Delivering reliable telecommunications and data services across Alaska is tough. Reaching remote villages by fiber, microwave, and satellite in sub-zero temperatures is extremely complicated but Paula Cook as Sr. Manager of Strategic Account Program for GCI Communications Corp., thrives on meeting these challenges as she understands how critical connectivity is for all Alaskans. Within the Government, Healthcare, and Education department she leads a team that is laser focused to help healthcare clinics and school districts with their participation in the USAC Rural Healthcare and E-Rate programs. These programs has allowed rural Alaskans to have vital connectivity necessary to receive quality healthcare and education as those living in urban areas.
Paula started her career with CelluarOne/McCaw Communications in Anchorage Alaska in 1994, selling three-watt car phones and flip phone and calling plans at a $1.00 per minute; wireless data had not been invented then. Fast forward to today and GCI is the first carrier on Alaska to offer 5G wireless services. She has won numerous consecutive sales awards as Executive, Major, and Enterprise Account Managers for AT&T Wireless, CellularOne/Dobson, and GCI. She transitioned to manage the Stratic Account Program in 2017 and finds it exciting and exhilarating to daily find ways to continuously improve how we support our customers in an ever-evolving environment.
In her 27 years in telecom, she is most proud of GCI’s response to Covid-19 last year to deliver an unprecedented volume of cell phones, cable modems, rural broadband, data connectivity, and other creative solutions during the pandemic. It was inspiring to be a member of a company that rallied to help our neighbors in crisis, putting people first before profit.
Paula recently joined WICT this year and looks forward to meeting other like-minded women in leadership roles at the upcoming Rising Leadership Program, and to learn new concepts in how to effectively manage teams based upon core values. In her spare time Paula enjoys zipping around Anchorage on her e-bike.