DBT40 Honoree: Kate Cusumano
Title: Head of Channel Sales & Customer Experience
Workplace: BUCHI Corporation
Data-driven decisions drive Kate Cusumano’s team of 11 at BUCHI Corporation, where she has helped increase distribution sales by 80% as the head of channel sales and customer experience.
The former chemist has been called a “master of analytics,” not only analyzing data that drives marketing decisions, improves brand awareness and increases sales, but creating new datasets where needed. That analytical approach, combined with a keen business sense, have made her a savvy leader who comes to the table with creative solutions.
Cusumano’s career has centered around a passion for positive change driven by science. But her variety of experience, from customer support to finance, has given her a set of leadership skills that are lifting up the newest members of the BUCHI team. In her role, she developed a “Fast Track” program that identifies and develops entry-level sales talent through mentorship and individualized focus on unique skills, strength and potential. So far, four people have benefited from the program and are thriving in their field territories, while more have earned promotions or are working through the new program.
A fascination with the business-side of the scientific research industry led Cusumano into a leadership role. She is now an MBA candidate at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School through the Forté Fellowship Program, with completion expected in 2023.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to BUCHI like many businesses, but it also highlighted Cusumano’s collaborative nature. By focusing on solutions, her team found a way to virtually showcase products while adding focus to creating contacts and renewing contracts.
This mother of two also found a way to better connect with partners as business shifted virtually by incorporating a philanthropic element to channel partner sales meetings in 2021 that led to BUCHI making a $5,000 donation to Feeding America, providing over 50,000 meals to families in need.