The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Chief Officer Awards were announced March 17, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person May 10.
Next is Chief Growth Officer finalist in the Private Company: <$100M category Martha Mathers, chief revenue officer at OPEXUS. Here, she shares recent achievements, career turning points, career advice and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2022/2023?
My company OPEXUS brings operational excellence to the public sector through government process management software that helps the middle office run more effectively. Anywhere there is a lot of paperwork, specific process guidelines, regulatory requirements, reporting, or approvals ⏤ we automate and digitize that work, effectively replacing the manila folder.
In 2022, we had a record bookings year, growing recurring revenue by about 60%, adding 20 new logos across Federal, State, and Local government, and bringing on more than 50 new employees in the process. I joined the company approximately one year ago, and since then, we have grown from two sales-and-marketing employees to 15, we’ve transformed and automated our own work through an improved tech stack, and maybe most importantly ⏤ we’ve rebranded from AINS to OPEXUS.
OPEXUS was deliberately chosen as our new name to unify our product suite and reflect the vision we share with our customer community: operational excellence, combined with great technology user experiences. This rebrand became even more significant in concert with our relocation from Maryland to Washington, D.C. ⏤ taking us closer to our customers and a strong workforce to support our continuing growth and the growth of the city as part of DC’s Comeback Plan.
What has made you successful in your current role?
A combination of energy and commitment to our vision of bringing exceptional technology experiences to government. We are growing quickly and know that our customers need great tools to be able to leave a legacy. That legacy could be big or small, but by automating the critical processes that keep government running, we free up our customers’ resources ⏤ and taxpayer dollars ⏤ to deliver on their missions.
I keep this focus central to everything our go-to-market team does, and carefully evaluate any initiatives or investments on how they will impact our customers efficiency, job satisfaction, and ability to execute their core tasks with ease.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
Through roles with increasing responsibility at Gartner, Granicus, and now OPEXUS, I believe I’ve demonstrated a strong work ethic and effective leadership and motivation. However, it was only through the encouragement of a long-time mentor that I believed I had the skills and leadership to move to the C-level. This particular individual ascended to the leadership ranks of a top employer in the DC area (~3000 employees) and taught me a few important lessons.
First, she showed me that there’s no defined playbook or set of experiences that make for a leading executive: empathy (for your team and your customers) and commitment to results can take you far.
Second, she showed me that a female leader can be a great parent and a great leader ⏤ there doesn’t have to be a tradeoff.
And finally, she showed the importance of asking questions and learning every single day. Her advice centered around the principle that being a little uncomfortable meant you cared, and that you were trying your best. And that’s more important than having the perfect resume.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Embrace every single opportunity to learn. No question is a bad one ⏤ meet with every customer and employee you can and understand how the different parts of your company work together to deliver on your mission. Overindex in talking to customers. When they are more than an email address or a name in Salesforce, we build so much more empathy for them ⏤ and then build better solutions.
Finally, tech is such a fast-changing field and that means lots of career growth opportunities ⏤ take any and every opportunity that is presented.