Drena Kusari

Name: Drena Kusari

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Age: 35

Title: Southwest General Manager, Lyft

Married/Single: Married

Kids: 2 girls, 6 and 4 years old

City you live in: Tempe

A typical day in my life includes

waking up at 4:30, drinking coffee with my husband. Playing tennis for 45 minutes. My girls wake up around 6:30 and we then eat breakfast together. After dropping my girls off to school, I head to work, generally getting in a bit before 8am. After a staff huddle, we dig into the day. Then lunch with a potential partner. In the afternoon, I have a one-on-one with a team member and the next two hours are spent planning for upcoming events, a product launch and for upcoming quarters.

I was born…

in Kosovo, a small country in Europe, just east of Italy and north of Greece.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

the beautiful weather, the kind people and the outdoor activities that surround us.

I’m listening to…

Hamilton, An American Musical.

My family means…

absolutely everything to me. Nothing would have meaning without them in my life.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Mother Theresa.

One thing I cannot live without…

my family.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a professional tennis player.

I’m inspired by…

by people who believe in making the impossible happen.

The one person who motivates me is…

my children. They are a consistent source of motivation and inspiration. I want to work towards creating a better world for them.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

educating and empowering women around the world.

The perfect day would be…

the perfect day is any day that I get to spend with my family.

My first job was…

as a tracing officer and field interpreter for Save the Children right after the war ended in Kosovo.

My favorite escape…

is a day or weekend trip to beautiful Sedona.

My life

has been blessed by so many incredible experiences for which I am eternally grateful.

I’m currently working on…

establishing partnerships between Lyft and non-profits, government agencies, sports organizations, educational institutions and entertainment venues. Our goal is to expand the Lyft community to touch the everyday lives of Phoenicians, and these partnerships are a huge component of those efforts.

Always…

dream big and take any opportunity that is given to you to do good in the world.

Never…

judge a book by its cover.

Favorite Quote…

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” —Abraham Lincoln

Biggest Dream…

seeing my girls grow up happy, healthy and successful individuals.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

the saying “set it and forget it.” We are all about testing at Lyft – trying things out and learning from those experiences. Business and marketing is an evolving landscape and should be treated that way.

More about Drena…

Drena Kusari connects transportation with technology to improve the lives of millions in the Phoenix metro. As the first female General Manager for Lyft, Drena oversees growth strategy, marketing and operations. Under her leadership, in the last year, Lyft has added over $40 million in economic value in Phoenix, and expects that number to more than double this year.

Drena is a dedicated leader and mentor in the community, volunteers on multiple boards and serves as a mentor for Social Venture Partners. For two years in a row, Drena has also served as a judge in the March Venture Madness competition. Drena serves as a mentor to young girls interested in STEM and technology careers and has recently become involved with Phoenix’s Girls in Tech chapter. Drena is also a powerful champion in the advancement of children and women and has made that clear through her support of Junior Achievement, Fresh Start and Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE) organizations. As she is originally from Kosovo, Drena is also a mentor and advisor at GjirafaLabs, one of the leading technology incubators in the Balkans.

Drena graduated with dual honors and a double major (BA in Economics and BA in Diplomacy) from Occidental College and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston.

 

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