For Karri Parks, director of sales operations for Cricket Wireless, a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T, providing great leadership is a quality she takes seriously. Parks has held her current position with Cricket for two-and-a-half years but has worked for AT&T close to two decades. Her role in leadership/management positions has not only impacted company growth but has also motivated employees under her supervision to give and be their best, both professionally and personally.
In her present role, Parks is responsible for optimizing the retail experience for sales advocates and customers, which includes establishing store policies and procedures, and risk monitoring and reporting.
“The group that I lead is responsible for four areas of focus,” said Parks. “One is retail program management. When new products and programs are rolled out to the field, they come through my team to make sure that we optimize the total experience for our customers and employees. I also oversee risk management, onboarding support and our employee uniform program known as Cricket Couture.”
According to Parks, 11 employees report directly to her, who have nationwide responsibilities on behalf of Cricket’s 4,800-plus stores. Parks is proud to have provided impactful leadership to numerous programs over the years for both Cricket and AT&T.
“In 2017, we were excited to roll out our Phone Payment Plan for Cricket stores, which allows customers to lease-to-own their devices,” Parks explained. “I’m also proud of the work my team did in 2017 that helped evolve our network to enable more advanced features and services for our customers. My team helped manage both projects.”
Prior to her current position with Cricket, Parks held management/leadership positions with AT&T, including director of product management (digital life), senior product development manager (emerging devices), and senior product manager (voice & data product marketing). As a progressive leader, Parks, who holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Howard University and a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University, managed the launch of the first wireless internet product for Bellsouth Mobility, and while with Cingular, Parks was the first product manager to oversee downloadable ringtones, games and apps.
To augment what Parks has achieved professionally, she is proud to be a Six Sigma Greenbelt and a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She is also an advisor to AT&T Project Management Network.
While Parks is consistently busy, she makes time to help empower young women through volunteerism with the Summer Immersion Session for Girls Who Code Atlanta, an organization whose goals are to close the gender gap in technology for young women. Parks also volunteers through AT&T’s commitment and partnership with Junior Achievement, the storied organization created to inspire and prepare young people to succeed.
Drawing from her professional and personal experiences, Parks’ messages resonate with the young people she connects with through volunteerism. Parks’ advice to the youth.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how things work and why things work,” said Parks, a Rochester, New York native. “And don’t be afraid to raise your hand to volunteer for projects, which can often lead to reaching higher plateaus. It’s okay to take a chance and take some risks. You are prepared more than you think, and if you’re not, find a way to close the gaps.”