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Location: Bethesda, MD
Industry: Technology


Julie Holdren
Chief Product and Operations Officer
Years in role: 25
Years at company: 1.5

OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES: When Julie Holdren first joined KoolSpan as chief product and operations officer, the company was expanding its footprint, which required a shift in both culture and infrastructure. To create a seamless transition, Holdren launched training programs for staffers and immersed herself in a recruitment effort, which led to a headcount change of 50 percent. Holdren recruited talented individuals by offering them the chance to make a meaningful difference at KoolSpan, and giving them the opportunity to grow their skill sets and advance their careers.

STRONG CULTURE: “We are all about transparency and accountability. From the very beginning, I make sure our teams totally understand their roles and tasks, and how they fit in with our culture and overall mission,” says Holdren. Team members at KoolSpan excel because Holdren and the team do not force them into roles. Instead, the employees’ strengths are carefully assessed to make sure they are operating in the best position. “I empower our employees to do their jobs, and then walk away,” says Holdren.

FUN FACT: “At my core I’m an introverted computer science geek that’s been forced to adapt to an extroverted business world.”

DAY-TO-DAY BALANCE: At KoolSpan, Holdren serves as the communicator of the CEO’s vision, and she works to ensure everyone is completely aligned with that vision. To accomplish this, Holdren has daily conversations with her CEO to determine where the company is, and where it should go. She translates that information into processes and resources, and communicates it to the team.