Rhonda is constantly training for and competing in events – over 70 so far, including triathlons, half-marathons, marathons, and IRONMAN 70.3 mile triathlons (single-day races that consist of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 13.1-mile run).
She is also a member of the New York Road Runners and is a NYRR "Run for the Future" Buddy. Rhonda encourages her friends, associates, and mentees to pursue active, healthy lifestyles as an integral part of career success and improving performance:
"Running and sports keep me balanced and arm me with a mental toughness and focus that come in handy in everything I do. Training keeps me sane. It clears my mind, helps me focus, helps me make decisions. The intensity keeps me mentally sharp."
As a member at Winged Foot Golf Club, she also enjoys playing golf with friends and business associates. Rhonda attributes to spending time on the golf course with opening her eyes to just how important out-of-office relationship building can be.
Rhonda completed four IRONMANs in 2018 alone. While on vacation in Tanzania, she needed to go on a training run and ended up running with armed guards through the wilderness.
As word spread about her runs in Tanzania, Rhonda was asked to participate in the Serengeti Girls Run, the first-ever women-only run across the Serengeti as part of a fundraiser for female empowerment programs.
In October 2018, Rhonda participated in the inaugural event, speaking to a crowd of 400 local high school girls and doing ‘fun run’ with the community. Rhonda then ran 55-miles over the course of three days for the fundraiser.
Read more about the Serengeti Girls Run
Rhonda prioritizes her training alongside her travels – it's ultimately a benefit, not a challenge, to her physical health while on the road:
"I can be traveling up to 75% of the time. I always stay at hotels with 24-hour gyms – that’s a prerequisite. Now I know what makes my body work, especially when traveling to different countries and different time zones.
I work out the day before flights, and not on the day of a flight – when I just hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. As soon as I land after a long flight, I change, go right to the gym, and work out for an hour. It actually gives me more energy. When you travel, you have to be healthy, or you will get sick.
My fitness intensity has actually increased as my travel schedule has increased through the years, and my workout schedule is actually more intense when I’m on the road then when at home."
Vetere has discussed her training and competition – and the positive impact of her physical fitness on her performance as a global leader – with many publications, including:
These Fearless Women Ran 55 Miles Through Lion Territory in Africa
AFAR – The first annual Serengeti Girls Run is the ultimate Girl Power experience: The all-women event raised funds for women living on the edges of the wildlife-filled Serengeti. “This is more than just a run to me,” said Vetere. “I came back to speak to kids, to give back, and to hopefully impact someone’s life.”
Who Runs The World? GIRLS: How This Corporate Athlete Changed The Lives Of Girls And Women In Tanzania
SWAAY – In October 2018, I participated in the first-ever women-only run across the Serengeti wilderness as part of a fundraiser for female empowerment programs hosted by the Singita Grumeti Fund and BRAVE. Our solidarity ‘fun run’ with girls from the local community was an incredible experience for me – few of the girls ran along my side, holding my hand, and we sang Beyonce for the 4 miles. I will never forget how happy and free those girls felt as they ran down the streets of Tanzania.
Laces Tied Ready to Run
Thrive Global – As a runner, Rhonda has tread many miles of pavement, but no part of her trek has been more spiritually enlightening or life changing than the journey she made to Tanzania, Africa. The interactions she had with the people there touched her soul so deeply, that Rhonda decided it was imperative to travel there again to take part in a three day, fifty-five mile run through the Serengeti.
A Mindful Runner Shares What Drives Her to Train for the First-Ever All-Female Run Across the Serengeti
Sonima – Rhonda Vetere is a tech industry executive, an athlete, and, this October, a participant in the inaugural Serengeti Girls Run—a 55-mile, multi-day journey that aims to empower the next generation of female leaders. “I think the race is about more than running. It’s about self-esteem and wellness,” says Vetere. “I want to teach and give back. I want the girls to learn about fitness, mental strength, and spirituality—and that you can do anything you put your mind to—no matter where you are in the world.”
Women Of The C-Suite: “Be a True Corporate Athlete” With Rhonda VetereThrive Global – I am currently working on a monthly “Ask Rhonda” series to open up to the world to help anyone by being approachable. It is so important to let others know that no question is dumb! I am passionate about mentorship and this gives me direct visibility into people at all stages of their career that want to hear about the road traveled.
