Bronto Software - Carolyn Sparano
Company: Bronto Software, Durham, NC
Entry Submitted By: LEWIS
Company Description: Bronto Software, a NetSuite (NYSE: N) company, provides a cloud-based commerce marketing automation platform to organizations worldwide. Bronto is the number one ranked email marketing provider to the Internet Retailer Top 1000, with a client roster of leading brands, including Vince Camuto, Lucky Brand, Theory, Björn Borg, Ashley Homestore and Christopher & Banks.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Business Services –11 to 2,500 Employees
Nomination Title: Carolyn Sparano, General Manager and Vice President of Client Services
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Last year, Bronto went through many changes, including the acquisition by NetSuite and departure of its founders, Joe Colopy and Chaz Felix. Such dramatic changes could have sent any organization into a tailspin. But NetSuite successfully averted that outcome when it selected Bronto veteran Carolyn Sparano as the new general manager to facilitate a graceful departure of the founders, help maintain Bronto’s culture and generate excitement about the company’s future.
The path to this role was a natural progression for Carolyn who joined Bronto in 2006 when its founders added the initial level of leadership. Then vice president of client services, Carolyn helped define Bronto’s mission and culture. Under her leadership, the Client Services team implemented award-winning programs, which resulted in eight Stevie Awards and increased NPS to an average of 77 in 2016.
As a first generation, non-founder employee, Carolyn embodies the company’s values, culture and passion, and has sought to continue old traditions following the transition while infusing visibility, transparency and continuity within the organization.
For her first move, she organized a bon voyage party for Joe and Chaz in the grand tradition of Bronto, which included a “This is Your Life” section to allow current and past employees to reminisce and say goodbye. During the sendoff, the founders officially passed the torch – and the shiny megaphone - to Bronto’s new leader.
In another bold move, to assuage concerns the Bronto team had about their role within the larger organization, Carolyn rented the Carolina Theater to share the current “state of affairs” and her vision for the future with all Bronto employees. She ensured that her voice was heard and successfully positioned herself as the guiding beacon for the next chapter. These ongoing quarterly “state of affairs” meetings help maintain continued transparency and corporate and global alignment. To ensure regional offices feel connected, Carolyn hosts separate Q&A sessions in each region after the airing of the recorded meeting.
Carolyn is now firmly at the helm, guiding the continued development of Bronto’s solutions and award-winning teams, whose accolades include:
-CODiE Awards finalist, Best Marketing Automation Solution
-No. 1 Email Provider to the Internet Retailer Top 1000 for the third consecutive year
-Golden Bridge Awards Finalist
-Stevie International Business Awards Winner
-NC Tech Awards, New Media/Digital Marketing Company of the Year
Her impressive record of achievements doesn’t stop there. Additionally, Carolyn has:
• 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, NY and Sydney and ensured they are strategically well-connected with operations in Durham.
• Fostered a collaborative environment and support for Women in NetSuite, leading roundtable conversations in London and Durham that fostered male and female support of women leadership within the company.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):
Carolyn Sparano is General Manager and Vice President of Client Services at Bronto Software. An accomplished, results-driven executive, Sparano has over 20 years of global operations experience across multi-functional disciplines, including services support, education, consulting, international support and business management.
During her 10 years with Bronto, Sparano has served on the executive team, managing the award-winning client services team and successfully meeting the diverse needs of Bronto customers. She has been recognized as a proven leader and won numerous awards, including the 2013 Bronze Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year. Prior to Bronto, she was Vice President of Worldwide Product Support at Red Hat, where she led the services team from its infancy to a global, 24x7 open source support operation.