HR Executive Roundtable: Q+A with DNSFilter’s SVP of HR, Mandy Cole

With all of the recent hype in the news around the modernized workforce and new ways of working in a post-pandemic world, DNSFilter’s voice has been featured across multiple mainstream outlets for being 100% remote, having a great culture, repeatedly named a “best place to work” in awards, and of course the rotating four-day work week. 

Recently, I chatted with Mandy Cole, our Senior Vice President of Human Resources, about how she keeps the company ahead of the curve in a 100% remote environment—and how the executive roundtable she co-founded has helped her achieve this.

The HR Executive Roundtable was founded by three like-minded human resources (HR) powerhouses Mandy Cole, Carey Hicks and Anna Conrad. Mandy and Carey had been colleagues for a decade and both agreed they wanted this type of community. Carey then introduced Mandy to executive coach Anna Conrad—and the rest is history!

 

Q+A with Mandy Cole, Senior Vice President, HR at DNSFilter.

Kiki Meyers (KM): How did you land in HR and what inspired this path?

Mandy Cole (MC): Many years ago, back in the job fair days, I went to one in Colorado and I discovered I wasn’t interested in the jobs, but I was interested in the people who were talking to me about the jobs. I thought—”I could do that!” I got a job recruiting and it grew from there. I took on more responsibility, tried all the different positions within the field, furthered my education, and here I am!

KM: What is the HR Executive Roundtable?

MC: The HR Executive Roundtable is an innovative micro-community, where in an informal, intimate setting, senior HR professionals share theories, challenges, resources, and trends.

KM: What inspired you to create this community?

MC: I wanted to create an HR Executive Roundtable to network with my peers and to make sure I am staying abreast of the latest trends, changes, and great ideas in HR. Inspired by the energy and passion we love in our fellow HR professionals and shared ambitions for continuous growth, I knew if I didn’t build something soon, I would always wonder what would have happened if I did.

KM: When did you found the Roundtable?

MC: The Roundtable was founded a few years ago and was really solidified during COVID because we met weekly for the first several months. Currently, the Roundtable hosts zoom gatherings every 1-2 months, and we meet in-person once or twice a year. It’s been great to see our connections evolve and this Roundtable grow, especially in a primarily remote environment.

KM: Have you grown personally and professionally through the Roundtable?

MC: Yes. We are always growing and able to be vulnerable with one another, and able to chat about what is happening in our worlds. We help each other in a variety of ways. It is incredible how much we all have in common and are often working on similar projects and this empowers us to inspire each other.

KM: How do you stay ahead of the curve?

MC: During the Roundtables, we explore methodologies and approaches and foster a culture of peer coaching—it’s really special! All of our participants have shared that they gain unique and powerful insights from the conversations we have and the solutions we create.

KM: How have you grown personally through the roundtable?

MC: Through the Roundtables, we become more effective and more fulfilled in our work. For me, personally, I have built lasting connections and friendships that continue to grow. I consider the Roundtable to be an “outside of work” initiative, yet have found many connections to my role at DNSFilter. For example, I recently connected with Lori Frasier, head of HR at Pax8, a major distributor that DNSFilter kicked off a global partnership with in 2023. 

KM: DNSFilter has been in the news quite a bit lately regarding corporate culture, what’s all the buzz about?

MC: Rotating four-day work week? For DNSFilter, it’s just business as usual. Our business has always been a place where we encourage our employees to do their best work in less than 40 hours per week. Our CEO and co-founder Ken Carnesi had this vision for how he wanted to run this business and I am proud to be a part of it. We are changing the way businesses operate, we also offer unlimited personal time off.

KM: What advice do you have for new HR professionals starting out in their careers?

MC: Finding mentors and a network of people is really helpful to assist in your career progression. I believe that people really do want to help each other. I was fortunate to have a huge network as a recruiter, and that helped my career along the way. I recently ran into someone I had placed years ago and she said to me “I just retired after 10 years—that was a good placement on your part.” It’s those moments that remind me how grateful I am for the people I have met and helped along the way.

KM: What advice do you have for business professionals looking to launch a roundtable in their community?

MC: Start with people in your network as they may be thinking about something similar. Find co-founders because between networks it expands. Clearly define what it’s for and the value people will get out of it.

KM: In a global company how do you stay on top of legislation?

MC: The topics we cover are usually large in scope, and on-trend. For example, right now pay transparency has been in the news frequently, and it’s great to be able to chat with my peers about how they are approaching pay transparency.

KM:  What do you do when you’re not working at DNSFilter?

MC: Before I joined DNSFilter, I knew I wanted to work where people cared about each other and where I could work with like-minded people to align on the vision and build something great. 

 

When Mandy isn’t making the world a better place at DNSFilter, you can find her with her husband, dogs, and horses. Mandy loves training her two registered therapy dogs and taking them to therapy visits. She enjoys hiking and all things outdoors.

DNSFilter is a growing company with a mission, and security via DNS is our passion. We’re always looking for talented individuals to add to our growing team. To learn more about DNSFilter and the positions we have open, visit our career page.

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