Break out the champagne and party hats – we’re celebrating! Carolyn Sparano, our general manager, has been selected as a finalist (from more than 1400 entries) for Female Executive of the Year in the 2016 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.
Last year, Bronto went through many changes: We celebrated birthday No. 13 while working through the acquisition by NetSuite. And this year, our founders Joe Colopy and Chaz Felix, moved on to their next adventure. Such big changes could send an entire organization into a tailspin. But that’s not how the story ends. In fact, we’re writing new, exciting chapters.
NetSuite selected Bronto veteran Carolyn Sparano as the new general manager. She gracefully guided us through the departure of the founders, nurtures Bronto’s culture and generates excitement about our future. No small feat, but she is definitely the woman for the job.
Sparano joined Bronto in 2006 when Colopy and Felix needed additional leaders to help the company grow. As a first generation, non-founder employee, the new director of client services helped define Bronto’s mission and culture. And under her leadership, the Client Services team implemented award-winning programs, which resulted in eight Stevie Awards and increased our Net Promoter Score to an average of 77 in 2016.
One of her first jobs as GM this past spring was to organize a bon voyage party for Colopy and Felix in true Bronto style. The party included a “This is Your Life” section to allow current and past employees to reminisce (there may even have been some live goats and Nerf guns). During the sendoff, the founders officially passed the torch – and the shiny megaphone – to Bronto’s new leader.
To successfully launch the new phase in Bronto’s history, it’s important to keep some of the old traditions while introducing new ones. For instance, Sparano has kept the all-hands quarterly meeting, where Brontos come together to learn the current state of affairs and get an update on the vision for the future. Busy Brontos like her short, snappy style for running these meetings, and the regional offices appreciate the separate Q&A sessions she holds for them.
She has also been instrumental in kicking off the Women in NetSuite (WIN) chapters in the UK and US offices as the inaugural speaker in the Getting a Seat at the Table Breakfast Series. She also started Chat & Chew sessions that bring a handful of Brontos from different departments together for lunch with the GM.
Here are more of Sparano’s accomplishments that grabbed the Stevie judges’ attention:
- Learned the complexities of engineering and marketing lines of business to assume responsibility and management.
- Led internal executive sessions to create the vision and growth strategy for the future.
- Developed a plan to hire 90 new employees this year.
- Hosted an annual internal “Meeting of the Minds” for the services and engineering organizations focused on driving cross-functional collaboration and continued Bronto growth.
- Ensured a graceful transition of Bronto with NetSuite offices in London, NYC and Sydney and ensured they are strategically well-connected with operations in Durham.
Regardless of who is ultimately named the Female Executive of the Year on November 18, we’re honored to have such an approachable and intelligent leader, and wish her a huge congratulations on this well-earned recognition. We can’t wait to see what the next 10 years have in store!