Why You Need To Know Rhonda Vetere “Q&A Session”
Inspiyr – I wanted to go for a run in Tanzania so I simply asked the hotel for a good route to try. The concierge mentioned that I would need to have security guards with guns accompany me because of the dangerous animals that would be on the trail. Turns out, I was the first female to ever request an outdoor run. I ran two days in a row, and on the second day, a large group of locals decided to join me on my twelve mile running trek. Many of them said that they were inspired, as they rarely have the opportunity to enjoy exercise given the environmental hindrances. This wellness experience enlightened me on how much we take self-care for granted here at home.
14 Gems of Running Advice to Remember
UnderArmour Map My Run Blog – We asked 14 runners for the best advice they have ever received on running. If you need a little help to get off the couch or out of the office to start running, the following counsel might serve you well: “Running is your time. Not everything is a competition or race with yourself.” (2018)
Running the Extra Mile: How to Combine Business with Your Passion
Authority Magazine – "Mental sanity is so important. Wellness is huge for me and allows me to make sharper decisions when I exercise. I just landed after a trip to Africa and completed an Iron Man the next day. Often times roughest moments are when you grow."
Interview with Rhonda Vetere
Zieley Magazine – My competitive side came out in sports — swimming, gymnastics, diving, cheerleading, volleyball, softball, skiing, scuba diving, cliff diving, etc. I have completed five half marathons this year as well as the St. George Ironman – these help me stay focused. Training gives me a sense of fulfillment, and I also do much of my business strategizing while working out. (2018)
How This Estee Lauder Exec Fits in Triathlon Training
Triathlete – Those dark-thirty workouts are not just a jet lag fix for a continent-hopping executive; they’re part of an endurance athlete’s training plan. Vetere not only manages tech teams in 162 countries, she’s completed over 52 half-marathons, two full marathons, four triathlons, and one Ironman. (2018)
Tips From The Top: One On One With Rhonda Vetere
Thrive Global – My theory is that an individual's personal wellness must be a top priority in order to achieve one's major corporate goals. As a competitive athlete and avid runner dedicated to a strict fitness and nutrition regime, I participate in ongoing marathons and iron man competitions across the globe as a way to balance work and overall wellness. If I can’t take care of myself I cant lead a team. (2018)
Why This Tech Exec's Big Career Regret has to do with Golf
CNBC – Vetere, who now plays golf on her summer Fridays, says the golf course opened her eyes to just how important out-of-office relationship building can be. "Often times we think, 'Oh, I have to get this email out or I have to do this transaction,' and life is not about that," says Vetere. "It is about relationships." (2018)
“Don’t Let Your Health Or Stress Get Out Of Control — Take Care Of Yourself” 5 Leadership Lessons With Rhonda Vetere
The Startup – Take risks daily — get out of your comfort zone. Ask for help — this is not a weakness it is a strength. Don’t let your health or stress get out of control — take care of yourself and this is why I am focused on health and fitness to balance me out, that is what works for me. (2018)
Former CTO-Estee Lauder Rhonda Vetere Runs Marathons While Managing A Global Team In Over 162 Countries
Women Fitness – My theory is an individual’s personal wellness must be a top priority in order to achieve one’s major corporate goals. I attribute many of my most prized leadership qualities, including motivation, perseverance and a stellar ability to navigate the daily struggle of balance, to my active and healthy lifestyle that is the impetus for my day-to-day accomplishments. (2018)
Leadership Lessons from a Female Executive
Career Builder – Today, between juggling the day-to-day responsibilities of her job and training for triathlons, half-marathons and IronMans, Vetere is a mentor and advocate for young female professionals and women entrepreneurs. Just in time for International Women’s Day, Vetere is sharing her rules for success in business and leadership, which apply to anyone – man or woman – at any stage of their career. (2018)
Global Technology Leader Rhonda Vetere:
“I Make Better Decisions When I Am Active.”
Thrive Global – In the “Stronger Leader Series,” Pete Leibman interviews C-level executives, game-changing entrepreneurs, and other high-performers who attribute part of their career success to their active, healthy lifestyles. (2017)
Your Job Can Survive A Holiday Without You. This Is Why That Is A Good Thing
Forbes – Rhonda Vetere, Chief Technology Officer at Estée Lauder, manages a global technology team across 162 countries. She spends her holidays recharging with her family and training for Ironman competitions and marathons. She expects her team to take time to recharge as well. “The team knows that I care about their health and wellness,” she said.
Learn more about Rhonda's experience and accomplishments...