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Redefining Success By Clients and Tradition with Kelly Lazuka of Fullerton

On this episode, be a part of host Carrie Charles as she explores the important components of workforce enhancement for sustainable enterprise progress and prosperity. Carrie sits down with Kelly Lazuka, the CEO of Fullerton, for an insightful dialogue on constructing high-performing groups.

Uncover how Fullerton, a tier one supplier, has harnessed the facility of mentorship applications, management coaching, and ability improvement workshops to create an distinctive staff that propels enterprise progress. Moreover, acquire useful insights into Fullerton’s current rebranding journey, aligning their imaginative and prescient with their evolution right into a premier tier one supplier.

Tune in to achieve useful views on optimizing your workforce, fostering inclusiveness, and driving enterprise progress by steady studying and progressive management methods.  


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Redefining Success By Clients and Tradition with Kelly Lazuka of Fullerton

Now we have with us the Chief Govt Officer of Fullerton, Kelly Lazuka. Kelly, thanks a lot for becoming a member of me. I’m enthusiastic about this dialog.

Thanks for having me, Carrie. I’m too.

Kelly, I like your story. Your journey and the way you bought to the place you’re, please, are you able to inform us?

I began within the trade in ‘99. I began with SAC. It was a really small firm at the moment. I might need been the twenty second worker, if I keep in mind proper. Over time, they grew into this monumental, turnkey service choices firm. It was a fantastic journey there. I had a variety of good experiences. I used to be capable of transfer from a website acquisition specialist. I keep in mind my first project was out attempting to get farmers to signal leases for AT&T for a giant piece of their land. They’d invite us in for dinner. They felt sorry for us youngsters, on the highway, consuming quick meals on a regular basis.

I had the most effective expertise doing that. We met some good, fantastic individuals. Over time, I adopted the management tracks there. I went from a challenge supervisor to a program supervisor, to a troubleshooter. I had these numerous titles. In 2011, my boss got here to me and stated, “I’ve this nice concept, and right here’s what it’s. Now, go determine the right way to architect it.” It was a trademarked concept from SAC known as the Engine Room. It was a centralized idea of performing front-end providers, nearly a manufacturing unit. We opened the doorways to that idea in April of 2012.

From there, it took off. It was a panic for me. I needed to rent all these individuals. We needed to rent and begin off with 110 individuals. There weren’t 110 individuals sitting at dwelling ready for my cellphone name, that’s for positive at the moment. We needed to get a bit artistic. We partnered with our staffing firms and bought individuals who had related and transferable expertise. I used to joke once I stated I had all the pieces from hairdressers to MBA there. I known as a variety of my relations to get them in. Once I look again at that, it was loopy.

I take a look at the place all of those younger individuals ended up now, and a variety of them are in positions the place they’re prospects of mine, and in positions to offer out work, handle distributors, and handle groups. That’s rewarding for me to have the ability to see that. It was time for me to go away as Nokia bought SAC. Truthfully, in 2021, I thought of opening my very own factor, and I’m glad I didn’t, given the trade as it’s. I used to be approached by Fullerton. They stated they wanted someone to run their wi-fi division, which included their website acquisition, engineering, and utility coordination. I got here into Fullerton as President of that division, and a 12 months later, they named me CEO.

It seems like in your profession, you stated sure over and over. You have been all the time hungry for progress.

That’s the message. Don’t be afraid to study one thing new. What do they are saying about being uncomfortable? That’s the way you develop. I used to be lucky sufficient to have nice individuals behind me, instructing me as I went. I used to be very fortunate.

Don’t be afraid to study one thing new even in case you are uncomfortable. That’s the way you develop.

Who’s Fullerton now? I do know that there’s been a number of modifications.

They began out as strictly an engineering and design agency in ‘98. They did that for a very long time, and so they have been very profitable at it. In about 2012 to 2015, they began including all these different providers, fiber, design, DAS design, DAS set up, and website acquisition. They began including all of those new providers and began to develop. In 2019, they added in-house and a few building providers. Now they went from this boutique A&E agency to this full turnkey providers supplier. That’s thrilling and scary, that progress that rapidly. It’s thrilling as a result of it makes Fullerton far more related now in what’s occurring. Clients wish to give out work the place they’ll have a vendor do a couple of service line.

