Heather Malenshek

Personal Title: Wife, Daughter, Stepmother, Friend
Work Title: Senior Vice President Marketing & Brand
Company: Harley-Davidson Motor Company
City, State, Country: Milwaukee, WI, USA
Twitter handle:

How did you get started in Sales or Marketing?

I was told I had a knack for both from an early age and so when I was deciding what to study in college I leaned into Marketing and never looked back.

How does your company or team use Salesforce?

In our continuous efforts to drive a better experience at all touchpoints with our customers, both existing and future, we use Salesforce products to deliver a more personalized experience and to leverage the data we have to gain actionable, strategic insight for the business.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your career to date?

I would have to say leading teams. I have a reputation for building high performing teams and I’m also proud of the people I have led who have gone on to do great things in the world. If I feel that I positively impacted their lives and careers in some way then I’ve done my job.

What would most people reading this today be surprised to learn about you?

I’m more of an introvert than people might think I am. I’m comfortable in front of large groups of people and in public speaking environments but I also love time alone to recharge and clear my mind.

When hiring, what skills or attributes do you value most?

Authenticity is critical for me. I am a fairly intuitive person and I can usually tell if people are not being authentic in an interview situation. Of course having the skills, experience and qualifications to do the job are required but finding the right cultural fit for your company is equally important.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

I have been fortunate to have some great bosses in my career. Some were maniacal about attention to detail which helped me to be buttoned up in everything I do. Some were more nurturing. The best boss I had in my career echoed a piece of advice that I was given as a young girl. On the other side of fear is what you want most in the world. Ask yourself not only what if but why not? It has helped me push beyond my comfort zone and step into opportunities that I would otherwise have missed.

What do you do to empower other women?

I strive to be a role model for other women and to show what’s possible if you work hard, stay true to who you are and always strive for better. I’ve had great role models in my life who showed me the way and gave me confidence that I too could achieve more.

What advice do you have to find an ally?

I would recommend finding someone who can be brutally honest with you. You won’t grow by surrounding yourself with people who are constantly agreeing with you or trying to make you feel good. In life, as in your career, you need to seek out those people who are willing to push you and challenge you to be a better version of you.

On Office politics.. 

Stay out of it. No good can come from being in the middle of the game playing that can happen in a work environment. Don’t gossip. Don’t engage. Take the high road and speak your truth.

On Balancing personal and work life..

I think the idea of a balance of work and personal life is tough to achieve these days. More and more is being asked of everyone and the demands are increasingly intense, whether from your family or from your employer. The best advice I can give is to find your calling. Find what brings you joy. What is your role in the universe? Find work that fits with that and you will blend both personal and work life in a way that is fulfilling.

Fun Facts:

My morning routine - Get up before 5am, meditate, shower, play with my dogs, eat breakfast and get ready to ride my motorcycle to work

Favorite Music to Trailblaze to - Anything from the Foo Fighters

Coffee or Tea? - Tea, green tea in particular

Life Mantra - Sans Peur – without fear (from my Scottish family crest)