Phreesia’s Kharen Hauck: A Top Woman Leader Who Rises To New Challenges

Ask Kharen Hauck how she got her start in marketing and healthcare, and her answer may surprise you: TV.

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“My first ‘office-based job’ was at a media company buying and selling national TV airtime,” said Hauck. “It was entry level and a lot of the work was simply data entry, but I love TV and was passionate about learning the television industry.”

Her early career in TV might have been influenced by her hometown roots—she grew up in Scranton, Pa., the setting for the hit TV show, The Office. But unlike the run-of-the-mill office setting at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, no two days at work are the same for Hauck, Vice President of Demand Generation at Phreesia, aSaaS-based healthcare technology company that specializes in patient intake management.

“There’s never a dull moment—I’m always busy!” said Hauck. “My days are filled with collaborating with members of other teams on campaign strategies and tactics, keeping up with trends in the B2B SaaS environment and making sure the Demand Gen team has the appropriate tech stack to achieve our goals and do it efficiently.”

Hauck has two decades of experience in marketing and advertising, and has spent the last 10 years in healthcare and technology. She joined Phreesia in 2011 as Director of Client Experience for the company’s life sciences business. In 2017, she transitioned to Phreesia’s marketing department to lead demand generation initiatives. Now, she collaborates on Phreesia’s marketing growth strategies, executes campaigns and oversees the implementation of marketing technology tools that measure campaign performance.

Finding the right career fit didn’t happen overnight, however. Hauck spent many years working in a variety of roles in strategic media planning, marketing, advertising, healthcare and technology. Her journey has required focus, hard work, patience and believing in herself.

“Someone once told me during the early days of my career to ‘Just do the work and the rest will take care of itself,’ and it’s a model I live by,” said Hauck. “It helps remind me to stay focused on what I’m doing and not get caught up in distractions like workplace competition, decision fatigue or feeling overwhelmed by organizational changes.”

She eventually leveraged her interest in sales and media to take a position at a creative advertising agency, where she worked in account management on patient and provider strategies for both niche and blockbuster brands.

“That’s where I developed a deeper understanding of the life sciences industry and started working in the broader health and wellness space,” she said.

When a former colleague approached her in 2010 about a position at Phreesia, she jumped at the opportunity. Today, she oversees a team of 12 that includes strategic and content marketing, design, analytics and events.

“My biggest responsibility is making sure our team supports our sales department and the organization as a whole,” said Hauck. “That [support] comes in many different forms, whether it’s communications, website redesign and deployment, content development, collaborating with our sales and sales-development teams or planning and conducting tradeshows and events.”

When high-pressure or challenging situations arise, she remembers Phreesia’s mission and the unique impact the company has on the healthcare experience.

“I have tremendous respect for our co-founders and for the company’s vision, as well as for the product itself,” said Hauck. “Believing in the cause and the platform makes it a lot easier to come to work each day.”

Hauck encourages women working in tech to pursue their career goals and seek out new opportunities, even when they seem daunting or challenges come up along the way.

“Don’t be intimidated by who’s in the room,” she said. “Believe that you deserve to be there as much as anyone else, and stay focused on the things that matter and the impact you want to make.”

Ask Hauck what’s next for women in SaaS, and her answer will inspire you: “There’s so much opportunity out there,” she said. “There’s uncharted territory waiting to be conquered.”