Parenting tips for working leaders
This week, our panel discusses their personal journeys as working parents, tips for working parents, and how our workplaces can better support their employees as they make their way through the complexities of working parenthood.
Chief Commercial Officer, US, Beam Suntory
Carlo Coppola is the current Chief Commercial Officer, US at Beam Suntory. Carlo started in the spirits industry in 2003, joining Allied Domecq as Finance Manager, North America. Several years later, in 2007, he joined Beam Suntory as East Region Director of Marketing Activation, and in 2009, he transitioned to sales as the Metro New York State Manager. In that role, Carlo began building his sales leadership skills, ultimately rising through company ranks to reach Regional Vice President, Franchise States in 2015. During his tenure in that role, he managed 35% of the US business, leading his team to winning market share for the first time in 5 years. In 2018, Carlo took on a new role as General Sales Manager – SGWS Region, covering roughly 50% of the US business and a talented team of more than 150 people.
Carlo’s strategic approach, paired with strong relationships with distributors and partners and years leading large teams, ultimately led him to his current role of Chief Commercial Officer, US in 2020. He is responsible for the full US sales and regional marketing organization of more than 450 people, and he manages Beam Suntory’s expanded partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.
Importantly, Carlo is a strong proponent for his team members – he is deeply invested in ensuring they are supported with the proper tools to develop their professional skills and pursue their career ambitions. Of equal importance is Carlo’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and it is a top priority to ensure that DE&I remains a focus area for growth, not just for his team, but for Beam Suntory overall.
Prior to joining the spirits industry in 2003, Carlo worked at both Arthur Andersen and Deloitte, becoming a CPA during that time. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut with his wife of more than 17 years, Amanda, and their four children: Anna Rosa, Mario, Sofia, and Carlo. In his free time, he enjoys watching his children play sports, experiencing new places, and creating lifelong memories with family and friends.
Vice President - Diversity and Inclusion, Hallmark
Kristen Harris moved to Kansas City in 2006 after graduating with a B.S in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas. In 2016, she completed the MBA program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City with an emphasis in Marketing.
She has 14 years of progressive experience at Hallmark Cards building business partnerships within corporations and in the community, leading highly effective teams, creating strategies to promote accountability, and driving employee engagement. She is currently leading development and implementation of enterprise-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies as well as leading organizational culture change. She regularly consults with various HR professionals and facilitates employee resource groups and diversity councils to advance D&I initiatives within the specific areas of talent acquisition, professional development, product development and marketing, as well as community involvement and advocacy.
Some of her professional affiliations include the World 50 impact platform for executives, the Network of Executive Women, and the Executive Leadership Council where she has completed management courses, mentorship and advocacy seminars, as well as D&I and inclusive leadership certifications. Kristen was also featured in the spring 2021 edition of Savoy magazine highlighting diversity and inclusion in corporate America.
Outside of work, Kristen’s passion has always been in community advocacy and she currently serves as a board director for Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City. She also volunteers with several organizations across the city supporting education, health, and affordable housing services. Her newest pandemic pastimes include bike riding and yoga.
CEO and Founder, Cara Pollard Coaching (CpC)
Cara Pollard is the CEO and founder of Cara Pollard Coaching (CpC). CpC partners with corporations to support parent employees. They develop transformative programs to help people parent successfully while working. They also partner with schools and organizations to provide parent support groups, workshops, and teacher trainings.
Cara offers individual coaching services to executives, families, couples, men, women and teens. She transforms lives by drawing upon her in-depth background in her legal and
academic experience. She is a lifelong learner and is highly trained in a variety of disciplines. She is a PCI, Certified Parent Coach™, trained in DE&I Initiatives, and conflict resolution/mediation skills training. Cara creates the scaffolding individuals need to meet the demands and complexities of our modern world. She also hosts the podcast Mindfulness at Work.