FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Chief Revenue Officer, Stacy Bjornstad
Regulatory compliance requirements are critical to protecting a business’s resources and in order to survive in today’s digital world, companies require digital compliance. DigiPli empowers FinTechs and other financial institutions to quickly and compliantly open new customer accounts by delivering an end-to-end technology solution bundled with ongoing support from anti-money laundering experts. As the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Stacy Bjornstad, is determined to help enhance companies’ business processes through automation, educate them about the importance of compliance, and eventually protect them from the detrimental consequences of regulatory failures by leveraging technology.
Full name: Stacy Bjornstad
Current job title: Chief Revenue Officer
Current company: DigiPli
Current location: Minneapolis MN
"It’s fascinating to see the speed at which industry leaders are utilizing their creativity and passion to see possibilities come to life."
Even as a teenager, Stacy wanted to be a banker because the idea of being in sales was unappealing to her and banking seemed like one of the most non-sales-like jobs. Despite being initially reluctant towards sales, Stacy eventually began to appreciate it. “I grew to love the sales part of my roles the most–it was all about developing rapport and relationships.” Twenty years of experience in financial service sales led Stacy to her current role as the CRO at DigiPli, where she is responsible for developing sales strategy, business development, and building brand awareness.
Being at a startup, gaining market traction and building brand visibility are paramount to survival. By leveraging the latest in digital technology, automation, and a remote support model, DigiPli delivers an all-in-one, efficient, and effective AML/KYC infrastructure that meets the demands of both regulators and customers. She also works closely with the company’s founders to raise capital, which is essential to the success of any startup.
As a part of DigiPli, Stacy is working towards positively impacting the FinTech industry by simplifying complex regulatory requirements to ease the burden of historically manual processes and to mitigate the stigma of compliance. “No one wants to talk about compliance, except a Chief Risk or Compliance Officer, until it’s too late and there’s a fire drill. Only then does it become a priority. I want to educate those that are less compliance-proficient and those that are tech-skeptical so they can avoid the fire drills. Technology adds efficiency and reduces the chance of human error. Why not automate to save time and money, yet provide peace of mind?”
In her role at DigiPli, Stacy communicates with FinTechs on a daily basis. She is excited to have a front seat watching the financial services transformation underway. “It’s fascinating to see the speed at which industry leaders are utilizing their creativity and passion to see possibilities come to life. I am part of the future of financial services and this is where I want to be.”
The journey to becoming a top-level executive includes facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. Stacy’s process to constructive growth is developing a thick skin, not taking things personally, taking the high road, and addressing the situation with integrity. “Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. This is how you grow.” Stacy also emphasizes the importance of mentors in her life, “I’ve had many mentors over the years, some in formalized arrangements but many in informal relationships. We need different advice and guidance at different times. All mentors have been important pieces of my development and resiliency.” With growth and fortitude, Stacy continues to impact the FinTech industry to help build better solutions for a better business world.
More on Stacy
Currently live: Minneapolis, MN.
Family at home: Husband & 3 kids, ages 17, 15, and 12.
Hometown: Minot, ND.
Favorite hobby: Listening to music, getting exercise.
Favorite part of your day: Downtime when exercising in the morning and generally just prior to bedtime.
Favorite show to binge: I don’t watch much TV but if I do it will be American Idol, The Voice, or a lighthearted drama series on Netflix.
6:15 am: After hitting the snooze button a couple of times, I get my workout clothes on and head out on a 40-minute walk on one of my typical routes. Check emails and other notifications.
7:15 am: Get ready for the day, roust one of my kids who has daytime art camp this week, and throw a load of laundry in. Then, I watch Squawk Box while getting ready.
8:05 am: Make a quick breakfast; typically, a fried egg, toast & avocado.
8:30 am: Walkthrough my backyard to my WFH office (my She Shed). I prepare for the weekly team meeting and the rest of the week. Look through relevant LinkedIn postings, return emails, write emails.
10:00 am: Attend the weekly team meeting where all aspects of the business are discussed - fundraising efforts, business development, product & IT updates, vendor discussion, and what the interns are working on.
12:15 pm: I make a quick lunch in the house (leftovers from the weekend) and then back out to She Shed.
1:30 pm: Prospect call. Fingers crossed it’s a productive call. I’ve been trying to get this meeting scheduled for nearly 2 months.
2:30 pm: Networking call with an acquaintance looking for work. I have some connections for him - good news.
3:00 pm: Frustrated by IT issues on my desktop. I am troubleshooting.
3:30 pm: Need to take my networking call from the Zoom app on my phone given desktop challenges. Frustrating. I’ve mastered Zoom on my desktop but not on my phone.
4:15 pm: Respond to emails, work on my to-do list.
5:30 pm: Ask my 17-year-old to do some dinner prep so I can keep working.
6:30 pm: Head back to the house from She Shed to finalize dinner, catch up with kids’ days including my youngest’s first day at Art Camp (she didn’t like it), and my middle kid’s day at work.
7:15 pm: Dinner on the deck. Even though it was muggy, it felt good to have fresh air.
8:15 pm: Head back to She Shed for more work - finish up things that were time-sensitive.
9:45 pm: Back into the house. I have some downtime. Check social media. Assess where my 3 kids are (oldest still gone, is hammocking with a friend at a park; middle one on his phone; youngest in bed).
10:30 pm: Go to bed (a little earlier than normal - yay!).
6:05 am: Get out of bed, get walking by 6:20 am. Run into friends out on their morning run/walk. Chat for a few minutes before continuing on.
7:15 am: Get ready for the day. Watch Squawk Box during. Only have time for toast today before an 8:00 am call.
8:00 am: Zoom call with an intern to walk through what help is needed for a project we’re working on. This time of day seems to work best for both of us given he is in his home country of Thailand for a couple of months. He will soon return to the US to continue his schooling at Lehigh.
9:00 am: Call and demo with a competitor to gain market intel.
9:40 am: Emails, LinkedIn business development, connection updates, etc.
10:00 am: Networking call, Women in Payments group. It’s one of my favorites, in addition to NYC Fintech Women of course. :)
11:00 am: Biweekly call with PR firm to discuss strategy for new press-worthy articles/topics, upcoming conferences, and other ways to build brand visibility.
1:00 pm: Introductory Zoom call with a potential investor that seemed to go well. We will know later this week if the firm wants to continue discussions.
3:00 pm: Call with a female acquaintance looking for work. I’m doing my part to give back - trying to help connect her. I was in her shoes once, while in a career transition and looking for something new.
5:00 pm: Attend my first in-person happy hour in a very long time with a few bankers. We had a great discussion.
7:30 pm: Went back home. Start making a late dinner. My husband was working late too.
7:30 pm: Sweet corn arrives from the farm. My daughter and her friends are selling sweet corn out of a makeshift trailer at the end of our driveway. They will likely sell out in a couple of days. Who doesn’t want to buy from a kid’s farmstand?! She’s a budding female entrepreneur.
8:30 pm: A longtime family friend stops by and chats us up.
10:30 pm: Time for downtime and go to bed.
Reach out to Stacy on LinkedIn.