Caroline Conner

Operations Leader -
Process, Design Ops, & Culture

Self-starter, an empathetic leader with a passion for efficient, repeatable processes that empower cross-functional teams to create best-in-class products from a human-centered mindset.

Experience

May 2021 | Jun 2022

Program Director, Growth Marketing

As part of the leadership team, collaborated to define the strategic vision and goals, establishing a culture of accountability and psychological safety. Defined client services and project management best practices for the newly formed Growth Marketing group. Led navigation of change management within a hyper-growth company and branch growth over 500% in 1 year, operates like a startup within the larger organization. Conducted tool assessments and led process improvements. Ran the largest growth account, IBM Cloud Services, with multiple workstreams, evangelizing our work to executive stakeholders through multiple reorganizations. Led cross-functional teams of Product Strategists, Content Strategists, Designers, Engineers, QA, and Data Analysts. Supervised Project Managers, mentored Marketing Managers and Directors in team and client management, ensuring the Growth team demonstrates company core values.

Mar 2017 | Mar 2019

Director, Leadership Team

Led initiatives, including new reporting format for utilization, identifying and maintaining employee targets, and implementing new automation tools (HRIS, Resourcing, Recruiting). Introduced new onboarding-offboarding, performance evaluation processes. Conducted analysis, planning, and support for the company restructure. Took charge of the Recruiting function, almost doubling company headcount, tripling our internship engagement, and quadrupled our relationships with design schools to inject fresh talent. Mentored and supported design Directors, provided counsel for Executive decisions.

Jul 2010 | Apr 2017

Director, Delivery – previous titles Associate Director, Sr Project Manager

Developed and maintained agency best practices, supervising the team of project managers. Doubled the size of the Delivery team while leading cross-functional teams for a variety of digital, mobile, and wearable design projects. Ensured solution adherence to business, functional and technical requirements. Risk mitigation for project schedules and budgets. Facilitated design review meetings serving as the primary client contact. Managed third-party vendors, freelance designers, and coordinated user research. Executed company-wide resource allocations, assignments, project scope, produced statements of work (SOW), and created and authored new business proposals. Served as the program manager for internal and marketing projects.

Jul 2007 | Jun 2010

Senior Project Manager – Freelance

Independent Project Management Contractor for Euro RSCG, Publicis Modem, Giant Creative-Strategy (now Evoke), Anderson DDB Health & Lifestyle, PayPal, Wells Fargo, OneTouch, Genentech, and pharmaceutical companies.

Produced websites and online advertising campaigns, launched new drug campaigns.

Jun 2005 | Jun 2007

Senior Project Manager

Implemented and enforced procedures for the agency. Leader for all accounts (adidas, Jeep, Motorola, Seagate, Ray-Ban, Persol, Arnette). Projects included traditional, collateral, outdoor, station domination, digital, and broadcast. Supervised all Project Managers, Proofreaders, Creative Directors, and teams. Interim Manager for the Studio between Studio Managers. Supported the Creative Services Director and Studio Manager with resource management. Produced all New Business pitches (over 30 significant presentations in two years), and coordinated with Global TBWA network offices in Milan, Amsterdam, and China.

Jul 2003 | Jun 2005

Traffic Manager

Traffic Manager for all accounts (HP, Microsoft, RadioShack, and Pro Bono). Developed processes with the Production Director, assisted with Studio Management and produced Traditional, DM, POS, Packaging, CD- ROM, Direct Email, Online, and Trade Show materials. Performed stock photography Art Buying, provided photoshoot support, and supervised in-house color correction and pre-press process.

Jun 2000 | Jul 2003

Project Manager

Contracted for Highway One, J. Walter Thompson-Tonic, and Harrison, Wilson & Associates. Assigned to high- volume accounts such as Levi’s Dockers, Sun Microsystems, and Microsoft.

Other Experience

Park City, UT January-March 2002

Olympics – Salt Lake Organizing Committee | Sector Coordinator

Directly assisted Event Services managers with all Olympic events at Park City Mountain Resort.
Supervised and scheduled thirty Specialists and hundreds of volunteers.
Collaborated with all departments including Logistics, Sports, Entertainment, Transportation, Telecommunication and Federal Security Agencies.

Hospitality, Tourism, and Fine Dining

Restaurant Front of House service and management experience.
Tourism and hospitality Guest Services.
Led trail ride tours in Park City, UT.
Ran horseback program at Co-Ed residential camp in Florissant, CO.

Education

Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Classic Civilization
Williams College

Expertise

Project Management

Product Design Support

Cross-functional Team Leadership

Reporting & Analytics

Leadership Development

Strategic Planning

Conflict Resolution

Talent Management

Organizational Leadership

Contract Negotiation

Results

Led a cross-functional project team to grow the Nissan account from $300K to over $3MM. Produced over 10 RFP presentations and executed subsequent Statements of Work (SOW).