That’s the place we’re at now. Alongside that journey, Fullerton grew to become not only a tier 2 or tier 3 vendor to the massive canine that have been offering providers immediately for the carriers and tower firms. We’ve now turn out to be a tier-one supplier. We do work immediately for carriers and tower firms. We nonetheless present tier two providers, for the opposite firms that we have now up to now. We have been a pleasant combine now, a pleasant mixture of each.

You underwent a significant rebrand. Inform me the why behind it. I like your new web site. We’ll speak about that.

Thanks. We did. We went by a rebrand. It grew to become very clear to me that our web site and our emblem nonetheless screamed, “Engineering solely.” I’ve individuals that might say, “I didn’t know you guys did building.” My prospects say, “You guys do utility coordination. I didn’t know that.” It grew to become very clear that we needed to get a greater message out to the trade and our prospects that we at the moment are a bigger participant. We all the time did engineering very nicely. We nonetheless do it very nicely.

It’s our core competency, however we additionally do a variety of different issues very nicely. That was the crux behind the rebrand. We’re nonetheless Fullerton Engineering, LLC. That’s our authorized entity identify. We dropped that moniker. We design, develop, and assemble. That sums up the service choices whatever the division like DAS, fiber, and website acquisition. It sums up all the pieces that we do as a corporation.

Kelly, one factor I find out about you, and in addition that individuals have instructed me, is that you’re masterful at constructing a powerhouse staff. After we talked earlier, you stated that you just modified a bit bit the way in which that you just entice and develop expertise. What would you say is totally different now?

Our trade is just not that giant. It could appear huge, nevertheless it’s not that huge. There may be not this pool of gifted leaders sitting on the market consistently in search of jobs. I do have a powerhouse staff, and credit score to them as a result of they’re wonderful. Numerous that staff was constructed from inside, whether or not at my earlier group or right here. Now we have a dedication to constructing a management pipeline from throughout the group as a result of, to me, I all the time thought that was tremendous strategic and forward-thinking when it got here to expertise improvement. Recognizing that potential and worth of these current staff provides to our tradition of progress and alternative, which is what we’re attempting to do right here. We obtain that by creating these leaders in numerous methods.

5TT Kelly Lazuka | Team Building
Crew Constructing: Be forward-thinking in terms of expertise improvement. Recognizing their potential, particularly current staff, provides to your office tradition of progress and alternative.

Mentorship applications are one, and Fullerton’s on the point of roll up our Pathway to Management Program, which we’re enthusiastic about that. Management coaching is one thing everyone talks about, however how do you deliver somebody in? What coaching do you do? It doesn’t need to value some huge cash. Your advantages supplier, your payroll firm, in case you’re outsourcing HR, these firms generally have these management coaching in-built. You simply need to faucet into them.

We’re making these out there to our future leaders. Ability improvement workshops are one thing that I imagine in. We simply don’t do it. We’re going to begin regularly all through the years, bringing in, internet hosting totally different workshops and bringing in audio system to speak about issues like being a greater negotiator and higher time administration, the subjects which might be tailor-made to nurture and domesticate these rising leaders.

Staff are inspired to tackle new challenges and obligations. I had a younger lady come to me and say, “I’m a PM for website acquisition, however I wish to study building.” That warmed my coronary heart. We discovered a approach for her to start out studying that. She grew to become a PM on the development facet. We named her the director of our building providers. We encourage individuals to study. Such as you stated earlier, you don’t say no. You allow them to strive new issues. You’re investing within the worker’s skilled progress.

Enterprise leaders should encourage their staff to study and take a look at new issues since they’re investing of their skilled progress.

It not solely provides you this nice pool of leaders, nevertheless it creates a way of loyalty and dedication out of your staff. They don’t depart then. That’s nice as a result of now you’re offering stability inside your group and to your prospects. There’s no disruption with turnover. That’s what we’re doing right here as a result of the management piece, whether or not you’re a person or a girl, I don’t care. In the event you’re focused on it, we’re going to offer that to you right here at Fullerton.

We are able to study from that for positive. Are you able to go a bit deeper into the Fullerton tradition? What’s it to work at Fullerton?

