Leadership Spotlight with Mike Clory

In our Leadership Spotlight series, we sit down with members of our leadership team to discuss everything from the importance of powerful leadership influence in the tech industry, to of course, the path that led them to Thentia. In this month’s instalment, we chat with Thentia’s VP, Product Mike Clory.

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Thentia’s leadership team is a diverse and exceptional group of professionals who have brought major influence to not only the company’s direction, but to their own teams. Those teams make up Thentia’s structure, functionality, and culture and contribute to our success. In our Leadership Spotlight series, we sit down with members of our leadership team to discuss everything from the importance of powerful leadership influence in the tech industry to of course, the path that led them to Thentia.

This month, we spoke with Mike Clory, Thentia’s VP, Product.

Mike discovered Thentia while working with a small regulator back in 2014. He joined Thentia in 2019, when the team was just 20 employees and leads our Product team. Mike’s work history includes working in leadership capacities at several health-related regulatory bodies in multiple capacities (operations, communication, digital transformation, compliance, licensing, policy) Since joining Thentia Mike has had the opportunity to work with 80+ regulators over the last several years on licensing and regulatory system projects from all different sectors including health, health related, financial and trade industries.

Mike resides in British Columbia and is a big tech and computer fan, regularly programming on RPG websites for fun. When he’s not diving into coding and product related things, he’s going for walks with his Miniature Schnauzer named Oliver at Central Park.

What excites you about the govtech/SaaS industry? How did that interest lead you to Thentia?

Thentia dropped into my lap back in 2014 when I was working for a small regulator that was entirely paper-based. I was tasked with modernizing their systems and was evaluating solutions that were available to the regulatory market, but I wasn’t finding anything that was really hitting the mark on what I was looking to achieve. Those aspects included changing the way we worked, removing paper, and modernizing our processes to speed us up and save time. Most of the other options I looked at were either ridiculously overpriced or an adaptation of a system that wasn’t meant to do what a regulator does.

After being introduced to Thentia (under another brand at the time) and talking to both the sales representative and CEO Julian Cardarelli, the decision was made in a couple of weeks.

I’ve always had an interest in technology, being a bit of a geek when I was younger. I liked to build computers, program on RPG websites, and eventually created a website hosting and streaming media company that was the pinnacle of SaaS before it was a common thing.

I ended up in the regulatory space by chance and applied some of the diverse skills that I had learned through my entrepreneurial ventures to the regulatory world. It turns out, I was actually pretty good at translating complicated technical requirements and making them easy to understand for nontechnical government employees.

I joined Thentia in mid-2019 after having worked with Julian for several years as a customer. I joined when there were just 20 Thentians.

Since becoming VP, Product, what is something you are really excited to work on with your team?

I’m really excited about everything the team is working on – It would be hard to narrow it down to just one thing. Internally we’ve been heavily focused on the product department organization, following the appropriate product processes, and establishing some meaningful internal ceremonies that helped keep everyone aligned on our goals and vision. We’ve been receiving positive feedback about some of the internal communications we’re sending out as well as the visibility into the product roadmap.

I’m also really excited to be able to start capturing meaningful data around our product, product usage, and feedback from our clients. A successful product is one that focuses on solving problems for our customers. Those problems are best solved through a combination of using best practices and experience within the company as well as collecting and aggregating real feedback from our customers to best understand the pain points we are solving. I look forward over the coming months to more customer engagements and hearing firsthand how our product is helping our customers.

Finally, I’m also excited about the platform changes we are making to help our internal teams work better. As important as solving problems for our customers is solving problems for our internal teams that need to deliver to our customers. Our focus on the ease of configurability for new features, better documentation, and improving internal tools will help us increase momentum as we continue to scale.

What do you love most about Thentia’s culture?

It’s been fascinating to watch the company culture at Thentia evolve over the last few years. With the introduction of our T8 core values last year and mechanisms that have been made available to help publicly acknowledge good work in recognition of those values, I’m seeing incredible levels of trust, collaboration, and appreciation demonstrated on a daily basis.

Our internal cross-departmental collaboration has always been something that has impressed me. With this collaboration comes a willingness to change the way we work, sometimes rapidly, for the benefit of all stakeholders. Since joining in 2019, I’ve had the privilege of being able to watch the company grow from that small size to the industry leader we are today – nearly 10x the size from the early years.

In your eyes, what separates Thentia from the rest of the tech world?

For me, I believe Thentia’s laser focus on government technology and the regulatory community set us apart from the rest of the tech world. We’re serving a market that is traditionally heavily underserved and often left to fend for themselves. We’re operating with purpose in our product to not only help our customers but also help the citizens that interact with our customers.

Within our wonderful Ascend Magazine, which just celebrated its first anniversary since launching in 2022, you can see some of the challenges that licensed entities and individuals are facing when simply trying to work. I believe the meaningful changes that our platform introduced to the regulatory community helps reduce some of the confusion and challenges faced in this area. We have also built up an internal team of experts that come from the regulatory world to help shape our product at a high level. Between this expertise and feedback from our customers, our product is continuing to be built by regulators, for regulators.

Seeing as a regulator’s primary mandate is to protect the public, I believe our product is empowering regulators to divert time, effort, and energy into protecting the public and away from some of the administrative duties that consume a lot of time. It allows those serving the public to focus their effort on high-value work. It’s our way of contributing to public protection and ultimately making the world a safer place.

How or in what ways has technology made a positive impact on your life?

Technology has had a huge positive influence on my life ever since I was very young. I used to sit behind my dad while he was programming on the computer and try to figure out what he was doing and how he was doing it. I loved being able to interact with the computer, tinker with it to make it change, and see the output. I was also exposed to some video games that I probably shouldn’t have seen, like “DOOM”, but had a lot of fun with it either way.

I always wanted to be ahead of the trend when it came to technology, being the first of my friends to have a cell phone, the first of my friends to have a smart phone back when data plans were only 5 megabytes, the first of my friends to get a laptop, and many other examples.

The positive impact on my life has come from the sense of community and the communities that you can find that have been enabled by technology – a way to find your people. I remember spending countless hours chatting with people and playing on RPG websites. I was even contributing to the code to make the community better.

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