NAME: Kacy Hassack
BUSINESS: HR Director, Amazon (Amazon Web Services) Asia Pacific
WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
We’re originally from Austin, Texas, but spent four years in Seattle, Washington (where Amazon is headquartered), and two years in Sydney (enjoying the glorious Manly Beach life). As of October of this year, we made the super tough decision to move back to Austin. We have so loved seeing the world but intentionally also want to give our family the gift of extended family and US southern roots.
In university, I studied Sociology which is the study of groups of people. I sort of fell into my profession, being recruited out of college by Dell Inc. My timing was lucky – it was the dot com era and technology was booming. And in addition to the Silicon Valley (California), Austin was a hub for all things tech. I started as a high tech recruiter, soon moving into Human Resources, not necessarily because of a skill I had but frankly, because I worked really hard. I was at Dell 13 years doing everything from traveling the world choosing Dells next locations, to Mergers and Acquisitions, to living and running HR for Dells Latin America call center business based in El Salvador. The opportunities came, because I worked hard. And I raised my hand for roles that no one else would take. I left Dell and went to HP and then was recruited by Amazon to join their newly formed cloud business (Amazon Web Services). From the moment I started, it was home. I was a part of something that was changing the world and every day, I had a part in that narrative. And still do. So while working with ‘groups of people’ is how it started, this field has become more about playing a role in people's lives. And helping them and our customer thrive. I feel so lucky.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Really, my family. My husband, who has sacrificed so much to support my really big dreams, leaving two pretty big jobs and lots of friends, along the way. And my girls (Turner age 10 and Abbott age 7) who believe in me and what I do so much that when I say we’re off, to go on moms big-dreaming adventure, they say, lets go. Every single time. They endure messy mornings, under-thought breakfasts (oatmeal again mom?), sometimes long and late hours, a sleepy-eyed mom after the weekly Asia Pacific red-eye, and sometimes the occasional crossed-signal resulting in a wrong uniform or a missed homework deadline. But they love it. They love me. And I am so so grateful.
WHO DO YOU HOPE TO INSPIRE?
You know, I get this question a lot. And I’m not sure I think about it as much as I should. For me, it's never really been about that. It's really always been about using the talent God gave me and doing it so well that others are inspired to do the same. I have been blessed with so many incredible opportunities. I worked hard and I took risks. And I have been rewarded. The very best reward is that I get to do what I love and others get to see that passion. I look back at my 20 years in high tech and have been a part of an incredible evolution. And I was blessed with two precious little girls along the way who are proud of what I do. And they can see just how much I love to it. So as I think about who I hope to inspire, I sort of just think that I hope young girls (and boys) see that I do this, not to make a difference, or not to prove to anyone that I can. But because I love it. If I made no money, I honestly think I would still do it. I learn every single day, about more than just business. But about life and people and experiences. And if you start there, the rest is pretty easy. All that I can really hope for my girls is that they love something so much they are willing to follow it, work really hard, and come out of it 20 years later feeling incredibly lucky. The way I do.
WHAT DO YOU DO THAT MAKES YOU FEEL THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF?
It's so simple. In this crazy life, I try to keep it about the really little things. Traveling with my family, long walks on the beach, cool mountain air, lazy Saturday mornings (with my bed-headed little girls and 12 year old Golden Retriever, Crosby), Pilates, good wine, American college (uni) football, skimming through a good fashion magazine, morning devotional time, Friday night family / pizza and game night, listening to a good country record, and cooking beautiful meals for my family and friends (from pancakes to beef bourguignon). High tech can be intense. And it is. We run crazy 90% of the time but when we slow down, I replenish. And it works just fine.
Our move back home after many years away. We just landed and are settling in our home and it feels so good. All of our family are here. Texas music is on the radio, neighborhood kids are running through the yard, we are watching American football, and are enjoying Mexican food and BBQ. We will so miss Manly and our beautiful friends there. It has been the very best 2 years. We traveled to 12 countries and my girls picked up little Aussie accents (I'm now mum). But this is home. We gave our girls the gift of learning to have a big mind, but knowing a small world. And now, we want to give them all that comes with being ‘home’.