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Page 11

featured alumni

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Alumna makes a name for herself in technology industry Over the

course of 32 years from global-

Originally from San Mateo, California, May

know what path I would take; none of us did. We

leading cybersecurity companies like Symantec,

chose to make her way closer to the Midwest in

just put one foot in front of the other, got our

to McAfee, HP and IBM- 1984 College of Business

pursuing her education, landing at Idaho State.

degrees and pioneered our way through.”

graduate, Tamela Gates May made a name

“I was self-funding my college [and was] only

As a junior, May was becoming worn down by the

for herself in the technology industry. Making

17 when I arrived on campus. It was challenging

burden of balancing an education and finances

numerous top influencer lists for the premier

to take on the responsibility of putting myself

on her own. “I found out about a scholarship



through school.” As a student, May said it wasn’t

named her “Channel Chief” in 2019, a “Woman

just her time in the classroom that had an impact

of the Channel” in 2015 and one of the “Top 100

on her. “I think the emotional intelligence I

Women in the Channel” in 2009. Now recently

honed while surviving putting myself through

retired, May spent most of her career leading

school impacted who I am significantly.” May

critical business teams, but what lead her to such

also found two great roommates, Cynthia Tibbs

a successful career was no stroke of luck.

and Elizabeth Roberts who also went on to lead

“Working my way up was challenging as a rare

successful careers- Tibbs as an entrepreneur in

female in a typically male-dominated industry,”

health and wellness and Roberts in the mortgage

said May. “Being willing to outwork others, taking

industry. “None of us were the type to hitch our

any ball thrown at me while consistently over-

wagon to someone else’s star. We were focused

performing and delivering excellence, helped me

on breaking our own trail.” May added that,

break through that glass ceiling.” May said once

surrounding herself with people who share that

she broke through, she no longer had to look for

“inner-grit was critical” to her success. Still, May

opportunities, “companies came to me.” May’s

was unsure of her path. “In the late 70s, early

tenacity is a trait she took with her throughout

80s when I was at Idaho State, women were just

her education at Idaho State University.

starting to pour into business schools. I didn’t





Profile for Idaho State University College of Business

Business Bulletin: Winter 2020