“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” - Winston Churchill
This quote is one Linda Garcia-McNair, Senior Director of Communications and Content Marketing and Chief Storyteller at Matterport, uses to describe her early life and career.
Linda grew up in Sunnyvale, California, after her parents and two sisters immigrated to the States from Cuba. Their arduous journey in 1966 served as inspiration for her early life.
“My parents are definitely my heroes. What they did to provide a better life for me and my sisters...there’s nothing I could go through that would measure up,” she said. “So I would say fearlessness is definitely a key learning from my upbringing.”
Her childhood and teenage years centred around her own family and extended ones - other Cuban refugees who regularly got together to celebrate life to its fullest with delicious homeland food at the center of it all. Athletics is something she always enjoyed - roller skating, volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball - you name it. When she went to high school, she pursued her passion in dance.
“I went to Saint Francis High School in Mountain View which is known for its athletic programs. I was so intimidated to try out for teams because I never considered myself a complete player,” she said. “Maybe it was an excuse to pursue what is in my blood -- dancing!”
Linda attended college close to home at Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business, majoring in marketing. She continued to perform in dance programs, write for the university paper, and joined Alpha Phi sorority to carve out a social life. “SCU was an academic challenge,” she said. “If I didn’t have these other outlets and commitments to pull me away from studying, my college experience would have been a drag.”
With an interest in communications, she also minored in journalism and joined the Retail Management Institute after being inspired by her mother’s own career at a boutique. “I would spend my summers working with her at the store and really liked it,” she said. “I was dead set on becoming a buyer at Macy’s.”
Linda never would have guessed that her career path would take her in a much different direction.
Diving into a career at a young age
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” - Maya Angelou
After graduating early from SCU, Linda dove headfirst into work, and no, it wasn’t at Macy’s. During a temp job her senior year, she was introduced to the tech world, piquing her interest in the industry and leading to her first job out of college at a startup. “It was really technical, and I loved it,” she said of her position as a product marketing coordinator for the company.
I enjoyed the challenge of trying to make sense of the technology for the people who would buy it...and clearly, that stuck.”
With positions at nonprofits, agencies, and large companies like Adobe, Linda’s passion for technology continued to grow and evolve. Yes, it could transform businesses, but it could also impact society. She spent the next 10 years of her career focused on helping brands find their unique contribution to society - their purpose.
Finding a company with matching values
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
Even though Linda had people in the past tell her she would have to choose between excelling in her career or prioritising her family life, the above quote by Eleanor Roosevelt was always top of mind. She continued to flourish in everything she pursued - from running her own consulting business, embarking on a passion project in sustainable agriculture, uprooting her family to lead marketing at a startup in Malta, and, of course, becoming a mother.
When she discovered Matterport, she knew it was a place where her hard work would be valued and new ideas welcomed.
The reason I came to Matterport was because I immediately saw how the technology could impact the world and we shared the same values,” Linda said. “Teamwork. Yes. Navigating uncertainty. Yes. Customer happiness. Yes. Innovation. Yes. Passion. Yes.”
Linda’s career has been driven by passion, and she encourages others to also explore their interests in this way. Her parting quote encompasses this:
“There's no passion to be found playing small and settling for a life that is less than the one you're capable of living.” - Nelson Mandela
When not at work, you’ll likely find Linda enjoying time with family, friends and food and working on her property that’s abundant with agriculture, as well as chickens, dogs, cats, and a leopard gecko.
Stay tuned to learn more about the hardworking and talented women of Matterport in our next instalment. In the meantime, enjoy Linda’s favorite Matterport space - a 3D capture of the Remember Them monument in Oakland.
I’ve always believed that technology can be the great equaliser. If we can provide global access to immersive and educational experiences like these, we can build more understanding and empathy in the world.”
You can explore even more 3D experiences on Destination : Everywhere