As a Product Line Manager for Reciprocity, Kerwyn Velasco is responsible for driving the strategy and execution of the next generation of our ZenGRC platform. From gathering information and ideas for new features and functionality, to demonstrating our latest innovations to customers, he is involved in all aspects of our product development.
Kerwyn has held many roles on his path to Reciprocity. After going to school for Accounting, he worked as an internal auditor and public accountant. He then transitioned to an IT Auditing role while pursuing his Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems. After impressing one of his client’s governance, risk and compliance (GRC) vendors with his skills, he began doing Professional Services implementations. From there, he pivoted to Sales, which gave him an opportunity to better understand the sales cycle and how it impacts every other part of a business. This eventually led him to Product Management, which enables him to leverage all of his previous experience and ‘own’ the business strategy behind a product, including specifying its functional requirements and managing the launch of new features.
“With every job I’ve had, I’ve been able to take the best ‘lessons learned’ from those positions and apply them to the next goal I wanted to achieve, whether it was a new role, a new industry, or even a new product. This wide range of experience is extremely valuable as a Product Manager, as you’re able to really understand your client’s point of view – what they need and what they want to accomplish – as you’ve been there too.”
Change is the Only Constant
Early in Kerwyn’s Product Management career, he experienced a challenging situation: after months of working on a new product – from ideation and research to prototypes and market validation – the project was delayed and then cancelled. While this isn’t an uncommon occurrence with an early stage, “in development” product, it can be extremely frustrating for new Product Managers.
“It’s easy to get disheartened when you learn a project you’ve been working on for months has been cancelled. However, you can’t take it personally. As a Product Manager, your role is to provide your team with the information they need to decide on the best course of action for the business. As your target market, your competitors, and even your organization change, so will your project. In fact, change is the only constant.”
While Kerwyn has been able to experience (and enjoy!) several roles throughout his career, he acknowledges there’s something else that enables him to truly enjoy and embrace his role as a Product Line Manager at Reciprocity – and that’s the company culture. The culture at an organization not only sets expectations for how people work together. It also impacts how well they function as a team…and it’s all about teamwork at Reciprocity.
“Reciprocity has a unique culture that I really appreciate. Our Product Experience Team – which is made up of the Product Management and Product Design teams – is really close. We share everything, from our trials and triumphs to our music. (Our Spotify playlist is called ‘Effective But Not Compliant’!) But we also understand that personal time is just as important. And this is respected by everyone at the company, from the top down.”
What Comes Next
Kerwyn’s Product Management role at Reciprocity has coincided with his being more active in his profession. He’s an active member of his local Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), which enables him to give back to the organization that has provided him with so much opportunity. He has also been able to deepen his expertise in Security and Risk by becoming a ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). However, he continues to look for ways to expand on his current experience.
“I’m really impressed with our amazing Marketing team at Reciprocity, and feel that marketing is a ‘muscle’ that I have only begun to ‘flex’ in my career. While I understand certain elements from my time spent in sales roles, I’d really like to learn more about things like strategic partnerships and how they impact both product development and the business overall.”
The Next Challenge
Reciprocity continues to grow at an exponential rate, which is creating new career opportunities for people like Kerwyn, who are always ready for the next challenge. We know there is much more to come from Kerwyn, so definitely keep an eye on him – and his LinkedIn profile – to track his career!
Interested in a career at Reciprocity? Check out our current job openings.