Google chief of staff to talk story with Maui entrepreneurs
KIHEI — Working at Google for eight years, Luke Leonard says he has his dream job. The chief of staff to Google’s Speech Team will share his career story at this month’s Maui TechOhana on April 29.
Presented by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), Leonhard will speak at the virtual event on the topic, “Applied Tech to Big Tech: My path to Google.”
Leonard reflects that his dream job entails, “Making every minute of work that the Google Speech Team does more effective. Every time Google speaks directions to your favorite drive or hike, or if you ask the Google Assistant a quick question, or if you use automatic captions on your favorite YouTube video, this team helped make it happen!”
Before working with Google, Leonard worked for a manufacturing company that made safety equipment. He describes his path to Google a bit like the best of Hawaii’s hikes — a winding adventure, great friends and memories at many turns.
When people think of careers in Tech, it is easy for folks to immediately assume their first dream job lies at Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft or Facebook. In this talk story, Leonard will bust this myth and demonstrate a perfect bridge to big tech is through applied tech jobs, where innovators apply technology to local problems.
“I hope to leave listeners with at least a few tips to help them on their tech journey, and hope I inspire them to bring their whole self to work,” said Leonard. “By the end of the talk, I hope they will have an understanding of how roles in tech work together to get things done!”
The talk will also provide a glimpse into the day of the life of a chief of staff at a tech company, the skills needed to be successful and why it can be a great experience.
Presentations by other Google professionals — Jules Kremer and Alexandrina Garcia-Verdin — have attracted large audiences in recent years at Maui TechOhana and Hawaii Small Business Conference.
“MEDB is a community leader in providing local entrepreneurs and small business owners the practical knowledge, skills and resources aimed at success,” said Frank De Rego Jr., director of business development projects for MEDB. “We are honored to have Luke Leonard from Google at TechOhana and encourage everyone to join us for what promises to be an evening of tremendous content and networking.”
Supported by the County of Maui, Maui TechOhana meetings provide an informal networking opportunity open to anyone interested in Maui County’s technology industry. The meeting will be virtual and will take advantage of breakout rooms to encourage networking and discussion amongst the participants.
Maui TechOhana is on April 29 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. online via Zoom. Registration is necessary, and places are limited. Register at www.mauitechohana.com.