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Thoughtworker Spotlight: Karen Hinks



November 18, 2022

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Professional photo of Karen on the left in a pink shirt and a photo of karen on the right in a pink shirt and a unicorn headband.

What can you say about Karen Hinks, Client Service Manager here at Thoughtworks? A lot, quite frankly. She has the type of tenacity that makes you believe she can do anything and go anywhere and the type of loyalty that lets you know she’ll always be right where you need her to be. Although her career has spanned industries and verticals, people have always been at the centre of what she does, and her ability to make anyone she speaks to feel like they are the only person in the world is partly why she excels. When she’s not trying to sneak vegetables into her son’s food, exploring her new home on the east coast, or wishing one of her favourite products (she has two; I told you there was a lot) was the Jetson character it resembles (can you guess what it is?), you’ll find her walking her two-year-old beagle; either towards or away from a donair.

Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on?

As a Client Service Manager, my work spans multiple partners and projects, focusing on deepening and expanding relationships within our portfolio. In my case, Portfolio 3 currently spans Ford, VTS and Lululemon, where I support our engagements in the pursuit of business impact and a positive experience for both partner and Connector. 

What’s the most interesting challenge about the project?

I’m constantly hunting new, exciting, and innovative opportunities for Connectors to engage with to drive impact for our clients.

Where did you work before Connected?

Prior to Connected, I worked as a Client Manager, Technology Solutions with Encore Market Engagement, engaging with multiple clients and overseeing field sales enablement through technology solutions for Jamieson Wellness, Maple Leaf Foodservice, Keurig Doctor Pepper Group and Canada Bread (now Bimbo Canada).  

Before Encore, I spent time at Cineplex Entertainment with their Media Team as an Account Manager for Interactive Technologies (TimePlay and the Interactive Media Wall), providing creative solutions for our Media clients to engage experientially with Cineplex theatre guests. One of the most memorable solutions was a Blue Jay’s Batting experience allowing guests to bat a fastball using gestures.  

And going back just a little further, I was a Technology Solutions Manager with Mosaic Sales Solutions. I supported the Consumer Electronics team by creating unique ways to engage with target consumers for well-known brands like Rogers, Samsung, HP and Microsoft.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?

I worked in multiple manufacturing environments when I began my career while still in university. Metal fabrication, nuclear instrumentation, woodworking, you name it! One of the key pieces of advice I was given was to have an exit strategy from manufacturing as a business vertical (manufacturing was largely moving offshore at that time). I’m incredibly proud of how I transitioned my skill set across multiple business verticals from manufacturing to marketing to experiential marketing technologies, field sales solutions, and now software-powered products. It showed me that your attitude determines your altitude, which comes down to relationships and consensus building.

More recently, I won a new opportunity for Connectors, opening up two new work streams within an existing client in a department that we hadn’t worked with before.  

Do you have a mantra you live by?

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

What do you love to do outside of work?

You’ll find me hanging out with Damon, my son. I’m also constantly on the prowl for new gluten-free recipes to test out and innovative new ways to hide vegetables from unknowing and largely unwilling taste buds. We recently moved to Nova Scotia, so there’s always an opportunity to explore, from road trips, camping, festivals, and of course, food! I mean, who doesn’t love a Donair? And after the Donair, I usually like to take Miss Marcie Moo, our 2-year-old beagle, for a walk.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?

Album – oh there’s so many – Any New Country Mix, U218 Singles, Depeche Mode Violator.  I can’t choose one, I love all music, and it changes with my mood.

Movie – Pursuit of Happyness (or any Hallmark Christmas movie)

Book – Cannery Row by John Steinbeck or anything by Ernest Hemingway

Describe yourself in three words. 

Tenacious, loyal and creative.

And finally, what’s your favourite product and why? 

It’s a tie, so you get two!

I love our iRobots: Doreen (our spray mop/sweeper), who reminds me so much of Rosy the Robot from the Jetsons if only she could cook too. And of course, I can’t forget Victor (our Vacuum), carefully named by Damon and short for Victory, who likes to vacuum my office at the most inopportune moments even though I’m grateful I don’t have to do it myself.

Google Nest Hub is also a family favourite: Damon learned to request Google play Baby Shark on repeat when he was 2. Now it reminds him when to brush his teeth and tells us the weather and what we have planned for the day. Not to mention when to work, eat, stretch, drink water, and best of all, it can do all that while playing just about any song I want. 

I seriously love this gadget. We even recently changed the voice of our google home to be more non-descript to avoid the continuance of gender bias or the unintentional treatment of women as staff or servants.

Karen with her son, Karen on a hike with sunglasses and a blue bucket hat, and Karen with her husband,son, and beagle.

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