As president of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council (C4), Corinne Sharp looked forward to congratulating Karen Pugliese on joining the C4 Board of Directors. It turns out congratulations are also in order for a role change that takes Karen from CommScope’s country leader for Canada to the company’s partner leader for the Americas.
“We are thrilled that Karen’s membership on our board coincides with such a significant role change at CommScope,” said Sharp. “As a dynamic leader charged with the oversight of CommScope’s entire partner organization for the Americas, she brings invaluable insights to our team of channel leaders. We welcome her advocacy and input on innovative opportunities for channel members.”
Building her career
A results-oriented leader with proven success in market and services development for multi-million dollar technology organizations, Pugliese has held executive roles with GE Capital, GE Healthcare, Stanley Security, and Katz Group. A decade as country leader paved the way for her new responsibility for the entire partner organization, including national partner accounts, integrators, and consultants.
Pugliese credits the 10 years she spent building the Canadian CommScope organization with demonstrating the criticality the channel plays as a facilitator of growth. Collaboration, recognition of perspective, and the intersection of long-term visions of success really brought to light that there are many different flavours of partnership in the channel. “Having been on both sides of the channel relationship really brought a different perspective,” she said.
Dealing with COVID
No stranger to change, Pugliese met the pandemic head-on, building new product solution bundles and programs to address the shift to “Work from Home” and working with partners who were negatively impacted as a result – especially those who faced challenges executing projects during the pandemic lockdown. “Our team did a great job reaching out to partners and customers alike to figure out how we could help,” she says. “In some cases, it was providing a means for them to up their training while under a stay-at-home mandate. At other times it was something as simple as sending in lunches and snacks to customers who were on the front line – especially our healthcare customers.”
C4 isn’t Pugliese’s first board gig. A visionary leader with broad experience in commercial leadership and operational management, she has generously shared her expertise as a member of multiple boards, including The City of Toronto Arena Management Board and as Sponsorship Chair for the Women in Communications and Technology Chapter in Kitchener Waterloo. Additionally, she is an active mentor with the Ryerson Sales Initiative and Ted Rogers School of Management, as well as with the Alumni Mentor program at her alma mater, Concordia University.
Always ready to see the advantages in connections, Pugliese says her membership on the C4 board is even more important as she immerses herself in her new CommScope responsibilities.
“If nothing else, 2020 taught us that our world is changing, and what has worked in the past may no longer work in this new paradigm,” she said. “The value of C4 is undeniable. Although we may play in different market segments, the perspectives of the other members, their experiences, and how they see the market are unique. The channel continues to evolve and we are all committed to being part of that evolution.”