Emilie Hersh '00

Chief Operating Officer

Wednesday, June 12, 2019TOPICS: Alumni

USD School of Business alumna Emilie Hersh '00RelationEdge company logo
begin quoteOne thing that has remained constant in Hersh's career is her ability to unite people and technology to drive progress. As COO, she's responsible for the integration and alignment of her company's teams and functions across global markets.


Operations executive Emilie Hersh has the unique ability to integrate people and technology to move business forward.

"Technology doesn’t solve all your problems," she said. "But if you know your business well enough, you can use it to take you further."

This concept is one she first learned early in her career – memorably, as Senior Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, her first job after graduating with her MBA degree from the USD School of Business.

"That was really the basis for everything going forward," she said.

Hersh’s journey with USD began as a marketing manager for the university’s dining services. Working on campus, she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the USD culture and learn about the different graduate programs available. Before long, she was a proud and connected Torero.

"Once I started working at USD, I loved everything about it," she said. "The family feeling, the opportunities, the attention professors gave to students – I just loved being on that campus."

With an undergraduate degree in political science, Hersh decided to pursue an MBA as a catalyst to transition into the business world. She attended the evening program, which allowed her to continue working full time while earning her degree. This flexible format, combined with USD’s small class sizes, support from professors and peers, and wide-ranging networking opportunities, provided a solid foundation for what is now a prosperous and fulfilling career.  

"USD was where I really started to build my network," she said. "It’s amazing how much I’ve been able to accomplish both for myself as well as others from a networking perspective."

After graduating, Hersh landed the role at PwC, where she developed a passion for large-scale technology projects.

"In terms of career highlights, PwC was definitely one of them," she said. "It was a dream come true because of all the experience I could get at one company without having to job hop."

Hersh left PwC to join her former USD cohortmate Matthew Stoyka at the IT firm Network Insight. A few years later, she was recruited by the custom software development company InterKnowlogy, which happened to be founded and led by another fellow USD alum, Tim Huckaby.

"The USD network definitely plays a part in my work history," she said.

Hersh rose through the ranks at InterKnowlogy, from VP of Business Development & Marketing to Chief Operations Officer and, ultimately, Chief Executive Officer. She then ventured out on her own, founding the management consulting firm Unbuttoned Innovation.

Meanwhile, Stoyka had started RelationEdge (RE), a Salesforce solution partner that had since been acquired by the cloud computing company Rackspace. Following the acquisition, Stoyka needed someone to support the companies’ integration from an operations perspective. Naturally, Hersh was top of mind.

"I made the decision to join RelationEdge/Rackspace, and it’s been a phenomenal ride ever since," she said.

As Chief Operating Officer for RelationEdge and leader of global professional services within a division of Rackspace, Hersh is responsible for the integration and alignment of the RelationEdge and Rackspace teams and functions across global markets. Because the division of Rackspace within which RE operates has been built from acquisitions, her priority is to get everyone functioning as one team in all areas of the world – an effort she said draws on the global learning experience she gained at USD.

"The international element of USD’s MBA program really added a lot of educational value,” she said. “Students came in with work experience from a variety of industries around the world, which helped to build a strong program – one that was based on real-world experience rather than assumptions."

Hersh has come a long way since her days at USD, but one thing that has remained constant is her ability to unite people and technology to drive progress – both at the business and community levels.  

"I think about the sense of community at USD," she said. “I love technology, but the human element is just as important. USD is definitely a leader in producing changemakers who can take an idea to change the world and actually make it happen. And that’s something that is embedded


Renata Ramirez
(619) 260-4658