Team Impel includes musicians, foodies, avid animal lovers, athletes, and more, and their passion, energy, and grit make Impel successful. Impel’s Employee Spotlight Series highlights one of our incredible teammates each month, giving you an authentic and behind-the-scenes look at our culture. This month we’re introducing you to Director of Business Operations Carlyn Harris, an Impel Heart of the Company award winner.
Your role has changed over the years at Impel. Tell us more about your current role and how your previous experience plays into it.
I started at Impel managing the Customer Success team almost five years ago. I moved to this fun and ambiguous role of Business Operations three years ago and I’ve had the opportunity to define what that means at our organization and build out a team. I’ve worked on so many great cross-departmental initiatives all geared towards improving our effectiveness and/or efficiency. BizOps is all about making things better and easier for everyone, so my experience working on CS and with other departments has helped immensely as it gives me lots of different perspectives and also lots of different connections and relationships to leverage as I coordinate various projects.
Which Impel core value resonates with you the most and why?
Results. For sure.
What’s the Batman quote? “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”
Actions speak louder than words… put your money where your mouth is…the proof is in the pudding…
No matter how you phrase it, at the end of the day, for me anyway, it’s really about results. I take my work personally, I care about making a difference and leaving things better than how I found them. We can talk all day about what we want to accomplish, but executing those talks (or making sure other people execute their action items) is basically my full-time job, and I love it.
What is the most memorable experience you have been a part of working at Impel?
This is a hard one! There are SO many – I’ve been through two rebrands, a few acquisitions, some MAJOR partnerships, a lot of restructuring/re-orging, etc., but I think maybe the thing that is most memorable, and personally special to me, is being a leader of Impel’s LeanIn group (a group dedicated to creating positive change and empowering women). I’ve been an active member since I started here, but have just recently taken on more responsibility and I’m so excited about the events and work we have planned. I am constantly inspired by the incredible women AND men that I get to work with as a part of this group.
How do you define success?
This comes down to results again, success is about making a positive impact. Taking action to better a situation.
Tell us about the hobbies and interests that you enjoy outside of work.
I love live music, trivia, going for walks, reading, etc. My husband and I have visited 13 of the “20 Best Microbreweries in the US” which is a great excuse to travel to some new places and try some new beers. I make homemade cards which are really fun, I’m a sucker for a punny card! I also love to cook and bake. I’ve made some pretty ridiculous cakes for my pseudo-niece’s birthday over the years. She’s seven now and has hilarious and tricky requests. We’ve done an Alice in Wonderland topsy-turvy cake, a Nightmare Before Christmas cake, Grinch, Minnie Mouse, Star Wars, etc. – she and her mom love to challenge me!
Tell us three words your friends would use to describe you.
Caring, Driven, Dependable
Your Slack profile is pretty great – we know you’re a big DMB fan and own two dogs, but the Thai food for breakfast really threw us for a loop. How did you come to love this and which meal do you recommend as the best leftover?
I’ve honestly always loved leftovers for breakfast, but Thai is just SO good! There’s something about a nice spicy panang curry or pad see ew first thing in the morning that starts the day off right! Pro-tip: Don’t heat it up fully; lukewarm is the best!
What is your favorite thing about living on the west coast?
There are SO many great things in the pacific northwest, but for me, it’s home. After living in Syracuse (Impel’s headquarters) for 14 years, I recently moved back to my hometown of Bellingham, WA and there’s just nothing quite like it.
You have traveled to some pretty amazing places like Alaska and South Africa, do you have any more exciting trips coming up?
Yes! I’m actually going down to the Redwoods next week for a wedding and some exploring. Beyond that, we are planning a trip to Hawaii with some friends for next January. High on our bucket list are: the Galapagos, Costa Rica, Australia, and Red Rocks! So many places, so little time!
What are you currently reading or watching? Do you have any recommendations?
I actually JUST started a book club out here in Bellingham! We had our first meeting last week and read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (I personally didn’t like it, but it lent itself to a great discussion). I just finished Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott which I HIGHLY recommend. I’m currently reading Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros and so far so good. My go-to recommendations for people are usually: Anything by Kristin Hannah or Frederik Backman and Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley.
To know Carlyn is to love her! She’s an incredible asset to our team in so many ways beyond her role. Follow us on the Impel Facebook and Impel Instagram pages for updates. Be on the lookout for next month’s employee spotlight on Maria Mathews.