Velodyne Lidar Leadership Spotlight: Sally Frykman
Sep 24, 2020 | By Velodyne Lidar
Women at Velodyne: Sally Frykman, Chief Marketing Officer
Women at Velodyne: Sally Frykman, Chief Marketing Officer

So far this year, Velodyne appeared in more than 32,500 media stories. The company has grown its overall social media audience by 21 percent with a reach of over two million people. In addition, there have been almost a million page views of Velodyne’s website and 225,000 new web users. It takes a great team along with sound strategy and excellent execution to achieve these outstanding results. And managing that team is Sally Frykman, Velodyne’s Vice President of Communications. (Update 2/22/2021: Since the publishing of this post, Sally Frykman was promoted to Chief Communications Officer, then, as of February 2021, she was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer for Velodyne Lidar.)

Sally is deeply engaged in Velodyne’s outreach and education efforts to create a greater public understanding of autonomous technology. She promotes Velodyne’s lidar solutions as essential components in self-driving cars, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), mapping, on-demand mobility, robotics, security, unmanned aerial vehicles and more.

Sally joined the Velodyne team in 2017 because she strongly believes in our company’s vision of advancing roadway safety, saving lives and the myriad benefits realized due to the innovation of lidar technology.

Prior to Velodyne, Sally spent the entirety of her career grounded in advocacy and education. She worked for a non-profit agency serving adults with disabilities and as a teacher and administrator in both public and private schools. She is passionate about making the world a safer, more inclusive, and universally accessible place for all.

We sat down with Sally to learn more about how the marketing and communications team is helping grow brand awareness, advance sales goals and foster deeper knowledge of Velodyne’s technologies and their applications.

Sally Frykman, Chief Marketing Officer Communications for Velodyne Lidar

Q: What‚Äôs the current state of public understanding about lidar and autonomous technologies ‚Äď and what‚Äôs on tap from Velodyne to increase that knowledge?

Sally: Velodyne has worked diligently to advance education about lidar and autonomous technology, and we are seeing that knowledge is growing overall. We do have a ways to go because there is a lot of conflicting and confusing information out there. More education is needed not only for the public, but also for government agencies, regulators, media and sometimes even companies within the industry.

Lidar is a critical piece of autonomy in a diverse range of industries, and it is exciting to see how our technology is being utilized in increasingly advancing applications. I believe that we are at an inflection point for lidar in certain industries, such as smart cities and intelligent transportation.

Fortunately, our team continues to tackle these opportunities with gusto! We have teamed up with non-profit organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Partners for Automated Vehicles Education for public education efforts. In collaboration with these organizations, we are working to inform the public about autonomous technologies and their potential to advance safety, sustainability and mobility on a global level.

One of our biggest events is our annual World Safety Summit for Autonomous Technology. This year’s summit will take place on October 22, 2020 and will be going virtual! The World Safety Summit addresses safety and autonomy issues in vehicle transportation. The 2020 summit will feature a diverse group of experts and thought leaders from industry, government, journalism and academia. We are also hosting a weekly miniseries leading up to the event to introduce speakers and topics, which is taking place every Friday at 10 a.m. For more information, check our events page. We will post recordings of webinars and the event itself on our YouTube channel in case you are not able to attend live.

For potential and current customers, government agencies, analysts and others, we are creating content every day to engage with them. Through product announcements, customer success stories, white papers and more, we are providing current information to a wide range of audiences. The marketing and communications team is collaborating with integrators, resellers and other partners for joint marketing on a global scale. Check out our amazing website and social media channels, which are updated every day with new videos, images, press releases, customer news and more!

Q: What’s on the agenda for Velodyne’s marketing and communications this year?

Sally: Our marketing and communications team is a force to be reckoned with! I work with unbelievably talented people who make it genuinely fun to come to work each day. They care about their work, one another, and produce exceptional results. I am fortunate to be on a team like that ‚Äď it is really special. An example of one of our team‚Äôs huge successes was CES 2020, our biggest CES to date. We had a high-energy presence at the conference ‚Äď launching our breakthrough Velabit sensor and showcasing 11 customers and partners in our booth to demonstrate innovative solutions built on our technology.

Velodyne employees may have noticed the stellar work coming out of the team, such as the new website, newsletters, the Automated with Velodyne program, PowerPoint templates and so much more! One thing that I especially love about marketing and communications is our cross-departmental work. Our goal is to meet the needs of a variety of departments, so we have the opportunity to team up with colleagues throughout the organization.

An awesome new collaboration with HR is Project Uplift, which is infusing a lot of fun into the Velodyne workplace. I have participated in the wellness webinar and the trivia nights put on by Project Uplift. Velodyne employees ‚Äď if you have not yet taken part in Project Uplift activities, you definitely should!

Velodyne is heading into some really exciting times and the goal of marketing and communications is to ensure that we are getting the word out! We are amplifying our brand and advancing the company’s successes on a global level. We produce top-quality content in overdrive, and we look forward to continuing that work. With our team, the creativity and production just get better and better. On the roadmap are public product launches, awards and increased visibility throughout a variety of channels. We will be highlighting and celebrating Velodyne’s incredible progress as we head into becoming a public company, so be on the lookout for innovative and powerful content.

Q: As we close out this interview, please share a little with us about your life outside Velodyne.

Sally: I recently had a baby girl, Alice, which was pretty wild during a global pandemic. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me; fortunately, she is a happy and mellow baby. She provides my husband and me a lot of much-needed joy in 2020, for which I am grateful. In my (very limited) spare time, I really love working in my garden and going outside for runs and hikes. All of that is a challenge right now, but like everyone else, I am navigating this time to the best of my ability. I have a great group of friends and family, and we are Zooming through this together.

About Velodyne Lidar

Velodyne Lidar (Nasdaq: VLDR, VLDRW) ushered in a new era of autonomous technology with the invention of real-time surround view lidar sensors. Velodyne, a global leader in lidar, is known for its broad portfolio of breakthrough lidar technologies. Velodyne’s revolutionary sensor and software solutions provide flexibility, quality and performance to meet the needs of a wide range of industries, including robotics, industrial, intelligent infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Through continuous innovation, Velodyne strives to transform lives and communities by advancing safer mobility for all.

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