Lydia Chicles knows a thing or two about adapting to change. Born in Greece to entrepreneurial parents, she learned from an early age how to adapt to new cultures, people and challenges as they moved around the world. She uses those same skills today in running her mobile and applications development company, BOLD! Technologies and leverages her adaptability to drive growth as a leader in one of the most competitive industries around.
After moving to the United States and marrying her husband, Lydia was faced with a huge change in the form of the 2008 financial crash. She took some time off from her set design business and redirected her energy to volunteering. She quickly discovered that many of the organizations she was volunteering with had a huge gap in communication and came up with a calendar application solution to help organizations keep and update information in one place.
Finding success with the application, she and her husband launched BOLD! Technologies in 2009 to empower businesses and allow organizations to succeed in bold new ways using technology. Since then, they have expanded to offer their community event platform, CommunityEventApps.com, as well as to provide development and consulting services to help existing businesses and startups innovate.
As one of the few C-level women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) industry, Lydia has also been a change maker in her field and has aimed to surround herself with businesses and teams who value diversity. It’s one of the reasons why she is so passionate about NAWBO. A member of the Orlando chapter since 2012, she has served as the chapter’s past president, was on the National Nominating Committee and will serve on the National President’s Assembly Steering Committee starting in June.
“As a woman in technology, it was a great thing to surround myself with powerful women. I just had a passion for it. I loved the programming that we were able to grow and got to meet some wonderful women and really felt like what we were doing was very important,” she says. “I love the idea that the reach is a global reach. That rang true to my heart.”
As she looks ahead, Lydia is focused on growing all aspects of her business, from design and development, to marketing to education. The community event application is also quickly growing, with more than 50,000 worldwide users, and will soon be used in the film and festival industries.
She also is motivated to see the STEM landscape slowly changing to include more women. “There needs to be a lot more time until we can have the numbers reflect equality in that field, but I’ve seen a huge change in the desire and passion on both sides. Things are shifting and changing,” she says. “More education and camaraderie and mentorship is needed to move the needle forward. That’s one of the reasons why I love NAWBO—it’s a voice that speaks to women across industries.”
What are the three biggest changes your business has faced over the years and how have you successfully managed through those?
1) Going from a product company to adding services and then balancing growth with both products and services.
Once you enter into the business with a business model, even though you may have had success, you still have to pivot to stay competitive. It means always being ready and willing to take that challenge on. Never feeling comfortable with where you are.
2) Scaling and growing and maturing as a company.
Change in business comes and difficult decisions need to be made. Being able to make those decisions quickly and aligning yourself in such a way where you can quickly move forward with those decisions and being open to redefining your responsibilities makes it manageable.
3) Constantly surrounding yourself with people who you feel can help you grow in ways that you may not have known.
People you can constantly learn from.