The Original SharpChicks

by Amy Kohl
The Original SharpChicks

Founded in 2018, AK Operations has flourished, partnering with over 100 clients in ten countries and growing from a team of one (just me!) to a team of 12 super SharpChicks. In this post, I shared how my proudest journey is the one of designing my company and culture with this team in mind. Now, I want to give my three original SharpChicks the opportunity to share their own stories in our new SharpChicks Journey blog series. Keep reading to hear how Shelby, Mallory, and Sara came to join AK Ops. 

There will always be something so special about this OG crew. From our early growing pains and long nights to collaborative and challenging decisions, we designed what is now a well-oiled machine—together. These women believed in me before there was proof in the pudding for long-term success. They have each contributed an outrageous amount to the trajectory of our company and I will forever feel indebted to them.

Shelby Cutright

“Amy and I had worked together twice in past lives when she was using marketing automation to drive inbound interest and I’d call those prospects to secure conversations for our closers. During those times, I often deviated from the accepted methods of prospecting and leveraged my operational skills, sleuthing abilities, and tech stacks to direct my outreach—effectively securing the same number of meetings as my peers, if not more, while doing half of the activity!

Thankfully, fate and timing lined up. I found my place at AK Operations, where I married my sales enablement and operations prowess with Amy’s expertise in demand and lead generation. And the rest is history!”

Shelby Cutright, Senior Success Manager

Mallory Vonder Haar

“I met Amy four years ago while I was running lead generation for a marketing company in St. Louis. It was there that she quickly became my mentor and over time, she helped me find my passion for sales enablement, coaching, and lead generation. I knew I was making an impact for the company I was working for but I wanted more.

Amy’s good heart, passion to help others, and drive to make an impact for organizations was inspirational, so when she approached me to be her first employee, it was an easy yes! We quickly jumped in together. Fast forward a few years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our values have stayed the same but we’ve grown professionally together. I’m excited to see where AK Ops goes next.”

Mallory Vonder Haar, Director of Client Success

Sara Klaus

“After five years of working in a traditional corporate setting, I knew I wanted something more for my career. More opportunities, more freedom, and more control over my outcomes. Around the same time, a longtime friend of mine had a night of one (too many) martinis with “her friend from college” who happened to be hiring. That very next day, I had a call with Amy.

Amy promised me she could teach the AK Operations program but that she couldn’t teach hustle—and as someone who will bet on myself any day, I was hooked. Just a few weeks later, I was learning and working alongside Amy, Mallory, and Shelby. And now, a few years in, I know Amy was right. A little hustle paired with the AK Ops’ program goes a long way, and I’m excited to see where it’ll continue to take me!”

Sara Klaus, Chief Success Officer