Daryl Crockett ’82 spoke to more than 500 students during her time on campus as the Grant Thornton Visiting Executive Oct. 10-12.
The data industry leader and ValidDatum Founder and CEO, Crockett gave four different talks, addressing subjects including data privacy and security, supply chain economics, and the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship. She also visited a number of classes, and held several meetings and discussions with students and faculty.
In her crowded Thursday evening keynote address, “The Dawning of Data Privacy & Data Security – What This High-Stakes Game Means for U.S. Business,” Crockett talked about the technological and procedural challenges and options for securing, obscuring and sharing data in risky times. She predicted that our next wars will be fought not with traditional arms, but with infrastructure and cyber-attacks, further underscoring the critical nature of data security.
“Daryl Crockett’s visit to Bryant was a great example of our commitment to academic excellence, bringing a successful alumna and a recognized industry thought leader back to campus to educate and inspire students,” said College of Business Dean Madan Annavarjula, Ph.D.
“Bringing experts like Daryl Crockett to Bryant helps provide students with exposure to a concept that will become more prominent throughout the ever-changing global economy.”
A recognized leader in data, Crockett is also a degreed accountant with a background as an innovative international consultant and C-level executive. Her broadly diverse industry experience also includes the life sciences, software, health, government, media, financial services, and manufacturing fields. She is also the co-author of several software patents and has co-invented a number of software solutions.
The Visiting Executive Program is made possible by Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd., one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax, and advisory firms. Jim Brady III ’81, Chief Operating Officer of Grant Thornton and another active Bryant alumnus, introduced Crockett’s keynote address.
“By sharing Grant Thornton’s culture of collaboration, leadership, excellence, agility, respect, and responsibility through initiatives like the Grant Thornton Visiting Executive program at Bryant,” Brady said, “we hope to inspire the next generation of business leaders as they face new challenges and emerging opportunities.”
Students who attended Crockett’s lectures appreciated the relevance of her subjects. Jacob Lewtan ’18, who is pursuing his MPAc, said he was interested in her discussion of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), arguably the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.
“One thing I found particularly interesting was how she affirmed that GDPR will affect companies beyond just those in the EU,” Lewtan said. “Bringing experts like Daryl Crockett to Bryant helps provide students with exposure to a concept that will become more prominent throughout the ever-changing global economy.”
Crockett founded ValidDatum – a data privacy, data migration and validation software and services company – after winning the Bryant New Venture Business Plan competition in 2013. She is an active Bryant alumna, lending her experience and expertise to multiple student competitions and other alumni engagement events.
Her myriad career has included everything from accounting and finance, to running a chain of health clubs, to stand-up comedy and managing music acts, to authoring a book about salary and benefits negotiation, and more. Today, focused on data software and services, she relishes bringing creative solutions to tricky problems, and credits her diverse experience for giving her a unique perspective that allows her to see subtle – but important – connections.
About her Bryant education, she says she most appreciated that the work was hard, the competition stiff, and that professors pushed for the best possible results. Learning the discipline required to succeed, she said, was very valuable to her future.
As a result, she’s passionate about giving back to Bryant. “I love to see things grow and change like Bryant has – to embrace and be a part of it is very exciting.”
But the biggest payoff, she says, is that “it’s always a joy to interact with passionate, interested students. And by giving, you get back.”