Moving beyond her comfort zone to lean into new projects and positions that are outside of her areas of expertise has catapulted Tanisha Gordon-Flowers’ career, and it’s what she recommends to other women in equipment finance. “The feeling of discomfort is only temporary and the impact your actions will have on the advancement of your career will be immeasurable,” she says.
As a senior manager of strategic alliances at Cisco Capital, Gordon-Flowers supports the business structure and relationship of all of the company’s long-term vendor financing referral programs in the United States and Canada. Her support of the financial partner ecosystem in these regions has led to a 40% year-over-year increase in volume for the business sector in which she is responsible.
Throughout her 14-year career with Cisco, Gordon-Flowers has held multiple roles in the finance division, ranging from FP&A finance manager to finance controller for the security business entity and various sales teams. Gordon-Flowers is extremely proud of her involvement with Cisco’s Corporate Social Justice Action Initiative, which was created to be the catalyst of change in how Cisco focuses on the Black community, specifically by confronting discrimination, injustice and inequality. She is also jointly responsible for two of the four material initiatives Cisco Capital leads that provide access to capital, education and customers for Black-owned businesses as well as Cisco channel partners and finance partners.
The first of these initiatives is working to bring more Black-owned financing companies into Cisco Capital’s finance partner ecosystem to provide opportunities to expand their customer equipment leasing and financing education to students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Black-owned channel partners, which includes collaboration with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association and the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Foundation. Gordon-Flowers has found it rare to have such opportunities to support her community from a professional standpoint.
“I have an overwhelming sense of pride in my company for proactively creating actions to combat the social injustice that is so pervasive in Black communities. After connecting with an African-American Cisco channel partner, I saw firsthand how gaining access to capital, understanding how to leverage financing with his customers and how collaborating with financial institutions would significantly accelerate the trajectory of his success,” she says. “I’m so excited to witness the positive impact our initiatives are having on our finance and channel partners.”
“As a qualified engineer and [with an] MBA background, Tanisha is an industry leader who has the capability, empathy, collaboration, passion, smart listening and humility that continues to highlight the attributes that excellent financial services leaders drive and aspire to,” Conor Bennett, director of worldwide strategic alliances at Cisco Capital, says.
“Tanisha brings a unique blend of high intellect, energy and social abilities usually seen at the C-suite level. She is a quick study, very perceptive, and she leverages an advanced engineering background, enabling a scientific approach to solving business problems,” Wayne Super, vice president of capital markets at Cisco Capital, says. “Impressively, Tanisha has a highly influential personality and natural style creating an environment where all accept her leadership. I personally have witnessed and experienced her strong faith, humility, quiet confidence and integrity. We who have worked with her have become better people by doing so.”
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