, Ca. based firm is now the world’s largest network for people to meet. Skout is not a dating site, but it focuses on facilitating serendipitous meetings. Skout is proud of the more than five-hundred million connections made between its ten million members.
The Skout app is easy to use, fast and safe. A department devoted to app security operates twenty four hours a day, and oversees users in one hundred and eighty countries speaking fourteen different languages. The app uses Global Positioning Software to help members find other members in the general area. It doesn’t give out the exact location; it provides a platform for people with similar likes and tastes to meet.
In an interview with journalist, Laura Dunn, Kersten shares that she has spent over ten years assisting small high- growth companies raise capital, maximize growth and achieve success. Kersten believes her childhood imagination and role models such as Charles Dickens and Margaret Thatcher were instrumental in starting her on the road to success. She attributes her strength to push through tough challenges to mentoring she received from Robin Wolaner, the founder of Parenting Magazine.
Kersten relies on efficiency and focusing on high priority tasks to balance her professional and personal life. Kersten gladly gives back some of the wisdom she has benefited from early in her career. She is pleased to have opportunities to serve as a mentor and role model to younger women. Kersten encourages those starting out to “embrace versatility…question the status quo and don’t let others define you.”
She cites the Skout Philippines community, as an example. One of this Skout community’s members encountered a medical emergency, the Skout community came together to offer help and support. Kersten hopes that Skout will keep bringing people together and giving them a positive experience.
With Portia Kersten helping to lead, Skout will continue to grow and flourish allowing Kersten to see her hope come to fruition.