As you may have heard, I love golf! There are many reasons, but a big one is because I meet amazing people through golf. One example? Christina Seelye, the Founder and CEO of Maximum Games. Since its start in 2009, Christina has grown Maximum into a top 20 video game publisher. I was fortunate to meet her when we were on a panel together at an event for Executive Women’s Day at Korn Ferry Golf.
She is a powerhouse in the gaming industry, and that is a special kind of success. The tech industry has a well-known workforce gender imbalance, particularly at the C-Suite level, and the gaming industry has even more dismal numbers. Gaming faces numerous issues ranging from discrimination to unequal pay to harassment for women working in the industry. Being a CEO is challenging under any circumstances; being a woman CEO under those is just extra.
No matter the obstacles, Christina has thrived. In the past year, she has expanded her influence and the reach of her talents in several ways. She launched Games Giving Back, a charitable initiative of Modus Games that aims to raise money for a series of charities.
“Thanks to indie game fans worldwide, we’re in the fortunate position to have the resources available to help others, and so we should,” Seelye told GameDaily. “Video games allow us…to have fun and to connect with one another. Modus wants to build that connection in a more impactful way with the community that supports us by giving back to causes we care deeply about.”
The first event, to benefit the Exceptional Women Awardees Foundation (EWA), was a livestream of Rock of Ages III: Make & Break. Tapping into the power of the huge gamer universe for a good cause demonstrates innovative thinking and is one of the many traits I admire about Christina. The imagination and creativity that go into technology can and should be directed at solving problems in our world. This is one example of that kind of thinking. I love that she used her expertise in a novel way to help solve a larger societal problem.
The choice of EWA as the first recipient is also indicative of Christina’s awareness of the issues women in business and tech face. EWA specifically works to help women succeed in leadership and boardroom roles. Through mentoring, networking, and educational support, they ensure women are prepared and in the right place to gain opportunities. Empowering women in business and helping others achieve is a passion for Christina. I know because I’ve heard her speak about it. It’s why we were both on the Korn Ferry panel!
Christina has taken that commitment one step further and this year joined the boards of two influential organizations working to advance women in the gaming industry, the (WPO) and Women in Games International (WIGI). It seems a natural progression of her interests and commitment, and she acknowledges that she’s been an active member of both organizations for years. Seelye explained to GameDaily:
“The work these organizations do is important…women from all kinds of backgrounds are engaged in networking and mentoring other women in a variety of industries, helping them grow their careers, offering advice, and giving them the tools they’ll need as they pursue their goals.”
The Lasting Inspiration
It is inspiring to see how Christina lives her values, channeling her energies to give back in ways that are meaningful to her and helpful to others. I’ve been the CEO of ATR for a few years now, and there are aspects of the role that I am still learning (let’s be honest, I will always be learning!). But truly, as a woman in business, I feel the same responsibility to give back, even more so as CEO, and I’m absolutely inspired by other women leaders like Christina.
As I make my own path as a businesswoman and a leader, I will learn from the examples of other outstanding women– how they use their power and influence – to give me ideas and inspiration for what contributions can be. I’m grateful for the example and guidance of so many women who inspire me.
This time, it’s Christina Seelye – thanks Christina!