I wish to suppose it’s okay, however you’d have to speak to my staff, I suppose. It’s gone by a change. There’s little question about it. Since I’ve been right here, I’ve even seen a change. It was that every division was each division for itself, each man and lady for itself. That doesn’t work when you’ve gotten prospects who’re asking for a number of service traces for both the identical program or a number of applications however the identical buyer. Our tradition is we’ve shifted to a extra collaborative tradition. Now we have all of those expert individuals, engineers, challenge managers, and designers. It was important that they arrive collectively to have the ability to develop these artistic options for our prospects. When prospects require a couple of of our service traces, inner communication and collaboration need to be tight.

In any other case, we’re not doing what we’re saying we’re going to do for them, which is to scale back their PM burden. Collaboration is huge right here within the tradition now. It didn’t use to be. The tempo of change in our trade is quick. It’s speedy that we do put that emphasis on steady studying, however we additionally put it on adaptability. The tradition right here is certainly one of very malleable in that we construction our group and our supply to that of our prospects to make it simpler for them. I discussed that we empower our leaders right here. That’s one other piece of our tradition that’s essential. Trusting individuals to maneuver rapidly and make the correct selections could be very arduous for all of us. What I stress right here is that in case you are hiring these individuals, it’s essential rent individuals that you just belief.

They’re going to make errors. That’s okay. At the start, that’s a studying expertise. Secondly, we’re not doing mind surgical procedure right here. In the event that they make a mistake, it is going to be very uncommon that you could’t assist stroll it again. It’s a studying expertise. Giving individuals the correct authority could be arduous, nevertheless it comes with distinctive concepts and options to issues that we might not have in any other case considered. Lastly, the tradition right here is certainly one of excessive moral concerns. Transparency and honesty, whether or not it’s internally or with our prospects, it’s practiced each day right here.

Being a girl in telecom, I do know that we’ve gotten higher with variety in our trade since I’ve been within the trade, however we nonetheless have challenges right here. What’s your technique to draw, retain, and even promote ladies to management roles?

We speak about this quite a bit. Carrie, you’ve spoken on this matter in depth. I’ve spoken on this matter a few instances. The very first thing that should occur is the corporate has to purchase into it. If we will speak about eager to be extra various, we will speak about wanting to advertise ladies into positions of authority and management. If the corporate doesn’t make the dedication, it’s simply phrases. For Fullerton, we have now a board that’s dedicated to doing that. Step one is to get a buy-in. Then the subsequent step for me is we alter how we recruit. We reworked our job descriptions. We checked out what we would like and what’s mandatory in a candidate versus what we’d wish to have.

We might additionally educate as a result of statistics present that if ladies don’t have nearly 100% of the {qualifications} listed in that job description, they won’t even apply. Whereas males really feel that if they’ve 60% of these {qualifications}, they do apply, and they need to. It’s there’s that massive confidence hole there. How can we, as a corporation, shut that hole? For us, it’s ensuring that we’re attracting feminine candidates by understanding what it’s that’s mandatory versus what our wishlist is. What we’ve additionally began doing is just not limiting ourselves to the useful resource pool that we expect could be acceptable. We have to open up our minds. I’m going to offer you an instance.

5TT Kelly Lazuka | Team Building
Crew Constructing: Ladies is not going to apply for a job in the event that they don’t have nearly 100% of its {qualifications}. Alternatively, males will nonetheless submit purposes even when they solely meet 60% of the {qualifications}.

Take an opportunity on mothers. Mothers care for their enterprise. They’re organized, they’re multitaskers, and so they’re nice in a disaster. We’re constructed for a disaster when we have now youngsters. They care about their kids, which implies they may care about their staff. That empathy, you see it throughout LinkedIn. You see it throughout social media, empathy. Moms have empathy, and so they get issues accomplished. Perhaps they’ve been out of the workforce a bit bit, however we have to tailor our strategy to verify we’re not lacking out on this untapped useful resource.

Lastly, what’s essential to draw and retain is we have to tailor our advantages. The advantages of a few of these firms are outdated. We’re engaged on our advantages bundle as nicely now. Many ladies, married or single, in case you’re working full-time and also you’re elevating a household, you’re caring for a home, you’re doing laundry, you’re pegging lunches, you’re doing homework, all of this stuff are occurring.

