Speaker Profile: Elaine Pruis

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01Elaine Pruis
Vice President, Operations — Donuts Inc.
Twitter | LinkedIn


Session Name: Women in Domaining On…Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent
Location: Bellevue, WA
Number of years in the domain industry: 15 years
Favourite extension: .bike
Now reading: Desert Queen, the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell
Your mentor: I’ve had several great mentors including Garth Miller, Antony Van Couvering, and the four founders of Donuts to name a few. I’m open to learning from anyone willing to teach me.


Describe your company and how long you have been there?

Donuts powers the world’s largest and most diverse group of new, relevant and expressive Internet domain names. From .bike to .coffee, .life to .services, and hundreds of other useful domains. Donuts offers businesses, individuals, organizations, families, and others fresh and meaningful Internet identities in a stable, secure environment.

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

Meeting some superstars. The domain industry culture is evolving but it hasn’t been easy for women to navigate. The women you’ll meet on the panel have overcome difficult barriers to achieve success in this industry.

What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?

Think about “What does it mean to enter and succeed in a realm without privilege?”

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

How to recognize talent, and how to support people that are striving to succeed.

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

New TLDs are fabulous on so many levels. Choice for consumers, creative expression, and an opportunity for innovation. Six years ago, Elaine Pruis … used her two minutes to succinctly state, to applause, the views of many: “Innovation lifts people out of poverty. Innovation not only creates jobs. It creates industries. New gTLDs will create jobs, not only for registry operators like myself and registrars but for the increased demand for DNS services.” Donuts alone has nearly 40 employees because of new TLDs!

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

The Things of the “Internet of Things” will get names. Domain names. Billions of them.

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Hearing about new markets, trends, and tools. Meeting up with industry friends. Learning from leaders.

How did you get your start in the industry?

I started in the domain industry by providing customer service and doing QA testing for .CX.

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

I wanted to be an archaeologist and study ancient cultures. Domain names did not exist in my youth! So my career is MIND BLOWING in that regard. Instead of studying ancient ways, I think about what’s next, where our society is heading with technology, and I work to pave the way.

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Spend it with friends.

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Being appointed to the Customer Standing Committee, which provides oversight to the IANA function in the post ICANN transition world.

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Outside, in the sunshine, fresh air, trees, mountains, ocean, sand. Anywhere outside.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

The best advice comes at just the right time ….

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah, 626 BC

“Never give up, NEVER!” –the dad in the movie “Alaska”, circa 1996

“Let it go, let it go…” — Elsa the ice queen in the movie “Frozen”, circa 2013

“Don’t spend any energy on regrets” — Teacher, 2015

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