Wonder Women 2020: Tricia Alcamo

When she’s not managing human resources at Spectrum Enterprise, Tricia Alcamo enjoys racing sailboats. Being on the boat offers fresh air, exercise and relaxation — and even a few business lessons to boot.

Tricia Alcamo

Tricia Alcamo

“You can only be good at a specific job on a big boat if you understand what all the other jobs are, too,” she said. “If you’re going to win in a sailboat race, you need 12 persons working together in perfect unison.”

Alcamo manages human resources for the 5,000 people within Spectrum Enterprise, and has worked hard to get them all moving together in perfect unison. Spectrum Enterprise is part of Charter Communications, the second-biggest U.S. cable company. It provides networking services and architecture to businesses across America, whether related to voice, video, data, managed service solutions or other products.

Alcamo came on board in 2016 after 14 years at American Express, arriving two months after the massive merger between Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter Communications. “This role brought together the many different positions I had over the course of my career,” she said.

Having studied mergers up close when she was in the merger-integration business at Deloitte Consulting just after college, Alcamo passed along key lessons to staffers after the rollup went down. For starters, be comfortable with discomfort. “Accept the fact that integrations of that size are messy work,” she said. “There are operational elements, there are cultural elements, and you’re signing up for something that’s not the status quo.”

Alcamo also stressed that a merger allows forward-thinking employees to establish the kind of culture they truly want to work in. “Create the brand, create the business strategy,” she said. “Rarely in a steady-state situation do you get to do that.”

Her overarching strategy to get everyone on the same page was to always think about, and plan for, a better tomorrow. “Look at what the legacy companies bring to the table,” Alcamo said. “Put it all together and think about what works best for the company going forward.”

Making a Mark

Alcamo has made a significant mark on the joined company. She was behind Accelerate You, a program designed to grow and develop talent in the organization and grow employees’ leadership skills. “It was a way to bring together all of our different activities around investing in people and learning and development skills and capabilities,” she said. “It is designed to help people succeed in their roles now, but also in the future.”

Alcamo was also behind Spectrum Enterprise’s Women’s Leadership Mentoring program. Women in leadership roles sign up to be “mentees” and are paired up with another female executive a level or two above them on the org chart.

That nine-month program launched in January 2019. Alcamo and other Spectrum Enterprise leaders are contemplating what it will look like the next time around. “It provided us with a good framework to think about a broader mentorship program,” she said.

Her Spectrum Enterprise colleagues said the company culture is richer with Alcamo overseeing HR. “She really empowers and supports our organization,” Tammy Zimmerman, senior director of human resources at Spectrum Enterprise, said. “You want to follow someone who believes in your capabilities and the capabilities of the organization.”

Bill Archer, executive VP and president of Spectrum Enterprise, said Alcamo “combines business acumen and problem-solving skills with an ability to relate to people and communicate her ideas to create value for our team and organization. Under her leadership, we are transforming the way we attract, develop and advance the people who will drive our business to future success.”

A mom of two, Alcamo fought and beat breast cancer in 2014, and her tenacious work at American Express throughout her treatment earned her Working Mother of the Year honors from Working Mother Magazine in 2015. “I was very open at work about what I was going through,” she said. “Having that recognition at that time was just amazing.”

Alcamo enjoys sailing and skiing with her daughters, who are 13 and 11. They sail on the Long Island Sound. Alcamo is a “pit person” on the sailboat, situated near the bottom of the mast. “I am very quickly tailing lines, and making sure everything runs free when we have a sail change,” she said.

Thrills on the Hills

When winter rolls around, Alcamo and her daughters are up in the Catskills every weekend. Alcamo used to sit in the lodge as her kids would ski, but pushed herself to take lessons. “It was fun in the lodge, but it looked like fun out there, too,” she said.

Alcamo describes herself as a binge-watcher of television. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel I love, Handmaid’s Tale scares the heck out of me and The Crown was really compelling,” she said of series she recently binged.

As always, Alcamo is focused on how Spectrum Enterprise can better serve its clients, today and tomorrow. “I think about HR strategy and the talent we are attracting, and the kind of learning and development we are doing, with client centricity in mind,” she said. “The talent we need at Spectrum Enterprise is out there understanding our clients’ businesses and our clients’ needs, and helping to think about what kind of large networking solutions would meet those needs.

Career Highlights: Led development of the HR strategy for Spectrum Enterprise following the merger of Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Launched the Spectrum Enterprise Women’s Leadership Initiative, the first development-focused effort of its kind at Spectrum Enterprise.

Made a significant industry change to join Charter in 2016 (“and being on stage in St. Louis — speaking in front of 300 employees — on my first day on the job!”).

Quotable: “Within Spectrum Enterprise, all of these initiatives are bearing fruit and we're seeing more diversity at senior leadership levels. We just know that more diversity in leadership drives better results.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.