Karla Hester

What is your role at VSO? I am VSO’s VP of Operations. In this role I help to guide the organization in making decisions for VSO’s long-term profitability and sustainability. My background in Human Resources brings in key elements necessary to ensure teams are meeting goals in relation to the overall business strategy.

 

What experience did you have before joining VSO? I began my career in college recruiting. In 2000 I was hired by Novus Consulting Group to manage their technical recruiting efforts. I later became the head of Human Resources & Recruiting. When NovusCG was acquired by IBM in 2007, I was a member of the integrations team and later moved into communications and education support for the Data Center Services organization. In 2010, I joined the IBM Cloud Programs team, which was in its infancy, to build out the cloud offerings enablement program for the worldwide sales teams. By 2012, IBM Cloud was its own division and I continued to support Cloud Sales Enablement needs, as well as internal and partner marketing and communications for the of the Cloud portfolio.

 

What brought you to VSO? In 2017, Steve O’Keefe mentioned he was exploring “getting the band back together” to start a Cloud consulting firm. I was intrigued and wanted to be a part of it as I knew that I would be with a team of individuals that think logically and act ethically. While I found my time at IBM worthwhile and allowed for a lot of creativity, I knew I could make a larger impact at a small organization long-term. I officially joined the team in 2018 and have enjoyed all the ups and downs of a startup. It gives you so many experiences to learn from and gives you perspective on what should be repeated and what should not be repeated EVER again in your lifetime.

What is something you love about VSO? What I appreciate most about VSO is that one is constantly learning AND teaching, no matter the position one holds within the company. I have learned new things from every level in this small company. I am fascinated by our innate ability to support each other without question and teach each other without pain. This practice helps support my favorite VSO First Principle, “We will not waste time”. The more we learn every step of the way, the less time we spend trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’. Our most valuable commodity is time and VSO does a great job using it wisely, while growing steadily.

 

What keeps you busy outside of VSO? When not enjoying cross-country road trips with my walking encyclopedia husband, Tim, and our 2 children, I find great joy in helping non-profits be more efficient and capitalize on opportunities to provide great value to those they serve. In my leftover leisure time, I love playing strategy board games, complicated cake decorating and a great bottle of vodka on the rocks, while living in the great state of Texas.