Don’t let that almost-constant smile fool you. Sure, Charmaine Torruella is a pleasant person who’s always looking to help her customers around the world as Verrex managed services account manager, but she has a way of getting what she wants if you decide to take her on.
Torruella is serious about martial arts, a double brown belt, and she says that has helped all aspects of her life.
“What I was learning physically was helping me mentally,” says Torruella, 46, who is also the chairwoman of the AVIXA Diversity Council.
Torruella’s pursuit of martial arts came after she spent time as a bodybuilder and belly dancer—yes, simultaneously. As you can probably tell by now, the Verrex managed services account manager isn’t afraid to try something new.
“I have to keep trying things and exploring,” she says. It’s that quest to learn new things that led the Verrex managed services account manager into AV about eight years ago after a lengthy stint in telecommunications and IT.
In her current role, she’s responsible for customizing managed services solutions for Verrex customers around the world.
That solution design includes remote monitoring and metrics and analytics. Since its official launch in June, the AVIXA Diversity Council has established subcommittees focused on outreach and education and is working with the AVIXA Women’s Council, AV User Group, AVIXA Young AV Professionals Council and other groups.
They hope to establish a mentorship program for students. Let’s go Back Stage to learn more about Charmaine Torruella.
Commercial Integrator: How did a finance major get hooked on AV and decide to make a career out of it?
Charmaine Torruella: It was a combination of the clients and their requirements. I became someone they trusted. I went into IT for a while, but I tried to get out [of AV] and they kept pulling me back in.
CI: What are some of the benefits of having experience in both AV and IT?
CT: A lot of our AV clients are getting in to IT, so there’s a level of discomfort. My knowledge helps to bridge the gap.
It helps them understand that we understand. AV is having a hard time grasping the service aspect. IT has a model. AV isn’t quite there.
A lot of companies think it’s an imposition. You have to apply the right resources and the right mindset. It’s not a widget you’re selling. It’s something that can augment your client and help you as well.
CI: Why is the AVIXA Diversity Council an important addition to this industry?
CT: Decision-makers are becoming more diverse and we have to be able to respond in kind. AV is such a great industry. I call it a bohemian atmosphere where you don’t have to be suited up every day.
I’ll hear everyone out. I want to hear the negative comments. I’m ready for the conversation and I have enough in my arsenal to teach it and change it.
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