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PYSK: Karen Crabtree

Karen Crabtree

Karen Crabtree

Vice president and general manager,

CenturyLink in northern Missouri

AGE: 45
JOB DESCRIPTION: I have end-to-end responsibility for developing a localized approach to the market, including product offerings and promotions. I’m responsible for revenue, customer experience, local installation and repair technicians, customer metrics, area retail stores and door-to-door sales, community and public relations and brand representation.
YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA: Three and a half months. I relocated to Columbia in April from O’Fallon.
ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: My original hometown is Levelland, Texas, which is a small town near Lubbock. I moved from there to Austin, then I had a job opportunity that brought me to O’Fallon.
EDUCATION: I attended South Plains College in Texas.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: I am currently a member of the Economic Development Committee, Chamber of Commerce and recently joined the Women’s Network. I look forward to other opportunities in the community. I am also actively involved with the University of Missouri.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I have 25 years in telecommunications that range from retail sales, provisioning, engineering, customer service and repair.
A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: I had significant involvement in the successful integration of Embarq’s and CenturyTel’s billing and plant records by integrating multiple systems into one billing and one plant system. The integration was done in five phases, with the last phase ending in July.
A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE AND WHY: [Boone County Commissioner] Karen Miller. Karen reached out to me when I first moved to Columbia. She has introduced me to other leaders in the community and has provided me with some insight into the community. Karen is a very successful leader in Columbia, and I admire her passion to connect people within the community.
WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I have the opportunity to work for a company that allows me to serve customers and improve lives. I believe in the company and who we are. I enjoy being in the field close to our customers, retail stores and techs.
IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD: Teach children. Initially when I graduated from high school, my desire was to teach and coach tennis. I began working for a telecommunications company and loved it so much that I changed direction to a business-focused career.
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME AND HOW: My biggest career obstacle was advancing to my current level without a college degree by working many hours, possessing good communication skills and working closely with employees to ensure there was alignment with our business objectives. I dug into the details and made effective change by presenting the facts and working through solutions that my teams bought into.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: This profession is very competitive. With technology rapidly changing, our service and platform also have to change. With changes in technology, our services are more complex. We are more than just a “plain old telephone” company. We provide Internet, video and voice solutions. It is very exciting to be in a company that is growing to provide services to consumers and businesses to improve business and their lives.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN: I enjoy spending time with my children and granddaughter. I also enjoy playing golf, going to the lake and tailgating at MU events. I love watching football, and I am a huge Dallas Cowboys fan.
FAMILY: I have two great children, who live in Columbia. My son is 19 and plans to attend Columbia College in the fall, and my daughter is 21 and works for CenturyLink. She has a beautiful 18-month-old girl named Sienna. The rest of our family is in Texas.
FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: I look forward to having fun discovering my favorite place, trying different restaurants and determining what golf course I enjoy the most.
ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: I am most proud of raising two children while balancing the demands of a career.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT I: Most people do not know that I am a grandmother.

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