We’d like versatile hours. It’s essential that we don’t measure. Firms need to consider not measuring productiveness by amount of hours however somewhat by the standard of influence. Maternity depart entry to extra coaching, a clear view of wage bands, and profession pathing on the right way to transfer from degree to degree, these sorts of issues are essential to ladies. They’d be essential to me if I used to be on the market in search of a job now. That may be enticing to me much more than pay or title. You may construct that after you get in there. You may present what you deliver to the desk and what’s in your wheelhouse when you get in there. You probably have some flexibility to work with it initially, that’s extremely enticing.

Many ladies have had male mentors, and I do know that I’ve had unimaginable males who’ve helped me in my profession. How would you say what function can males play in supporting the profession progress of ladies?

I’m such as you, Carrie. I used to be lucky to have a few males advocate for me as I grew up on this trade. There weren’t a variety of feminine function fashions a few years in the past in our trade, sadly. That has modified now, and I’m glad to see that. They acknowledge my worth and what I deliver to the desk. I, such as you, really feel very fortunate. These days, males can play an important function by, to begin with, actively taking part and fostering an inclusive work surroundings and being allies and advocates. Males don’t understand that they’ll use their positions of affect to actually amplify the voices of their feminine colleagues and be sure that their contributions are acknowledged and valued.

Males don’t understand that they’ll use their positions of affect to amplify the voices of their feminine colleagues. They will be sure that ladies’s contributions are acknowledged and valued.

Now we have much more feminine mentors today. Males can nonetheless actively mentor and sponsor ladies and supply steering, recommendation, and alternatives for ability improvement and profession development. By championing ladies’s achievements and potential, males can begin to break down these gender stereotypes. They’ve extra clout in that space than they understand. Most significantly, males can provide credit score the place credit score is due and deserved. I’ll depart it at that.

I like that reply. Within the trade, particularly in building, firms discover it very troublesome to keep up variety. After we’re speaking a couple of various candidate pool or various groups, they discover it very troublesome. Particularly on this surroundings, when it’s even nonetheless in these financial instances we’re in, it’s nonetheless troublesome to seek out good individuals. What might we do higher as an trade in terms of variety?

It begins with the person group. It goes from there. Variety, not simply gender, however variety typically, is what you’re speaking about, Carrie. It begins with variety and inclusion coaching. The corporate must decide to offering that regularly, foundation. Right here at Fullerton, we began our worker engagement committee, and it has 5 pillars. One of many pillars is variety and inclusion. The very very first thing on that agenda is variety coaching for all of our staff. If persons are skilled correctly, it does result in advocating for equal alternatives and truthful illustration in any respect ranges.

Perhaps now for me, my management degree is missing in variety. I’m specializing in how, whether or not that’s new hiring practices, focusing on extra various useful resource swimming pools, or implementing ERGs, however I’m working now on how I can improve variety, particularly at that management degree as a result of that’s essential. Leaders must actively hear and have interaction in conversations with their individuals in order that they perceive the experiences that they’re having within the office and the trail that they wish to take. It fosters this deeper understanding of the challenges that the underrepresented teams might face, nevertheless it’s not simply listening to them. It’s taking that suggestions and making it actionable in methods that may create that extra inclusive and various workforce that everyone desires to be part of.

5TT Kelly Lazuka | Team Building
Crew Constructing: Leaders should actively hear and have interaction with their individuals to know their office experiences and the trail they honestly wish to go.

Let’s swap gears a bit. The economic system, trade, and all the pieces shifted. How are you adjusting to those new situations? Are there any modifications that you just’ve made at Fullerton?

That’s a tough fact. It has slowed down on the macro facet significantly. Happily, we’re nonetheless seeing the spending on the DAS and the fiber small cell program. That’s good for Fullerton as a result of it does preserve 2 of our 4 divisions busy. Nevertheless, our wi-fi providers and building groups are being hit like many others within the trade. We needed to pivot like a variety of firms, and also you and I spoke about this up to now, Carrie, on the way you increase your service choices. We bought a bit artistic. We centered on what extra wants we will fill for these prospects within the meantime. These are little issues which might be nonetheless essential to our prospects, however issues they may not get to once they’re tremendous busy within the midst of giant deployments.