Project Management leader for the growth of a $40K single project into a $2MM anchor account, to become the client embedded design service team. Gained the trust of over 50 client stakeholders to define an active engagement process.

Streamlined management of resources for cost savings of $5K weekly, for a total of over $240K annual cost savings.
Shortened weekly meetings by 50% and facilitated ad hoc requests for weekly opportunity costs savings over $5500.

Meet Caroline

Q & A

Why did you choose your profession?

As long as I can remember, I have been driven to find the most efficient way to complete even the most mundane task. I also enjoy meeting and working with all types of personalities. Project management and operations allow me to solve problems across a community of diverse people driving towards a common goal.

Who are your main influences?

B.K.S Iyengar: Iyengar is responsible for introducing yoga to the western world. His approach to yoga not only captures the philosophy and spiritual sides of yoga, but he also established an organized system of practicing that provides the most therapeutic method to address issues in the body.

The partners at Punchcut: The executives at Punchcut taught me not only how to run a business, but also how to do so with compassion, empathy, and a genuine concern for their employees. I can’t thank them enough for showing me that a company can have some of the most talented, intelligent people with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure of working while keeping humans at the center of their design thinking and company decision-making.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

This is a difficult question, but I’d have to say I am proudest that I have worked, and continue to work, on being the best possible human being I can be. We are all works in progress, but I strive to care about each and every person that crosses my path, make time for constant self-reflection, and try to leave things as good or better than I found them. I have been moved and humbled in recent years by the reflections I’ve received from people throughout my life, some of whose lives I didn’t realize I had touched in such a profound way.

What tools do you use?

I am flexible on the hard tools I use, but the most common is any sort of spreadsheet and/or workflow collaboration tools: Google Workplace, Jira, Asana, Confluence, Trello, Mural, Miro, Figma, etc. And of course, communication tools like PowerPoint/Keynote, and some combination of whiteboards and PostIts (physical or virtual) for brainstorming and high-level thinking. Perhaps more important than the vast variety of technological and practical tools available these days are the soft skills I use in every personal and business interaction: empathy, active listening, change management, and mediation.

What are you working on right now?

I recently moved to Ohio to be near my family and care for my mother as she ages. After providing live-in care for her for almost 3 years, I have taken some time off to relocate and recover before seeking my next opportunity.

What are your long term goals?

My long term goals are to find companies who need help scaling and streamlining their operations, and to give back to my professional and personal communities to bring meaningful change to our societal systems.

Interests & Hobbies

Yoga

Hiking

Jigsaw Puzzles

Testimonials

“I watched Caroline grow through several leadership roles at Punchcut, from directing our project management practice to guiding the growth of our design studio. With experience that ranges from future concepts to market-ready products, Caroline is a master in the art of helping designers get design done. She’s skilled in managing the design process for a variety of project types, assembling the talent we need to make it happen, and collaborating with clients to ensure we’re engaged with key stakeholders in product, design, and engineering.

Throughout it all, people are at the core of Caroline’s mission. As a facilitator of our end-of-project debrief sessions, she helped us uncover ways we could work better and happier. She also structured our recruiting system and career advancement process, helping create a beloved design community and leaving a lasting mark on our studio culture.”

Emilio Passi, Director of Design Technology @ Punchcut

“I had the pleasure of working with Caroline for several years at Punchcut. She, in fact, interviewed and hired me when I started with the company. Caroline is motivated, motivating, and high energy. All traits that made her an awesome boss (she supervised me as Director of Delivery). Her enthusiasm for her work was infectious, and her understanding of the specifics of our industry helped guide me in my own transition deeper into the world of user experience design. She has a direct and pragmatic approach that makes her a savvy problem-solver and adept at wrangling clients, unruly groups of designers…basically anyone. Her presence (and her laugh!) are sorely missed around here.”

Stephen Xanthos, Lead Project Manager @ Punchcut

“Caroline is the best. A true professional. She is, as everyone knows, more enthusiastic than anyone you’ll ever work with. As well, she’s tireless in whatever she does. I’d work with her again in a heartbeat.”

Matt Rivitz, Founder of Sleeping Giants, Copywriter, and Speaker

“Caroline is an incredibly dedicated leader and team member. She’s like the team’s mama bear – she ensures team members have the info and tools they need to be successful, she creates clear project plans and roadmaps, and she communicates with internal and external stakeholders. Caroline is incredibly collaborative and teams up well with everyone from the CEO to the summer intern. It’s not just professional, either. Caroline really cares about each team member as a person and makes it clear she has their back.”

Samantha Berg, Head of Design at Chime