S. Chris Palermo F
Founder, CEO & President
– Global Communication Networks, Inc.
When his company Global Communication Networks (GCN) landed on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the fastest growing U.S. firms for the second year in a row, founder Chris Palermo was quick to credit both his client customers and his team associates. “People buy from people,” he says. “It’s all about trust.”
Chris learned that lesson early in his career. It led him to win perennial sales awards during the seven years he served the complex and continually evolving telecommunication needs of corporate customers, first with Allnet Communications, then AT&T and, finally, Cable & Wireless.
Problem was, as a Global Account Manager with each of these renowned service providers, he could only address customers’ requirements with the solutions offered by his employer at the time. Too often that kept him from delivering complete solutions tailored to a customer’s particular situation. Gaps in geographic coverage. Technology patchworks. Bandwidth bottlenecks. These were typical frustrations for his large corporate customers, especially international ones. And opportunities for Chris. As a global agency for a wide range of service providers, he could offer his customers the best from each carrier’s portfolio, providing a custom fit every\ time. In this spirit, GCN was born.
Since opening for business in 1997, GCN has come to represent more than 150 service providers worldwide, from the largest international carriers to smaller domestic ones in emerging markets. GCN’s ability to deliver extremely cost-effective voice, data, colocation and managed data services solutions anywhere in the world drives the company’s success.
Its customers include leading Global 100 and Fortune 500 companies. If they need server capacity colocated in Lithuania, GCN can deliver that as capably as it can in London, Johannesburg, Moscow, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York and hundreds of other cities worldwide. In fact, one of the world’s largest providers of cloud-based computing enlists GCN to help fill the holes\ in its global service fabric.
Although GCN’s PMI-certified project managers direct all customer deployments, Chris prefers keeping his customer relationships highly personal with frequent calls and visits. This “high-touch” approach continues t win GCN a constant stream of referrals from customers and his carrier partners alike—validation that drives GCN’s growth today as it will in the future.
Also key to GCN’s growth is its associates. Chris believes in giving his team members plenty of opportunities to excel and grow professionally, along with the guidance and resources to do so.
With his people-first attitude and can-do optimism, Chris has led GCN to win numerous industry accolades and awards. Among its many carrier awards are: Telx Channel Partner of the Year, 2011, 2012; several top sales awards from Level 3; nine-time Sprint President’s Club Winner; Intelisys Top Performance Club, 2011; MicroCorp Top Sales, 2010-2012. In addition, Chris has sat on the advisory boards of Level 3, Global Crossing, Telx, Pacnet, Zayo, MicroCorp and Latisys.
In past years, he earned the informal\ title of “Bandwidth Doctor” from one of GCN’s largest clients. Best-selling author Bruce Judson referenced Chris’s success story in his book “Go It Alone.” He was also the subject of a cover story “Capitalizing on Colo” in Phone + magazine (now called Channel Partners).
As hard as he works serving GCN’s customers, Chris carries a deep commitment to his wife and three children with whom he enjoys spending time and staying engaged in their many activities. He combines his interest in triathalons and physical fitness with community-building activities, raising more than $20,000 for cancer research in 2012. As a 1991 graduate of the University of Florida, Chris is an avid Gator fan. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the Boca Raton Resort and Club and is a board member of Millicorp, a Florida-based VoIP service provider.
Updated May 1, 2013