Creating Heroes: Cydni Tetro
Cyndi Tetro inspires and empowers women and girls with her career and volunteer work. She has spent her career building, promoting, and selling technological products.
“I’ve always had an affinity for technology trends, what they enable, and what new markets they create” Cyndi said. During her career, she also cofounded NextPage, was the COO for a social media network called FamilyLink, and worked at Disney Research.
Currently she is working as the director for 3DPlusMe, a company she also founded. They use 3D printing technology to create action figures with customers’ faces on them, everything from iconic super heroes from Marvel and Warner Brothers, to sports stars from Major League Soccer and Baseball. When a customer comes to a 3DPlusMe kiosk, they get a high-resolution face scan that is then modeled onto a three dimensional character, like Captain America, in a computer. They 3D print the figure and then mail it to the customer’s home. “We’ve worked with the biggest brands and channels to let people design their own products,” Cydni said.
During her career, Cydni has learned how important a story can be to a product or services, meaning the connection that consumers create when they purchase a particular product. 3D printers, in particular, have a great ability to personalize merchandise. “This is powerful and it matches what the user expects from the experience,” She says. “I actually love watching people become their character because it’s such a transformative moment.”
This isn’t the only place in Cyndi’s life where she helps to empower individuals. She is the Cofounder and Executive Director of Women Tech Council, a non-profit charity she runs with a team of volunteers. Their goal is to mentor women in technical fields, to give them networking op-opportunities, and to support technology companies that women either run or own. They focus on the economical impact that women have on technology, and giving women in this field opportunities to showcase their hard work and skills.
Cyndi loves creating platforms to highlight the work that women are doing with technology, and one way she does this is by hosting the Women Tech Awards every September. “It’s not just about a career. It’s about giving back to the community,” she said. Over the past eight years, they have recognized over 115 women through the program. They also have around 100 high school girls attend the awards because so that they can learn about the amazing women in this field and see the variety of careers that this knowledge can give them. Three years ago, they also started an Academic Awards Program for college students from all over Utah.
The council is also hosting an event for High School girls on March 13 at the University of Utah. Students will have a chance to have hands on experiences with technology such as diamond cutting, 3D printing, and other tech applications. It is one of the many ways that the council piques teenage girls’ interest in this field. “Their entire world involves them consistently touching tech. They love it and couldn’t imagine their life without them. Those girls have an opportunity to inspire the next apps and the things that will change the world.” Cydni said. She wants these young women to know that they have the ability to take technology and create meaningful careers for themselves. The business world is using more advanced technology every day, and careers using technology are continuing to grow.
Cydni received her BA in Computer Science and her Masters in Business. In her opinion, it is more than worth it because of the doors that it will open for them. She doesn’t want young women to get turned away from technology just because there might be a class or two that they don’t like in the degree program they want to enter. One of the benefits that she mentioned was that technology could help them out no matter what career path they ultimately choose, and will allow them more chances to work from home. Cydni feels strongly about inspiring the next generation and showing them that there are awesome opportunities out there.
Cyndi’s own career is a testament to the places that tech can take you, and she has received recognition for her dedication. She was listed as one of the top 30 businesswomen to watch, she was a Finalist in the Stevie Awards for Top Women Entrepreneur, and she received recognition as a v100 Top Venture Entrepreneur. She is honored by the recognition that she has received, and how it has given visibility to women in technology, though she did not actively seek after these awards. “I’ve been taking this path of building great companies, being passionate about what I do and building a great network of people,” Cydni said.
She wants the public to be aware of the amazing women who are doing amazing things with technology. “I think that it’s important that you have these great women role models, that we talk about and showcase them,” Cydni said. Her support of her peers, those who have come before her, and the new rising generation, make her a truly inspirational example. Cydni exemplifies the power of passions, working hard, helping those around you, and trusting in your own abilities.