Ready for Takeoff - A Story of Change: Personal and Professional

My journey to motherhood began a year ago. I chose to take some time off from my career to plan and enjoy a series of both personal and professional life changes. On the personal part, we traveled to Spain, got engaged in Hawaii, I remained fit during pregnancy with daily Pure Barre, gave back through volunteering at New York Cares, and we welcomed our new son Parker on February 22nd, 2017.

As for professional changes, I attended the Dreamforce conference and became a certified Salesforce Administrator. I completed the implementation of Salesforce Service Cloud for Shake Shack, and continue to give back professionally by helping nonprofit, Hope Over Heroin connect with people more effectively through Salesforce.

Parker is now three months and my new consulting business is born, The Pukka Panda. The Pukka Panda started a few years ago as a blog to share stories of my personal customer experiences aligned to business.  

Pŭkka is a British term for authentic or genuine - and what you get with me - a genuine smile and connection. Panda has always been a nickname of mine and a simple way for me to explain how to pronounce my name to the Starbucks barista, Randa: Panda with an ‘R’.

 The Pŭkka Panda is a new step, with many more exciting events to occur in the next few months; I will marry my true love and amazing partner in life whom provides constant joy and encouragement to me with everything - reminds me to always live in the moment. We will move into a new home here in Brooklyn and together embark on our new life journey.

 In our interactions with family, friends, co-workers and companies, we all go through similar daily changes and events. In the midst of Alexa, Siri, and the Internet of Things,  The Pukka Panda will create an effective and authentic experience with the customer at the center.

Authentic Across Your Different Devices and Connections

As a working mom, professional, and soon to be step-mom and wife - we all have different personas of how we perceive the world and interact with others. What remains consistent is the desire for a personal and authentic connection. 

Whether we are on our mobile phone dropping the kids off, waiting for a flight on a video conference call using our iPad, no matter the device - we want a simple way to connect for an effortless experience.

In the last 14 years, I have led teams in service delivery, customer service, network infrastructure, and product. I have a passion for improving the interactions with customers and the systems that support it - making them more efficient and consistent across all departments.

The Pukka Panda will provide an outside perspective to improve the processes and tools companies use to connect their business operations and customers. I will help fill the white spaces in the organizational structure when handing off between roles from sales through to customer service and billing.

The Pukka Panda brings technology and operations together to create a cohesive customer journey across all communication channels using cloud applications like

Read my professional story for more information on my past journey and experience. I look forward to helping companies improve customer interactions through a positive and authentic experience. If you know of any businesses that would benefit, please give me a call - 646.634.2114 or forward them to my contact page.

Why You Should Shop Local & Small All Year

‘Alexa, please place order for Charmin toilet paper’.

I wait for the smile and ‘hello’... It doesn’t come.

I wait for the satisfaction of touching and feeling my new toilet paper… I don’t get it.

Okay, toilet paper is probably not the best example - you get my point.

We recently got an Amazon Echo. While it is fantastic for the daily news briefings, the weather, and newly discovered reading of audio books from our library, I am a big fan of walking into a store for close to 90% of my purchases.

With Amazon, you are getting the price, what about the value? The value of a moment. The value of seeing someone smile other than the UPS driver that drops off your shipment just to create another box to throw in the recycling.

Here are a few reasons why you should shop local and small all year, not just on Small Business Saturday.

Establish a Personal Connection

This is my favorite. When you walk in the store, they remember you. You have the opportunity for an authentic conversation and smile. They email or text you directly about sales versus being controlled by the latest AI personalization technology.

Socialize at Community Events

After you establish the personal connection, you get to experience events at the local store which benefit the community and allow you to meet more people - and get more smiles.

Exercise and Save Money

Get off your couch and take a walk to your local store. Take an adventure on the train and interact with the real world. You will be a lot closer to your 10,000 step goal.

Save money. When you are local, you can think about it and go back on your way home from work instead of buying online and forgetting to return - after not knowing the real quality that is now the reality with fast fashion.

Limit Your Choices

One of the biggest benefits of local boutiques includes curating the best products to save you time. This is one of the main reasons I am not a fan of big box stores. See more in my post Limit Choices To Increase Sales by 600%

Instant Gratification

You can touch and feel it. I am a fan of physical touch. It is my top love language. You also get to bring it home immediately. Even if Amazon Prime got it to your door in two days, you may end up with the infamous ‘We missed you’ sticker left on your door. Or it goes missing from your hallway.


I am not alone. Even though there is an increase in mobile shopping, the reality is people use all channels during their journey to the final purchase. See stats in the picture below for in-store preference.


I encourage you to embrace local direct and small stores when possible to support the community. The experience is just so much better than big box stores.

Yours Truly,

The Pukka Panda