Meet Mark Wilson: VXI’s Newly Appointed Chief Impact Officer

7 minute read, posted on 05/01/2023, by VXI Marketing

Vx welcomes its new chief impact officer, Mark Wilson.

VXI is excited to welcome Mark Wilson, Chime Solution’s CEO, and founder, as VXI’s newly appointed Chief Impact Officer. Mark brings over 25 years of experience delivering exceptional customer support while changing the narrative in underserved communities.

His passion for community-building and vision for purpose-driven outsourcing earned him several prestigious awards, including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2010.

Following the acquisition of Chime Solutions, we sat down with Mark to learn more about his journey, Chime’s mission, and how he plans to build on its success in his new role within VXI.

Q:  Mark, thank you for joining me today. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

Mark: Sure, well like most folks I got my start working in a call center, as an entry-level business analyst for Dun & Bradstreet. I was with the company for around seventeen years, but within that time advanced through the ranks pretty quickly. It was a former boss and mentor from D&B that provided me with what I consider one of my career-defining opportunities. I was given the task of transforming an underperforming contact center in Greensboro, South Carolina.

It was in that role that I felt empowered to make a difference and invest in the development of our people. At the time, our employee base was made up of predominately African American women, one of the least supported demographics in our workforce today. To elevate performance, we had to first address the root problem, factors outside of work that were impacting our employees and their ability to show up and stay engaged.

This experience became the catalyst for my entrepreneurial endeavors. The same mentor I worked with at D&B, was also my first client as a minority-owned business leader and entrepreneur.

Q: How did Chime Solutions get started?

Mark: Chime’s story and its roots began back in 2001 when my wife and I start our first customer service and outsourcing business out of the basement of our home. Although it began as a very small contract, I saw it as an opportunity to build more than a business. From my experience working across the U.S., I’d witnessed firsthand how people from minority communities lack the same opportunities and advantages to kickstart their careers. My wife and I wanted to build an employee-centric culture where people could thrive. So, when we started out, it was with the intention to impact change and provide fundamental necessities like affordable health plans. As a result, we ended up growing the business to 3,000 employees and over $100M in revenue. The success of that business created the baseline for Chime Solutions.

In fact, after selling our first company, a former customer reached out asking us to start a call center for their business, and that’s how Chime was born. This time, however, we wanted to take it to the next level, focusing more on elevating underserved communities and creating opportunities for those who normally can’t access them. There is a wealth of untapped talent domestically, and I wanted to show corporations that investing in people and a purpose-driven organization is ultimately a win-win for everyone involved.

Q: How did Chime become one of the fastest-growing minority-owned enterprises in North America?

Mark: Our clients were already looking for ways to make a positive social impact while continuing to deliver value to their shareholders. Our business model was centered around community-building, which enabled companies to procure high-value services while outsourcing with a purpose. It’s a compelling value proposition and one that drives real results. Too often, companies designate community impact and social efforts as separate, ad-hoc, and employee-driven initiatives. For us, these programs are fundamental to the way we run our company. It’s just standard operating procedure.

For example, when we decided to launch Chime, the first thing we did was take out a map of Georgia and pinpoint the area that had the highest unemployment rate in the state, which is where we set up shop. By transforming an empty JCPenney store into a thriving workplace for over 1500 people, we created the largest job-generating venture Clayton County had experienced in over two decades.

Our accelerated growth came from our focus not only on job creation, but upward mobility, personal development, and ultimately higher quality customer experiences.

We knew we had to extend that model to other communities across the country.

Q: How do you plan on pursuing purpose-driven outsourcing as VXI’s new Chief Impact officer? Why is VXI the right partner to continue Chime’s mission at scale?

Mark: Well, first off, our cultures are completely aligned. We quickly discovered we even have the same “Passion for People” signage in our centers! I consider myself a good judge of character, and the leadership team at VXI felt like a natural extension of our own organization. As two minority-owned enterprises, we share the same fundamental values and an understanding that our clients and employees trust us to champion change.

As VXI’s first Chief Impact Officer, I’m in a unique position to leverage the platform to amplify our mission and pursue innovative ways of delivering shared value for our clients, employees, and communities. Impact is not just about volunteer days and feel-good statements. It’s about embedding purpose-driven behaviors throughout our organization to drive transformational change in our communities and within the industry. We have to set a foundation for folks to thrive socially so that when they come to work, they come fully engaged. If you are a single mother struggling to make ends meet with limited access to daycare, transportation, healthcare, and affordable housing, those are real systemic issues that cause absenteeism and attrition.

Our company is in a unique position to help make some of those services more accessible through strategic partnerships and by doing so, elevate communities and even have a wider generational impact.

Q: Why are diversity and inclusion such an important part of customer care today? How can diverse and flexible workforce solutions provide brands with a competitive edge?

Mark: Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes, and we must create a workplace that reflects the diverse communities around us. In the contact center, fostering customer care teams that are as diverse as your consumer base will always lead to stronger brand connections. From improved employee engagement to higher CX performance, embedding DE&I solutions into the contact center is much more than a philanthropic endeavor. In our industry, it’s a great business proposition with even stronger social outcomes.

Creating an environment where employees can reach their full potential and be celebrated isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s how we create a sustainable business model.

Q: Moving forward as one brand, what are some other ways we can work together with our partners to have a greater impact at scale?

Mark: It’s pretty simple. We have to show our partnerships in a meaningful way how their investments are impacting the lives of the folks we hire. There are so many ways we can support the growth and development of our employees outside of work if we have the heart for it. I’ll give you an example. I had a young lady, a single mother employed by Chime, who was trying to become a first-time homeowner. She needed help understanding her financing options, so we sat down and reviewed her credit report together. I gave her a few tips and long story short; she bought her first home.

It’s our responsibility to put people in a position where they can thrive. From financial literacy courses to homeownership seminars and local partnerships to reduce the cost of daycare, there are many ways we can help individuals flourish. When someone achieves homeownership status and can put their children in a different environment than they’ve ever had before, that facilitates a generational impact. By putting measurable goals in place to help create as many homeowners as we can, that impact becomes much more tangible.

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