Photo of Carmen Tapio from Today's Omaha Woman magazine.

Carmen Tapio

Powered by a Clarity of Purpose

By Jill Bruckner
Photo by Ron Coleman, C4 Photography

If it were just about business, Carmen Tapio, President and CEO of North End Teleservices, LLC, would be remarkable. Tapio, however, is an innovator on many levels.

A skilled entrepreneur and future-focused customer experience strategist, Tapio’s contributions to the teleservices industry are a testament to her more than 30-year career.

Six years ago, Tapio leveraged her experience to develop a business plan that would mean a significant number of jobs to an area of high need—a part of the Metro with double digit unemployment.

Addressing this need was the impetus for creating North End Teleservices, now the fastest growing tech organization of its kind in Nebraska, and No. 754 on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in the U.S.

“North End Teleservices is about business and ser vice excellence. The more we grow the more we are able to make good on our mission of creating jobs and changing lives. Our continued growth means a greater impact in the community,” Tapio says. “In zip code 68110, one of our primary zip codes, the American Communities Survey, U.S. Departments of Census charts, estimated unemployment at 17.5 percent for the time period 2015-2019. Unemployment in this area is not because people do not want to work. It is because there is a need to help overcome barriers like transportation, lack of opportunity and daily issues such as child care, to name a few.

There is great opportunity—and a very high potential for growth—to put people to work and help revitalize a community.”

More than her business acumen, however, is Tapio’s fearless commitment to community and an unwavering sense of integrity that guides her everyday actions.

“For me, there is very little in life that is more rewarding, or that can be accomplished without a sense of purpose and a compass that guides us toward the betterment of the common good,” Tapio says. “A rising tide lifts all boats. We are together on this Earth with the incredible gift of diversity of thought, backgrounds and life experiences. If we are grounded in faith and powered by clarity of purpose and impact, there is very little that is impossible to achieve. We can truly accomplish great things together when we create places, spaces and communities where everyone has a sense of belonging, value and the opportunity to succeed.”

It’s this desire to lift people up, Tapio says, that fuels her spirit and encourages her to continue building her business in North Omaha, an area she sees as “the next economy.”

Tapio’s leadership and experience has earned her a host of awards. She was named a 2021 Enterprising Woman of the Year, a 100 Black Women Legacy Award Honoree and a WCA 2020 Tribute to Women Honoree. Tapio is also a recipient of the 2020 Urban League of Nebraska African American Leadership Award for Business and the Greater Omaha Chamber’s 2020 Volunteer of the Year. This year, she will receive the Nebraska 50 over 50 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ask her about her accolades, however, and she’ll say all credit belongs to others. She credits her parents with instilling in her the belief that, “I could do anything I put my mind to and, I believed them.” She praises her North End team with “tirelessly innovating with me, even when it is hard,” and she defers to faith, on all counts, “God directs. I listen and follow the best I can.”

Equally, too, she celebrates her husband, Bob Tapio. “Bob is my rock. We are fortunate to have each other on this amazing life journey.”

In 2021, Tapio expanded her influence to include the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas

City’s Omaha Branch board and, last year, was appointed to Werner Enterprises Board of Directors, where she serves on the Compensation Committee and Nominating and Governance Committees.

Earlier this year, she received the ICAN Leadership Award, where she told attendees, “We all need each other, and the most successful leaders are those who move forward with bold vision, high integrity, profound gratitude and an inclusive spirit that fosters belonging, champions diversity and equity and creates opportunities for all.”

As Tapio continues to innovate, she also continues to build, and recently founded Nebraska Black Women United, a nonprofit organization designed to offer career, networking and engagement opportunities to Black women across Nebraska.

“Humans are indomitable and invincible in unique and amazing ways,” Tapio says.

“We owe it to ourselves and each other to create relationships that make life just a little bit better in our communities than it was the day before. It is a good reason to get up every day.”