8 Qs with a Silicon Prairie Founder: Carmen Tapio of North End Teleservices LLC
As founder and owner of North End Teleservices LLC, a people-centered company underscored and enabled by technology, Carmen Tapio is in her dream job. North End Teleservices provides outsourced contact center services to both commercial and government entities. They are a mission-forward for-profit enterprise with a focus on creating jobs and changing lives in a…
As founder and owner of North End Teleservices LLC, a people-centered company underscored and enabled by technology, Carmen Tapio is in her dream job. North End Teleservices provides outsourced contact center services to both commercial and government entities. They are a mission-forward for-profit enterprise with a focus on creating jobs and changing lives in a community that still sees double-digit unemployment in a state with unemployment around 3 percent. Her goal is to bring jobs to communities where they are needed most, allowing people to work where the live. Having spent over 30 years in the contact center industry and multiple years as a chief diversity officer and head of Responsible Business, North End combines Tapio’s passion for business, community and diversity.
SPN: How did you get started?
I started in a contact center when I was 18 years old. Eventually, it took me around the world. I want others to see that contact centers can become careers where you have a chance to learn a lot of different skills and work in functional disciplines that can transfer to any industry. I have done a number of start-ups in a variety of sectors for other companies and other people throughout my career. I also spent years as an industry consultant.
SPN: Is your job what you thought you would be doing when you were a child?
Not at all. The first time I thought about a job, I wanted to become a nun and take care of my mother. I was 8 years old. Not even close! In my teens, my father taught me to visualize what I wanted for my life and to set goals for myself. It has been incredible look back and see the many times that what I visualized came to fruition. I do remember the day the thought came to mind that I wanted to own my own contact center. While I was blessed to work in the industry for many great companies, I wanted to own my own business and serve employees and clients in a different way.
SPN: What are you building right now? Why is it important to you?
We are in the process of expanding not only our client base, we are growing our number of employees, our facilities and the services we provide. Our goal is to holistically take care of people and remove as many barriers as we can for them including everything from providing better than a living wage, transportation, access to resources and service Navigators, providing healthcare, leadership development and training and ultimately providing daycare and onsite food service for our employees. We are about helping people create a vision for themselves and then helping them realize that vision. We do that by creating a culture of caring, family and service excellence.
SPN: What is your favorite thing that you have ever built? Why was it your favorite?
I would definitely have to say my favorite thing I ever built is North End Teleservices. It has made me realize my purpose, and we really do see lives changed every single day.
SPN: If you could improve one thing about your job or the place that you live, what would the change be?
I’m happy to see that our community is becoming more focused and committed to diversity, equity and inclusion; however, we have a long way to go. There is still too much disparity in too many areas. Our city and our state has to grow to be sustainable and viable. The only way to do that is to close the disparity and equity gaps, be more welcoming and more inclusive.
SPN: Was there anything looking back that you would do differently?
I can honestly say I have learned to have no regrets, to see every experience I have had or ever will have as a gift on this journey we call life. I wake up every day excited about what the day might bring – bad or good, and hopefully good. Every experience is an opportunity to grow while we are on this planet.
SPN: What could the SPN community do to help you succeed?
The opportunity to share our story is tremendous. Storytelling is one of the great ways people connect so thank you for helping to raise awareness of who we are and what we are doing.
SPN: If you could ask these questions to anyone, who would it be?
I just saw the movie Harriet about Harriet Tubman and was reminded of all the incredible things she did. She really did change lives!
JOIN THE MOVEMENT!
Sign up to receive daily updates in your inbox.