It’s issues like information integrity, audits, upkeep, mopping their toilet flooring, no matter we will place ourselves, even when they’re decrease ticket gadgets in the entire income recreation. If we preserve ourselves in entrance of those prospects doing the smaller issues which might be essential, we will then place ourselves with those self same purchasers when the floodgates open again up. For us, we checked out our two slower divisions and got here up with a few various things which may preserve us afloat now. It’s about listening to our prospects alongside the way in which. We knew that there have been some information integrity points with a few of our prospects’ recordsdata as a result of we heard them saying that, and we financial institution that. Now that they’ve slowed down, we found out that want and found out an answer to fill that want. That’s the most effective recommendation I can provide, even when it’s not in your conventional scope.

There’s a lot discuss now concerning the funding, the $42 billion, the infrastructure cash that’s going to be flooding the economic system and the trade. How will Fullerton take part in bridging this digital divide?

That was a fantastic announcement. Fullerton has accomplished design work for most of the firms that may probably take part on this program. We do have relationships constructed, which is sweet for us. We already do a number of giant fiber-to-the-home applications on the design facet. We do have a ton of expertise on this space already. That is such an essential initiative, one which was highlighted throughout COVID because of the lack of connectivity in lots of rural areas. We’re excited to have the ability to deliver our data and expertise and take part in supporting these efforts for these underserved areas as a result of it’s vital as we bridge that digital divide. We’re enthusiastic about it. 100 million plus per state is critical.

Sure, it is vitally thrilling. Let’s look into the longer term. Give me an image of Fullerton 5 years from now. What’s your imaginative and prescient?

I get this query quite a bit since I’ve taken this function. Typically it’s arduous to think about, particularly throughout a downturn like this. You’re excited about, “How am I going to maintain issues afloat?” It is necessary that we set these targets. We’re now specializing in our building division, and the expansion of that division will assist us meet the income and profitability targets we’ve set for the subsequent 5 years. In 5 years, my private purpose is to have Fullerton working at thrice the income it’s now. Extra importantly, within the subsequent 5 years, I’d wish to say that Fullerton will likely be our trade’s first alternative for turnkey suppliers. That’s my want for Fullerton. That’s my purpose.

Kelly, I’ve little question that you will obtain that and your unimaginable staff as a result of we all know your staff. We work with you. Every little thing you’ve stated is spot on, and it’s the approach it’s. You stroll your discuss and your staff is wonderful. Let’s hear about this new web site. How can we discover out extra about Fullerton?

Sure, you may go to You may see our shiny new web site. It seems to be wonderful with our new emblem and a full rundown of all of our providers, together with instance initiatives by every division so you may see the place our specialties and our experience lie.

Kelly, this has been implausible. I all the time love speaking to you and catching up with you. I depart our conversations feeling motivated and impressed. Thanks for approaching the present.

Thanks a lot for having me. It was enjoyable.

Take care.


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About Kelly Lazuka

5TT Kelly Lazuka | Team BuildingKelly Lazuka has been within the wi-fi trade for 23 years. Earlier than becoming a member of Fullerton in 2021, she was with SAC Wi-fi, a Nokia firm, for over 20 years serving in numerous operational and enterprise improvement roles. Kelly discovered her area of interest as VP of Operations and the principal architect of SAC’s centralized idea for entrance finish providers. This new meeting line-like mannequin introduced website acquisition, A&E, scoping and close-outs below the identical umbrella leading to lowered cycle instances for purchasers and lowered annual overhead.


Kelly was appointed CEO at Fullerton in August of 2022 the place she beforehand served because the President of the Wi-fi Companies unit overseeing website improvement, architectural & engineering and utility coordination for purchasers nationwide. As CEO, Kelly leads your complete group which additionally contains PMO, fiber design, small cell and DAS design in addition to building providers. As an trade chief, she brings nice experience in program administration, world-class execution and customer support to the Fullerton staff and its prospects. In her spare time, Kelly could be discovered on the baseball subject watching certainly one of her 5 kids taking part in ball.

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