In 2006, Pamela Sorensen began inching away from a 12-year business career and launched Pamela’s Punch, a blog devoted to covering “Washington D.C.’s elite social, professional and philanthropic scene.”
Ten increasingly successful years later, she decided to challenge herself yet again and move back into the corporate world while keeping a foothold in the social media landscape.
While Sorensen said it was the right time for a change as she took a position at the beginning of the year as BetterWorld Telecom’s director of business development and community relations, she continues to look back fondly on the entrepreneurship that catapulted her brand into the limelight.
One of her career highlights came about two years after she left her full-time job in the corporate world to focus on Pamela’s Punch. She was interviewed on FOX News Channel by Bret Baier the December before Barack Obama’s first inauguration as someone who had her finger on the pulse of what was happening with inauguration parties and galas.
“That was my first national news ‘hit,’ and being the nerd that I am, I literally prepared for it for a week,” she said. “Apparently, I did well, because they booked me for two more hits with FNC on the same topic, including the night of the inauguration.”
Another memorable experience was cooking with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse on Planet Green’s “Emeril Green” show in 2009.
“The premise of the show was about helping me to prepare meals as a busy single professional in the D.C. area,” she said. “As much fun as it was to do the show with Emeril, I never did end up making any of those elaborate meals at home – because I really was too busy!”
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Sorensen was adopted when she was 4 months old. Her family moved around the country because of her father’s role as a Presbyterian minister and finally landed in Fairfax, Virginia, in 1990.
She went on to attend Penn State University, graduating in 1994 with a bachelor of arts in speech communications. She said she feels one of her proudest moments was being invited back to Penn State to speak to students during their first Startup Week.
“I got to talk about lessons learned, and in the following years there, about running a business in the social media world,” she said. “It had always been a goal of mine to return to Happy Valley in this role.”
Sorensen currently runs business development and community relations for BetterWorld Telecom, which provides business-to-business voice, data, unified communications and mobile platforms with what she describes as a “boutique, high-touch, white glove service.”
Sorensen said she highly respects CEO Jim Kenefick and the entire team.
“I’d missed the energy of being part of a team,” she said of working for herself at Pamela’s Punch. “Also, I’m constantly learning and being challenged. I was flatlining with Pamela’s Punch. You know you have to make a change when you are bored out of your mind.”
A certified B corporation, a piece of BetterWorld Telecom’s mission is for employees to give back with time, talent and treasury. The approach allows Sorensen and others to spend their volunteer days with the causes they care about.
“I love that even though we provide technology services, our ethos is the sustainable, thriving, social impact world,” she said. “We are about the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. We have a unique purpose and story to share with our clients and the community.”
The company culture of giving back jives well with Sorensen’s personal efforts.
Sorensen has helped raising millions of dollars for numerous charitable organizations and is actively involved in several causes. She is member of the Explore! Children’s Museum of D.C. board, NVTC Small Business and Entrepreneur Committee and the Alzheimer’s Association of the National Capital Area’s Concern and Awareness Committee.
She was involved on the 2017 Fashion for Paws Executive Committee/Fundraising Ambassador, Best Buddies of the NCA 2017 Prom Host Committee and Chance for Life Charity Poker Tournament Host Committee. She will play a part again in Shakespeare Theater Company’s 2017 “Will on the Hill” production, and she serves on the Artists and Athletes Alliance Advisory Board. She is a mentor for Conscious Venture Lab entrepreneurs.
“I’m a full believer in ‘to whom much is given, much will be required,’” she said. “I’ve been so fortunate over my entire career that there is no way I can’t give back..”
What does she miss about running Pamela’s Punch?
“I was really in shape!” she said. “I worked out every day doing Pure Barre, Zengo Cycle, SoulCycle and yoga, but I have let that part of my life slip, unfortunately. I had made the time to make sure I worked out and spent the majority of my day without makeup and in my studio attire. That was nice!”
In her spare time now, she enjoys settling down with a glass of wine to watch Netflix or Hulu.
“Downtime is really important since all I do is meet with people all day long,” she said.
What is something about Sorensen most people don’t know? Hint: It happened before her entire social life went online.
In 2002, she was on the cover of Washingtonian magazine’s 25 most beautiful people. The list focused on intelligent, talented individuals changing the face of Washington.
“At the time, I was 30 years old, the director of BD for a commercial real estate firm and was quoted as saying, ‘I might have kids one day, but only if I meet the perfect man.’ Needless to say, I am 45 and my child has four legs!”
That child is a doberman hound mix named Frasier Simone, a rescue dog Sorensen adopted two years ago from the Washington Humane Society. Out on a walk with friends, Sorensen chanced by a mobile adoption unit filled almost entirely with cats.
“Then in the corner window was this sweet puppy,” she recalled. “I put my arm in and she wrinkled over and placed her head on my arm and looked at me with these big brown eyes that said, ‘I choose you.’”
To this day, Sorensen refers to her adoption as the best impromptu decision she’s ever made.
Recently, she finished a second delve into Paulo Coehlo’s “The Alchemist,” a book given to her years ago by mentor Phillipe Bourguignon.
“At the time, it didn’t make much sense, but I recently re-read it and it hit me. I got it,” she said. “I recommend this book to anyone who is searching for his or her ‘personal purpose.’”
So, what insights has Sorensen gained over the years?
“I’ve learned that being true to your word, finding mentors, surrounding yourself with good positive people, finding your personal purpose, giving back more than you receive, being clear with your goals and intentions, being able to tell your story, being brave, being authentic, working hard but in a healthy way with meditation and prayer and just being kind – all of these are ingredients for a recipe for success,” Sorensen said. “And when the going gets tough, hug your dog.”