Honoree Headshot

Gary Pudles

President and CEO
AnswerNet

Location: Willow Grove, PA
Founded: 1998
Industry: Telecommunications

Gary Pudles graduated from American University with a law degree in 1987 and, after a short stint as a Washington, D.C., attorney, Muzak (now Mood Music) hired him. That move changed his career trajectory, putting him in a business role and leaving behind private practice law.

He later joined a team that helped build the first PCS network in the U.S. under the Sprint Spectrum brand. Pudles moved on to a real estate company in Philadelphia and found he wanted to own his own company.

In 1998, he purchased a telemessaging call center, investing in his interest and experience in telecommunications technology, data and people management. The company would grow, and in March 2000 Pudles’ business, AnswerNet, was the largest telemessaging call center business in the country.

“I have learned that no project is too big or too small — or out of AnswerNet’s technological grasp,” the president and CEO said. “My clients trust that AnswerNet will persist in helping them make money by saving them money. And, as the leader of a successful and growing business, I have the dual ability to provide my employees with stable employment as well as assist the millions of people worldwide who are helped by AnswerNet every day.”

Under Pudles’ leadership, the company has grown into a global organization with 30 offices in 20 states and two Canadian provinces. The company also has teams in South Africa, Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala and the Philippines.

After becoming a member of the Global Business Alliance in early 2021, Pudles expanded AnswerNet’s footprint by establishing collaborations across four continents. Most recently, the company acquired 11 call center-related companies between March 2021 and March 2022.

“As technology continues to evolve, my ongoing belief is that every company has the potential to grow efficiently and profitably,” Pudles said. “I lead by demonstrating this is possible if businesses are willing to change their models to fit new realities.”

Pudles received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for business service providers and is a former winner of the SmartCEO Best Run Companies award. He has also led AnswerNet to the 21st spot on the Inc. 500. “Pudles is most proud of the overall number of real people his company helps each and every day,” his team said.

When he’s not running his company, Pudles plays drums professionally in two Philadelphia-area bands, Fun Size and Bucket Band Philly.

Presented by:

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Honoree fun fact

When he's not busy lighting the business world on fire or being a proud husband and father of five, you can find Gary in local nightclubs and bars lighting up a drumkit. After a 35-year hiatus of “pounding the skins,” he now plays drums professionally to express his creative side in two Philadelphia-area bands, Fun Sizeand Bucket Band Philly.For Pudles, it's the ultimate work-life balance.

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