Karen Walker is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco. As CMO, Karen is responsible for the company’s Marketing and Communications groups.


Together, Karen and Joe were co-sponsors of Cisco’s Global Service Month. Here are their reflections on the month.

What a month! As executive sponsors of Cisco’s Global Service Month, we are amazed and proud of Cisco employees around the world who pitched in to make a difference in so many ways. Here’s a snapshot of our collective impact:

  • In the month of September 6,433 employees in 48 countries participated in Global Service Month
  • Cisco employees participated in more than 300 volunteer events
  • All together, we contributed 43,120 hours to benefit a rich variety of causes


What makes us human is our ability to feel empathy and compassion. What makes us Cisco is our commitment to benefiting everyone by helping those in need—wherever they may be in the world.

What makes us human is our ability to feel empathy and compassion. What makes us Cisco is our commitment to benefiting everyone by helping those in need—wherever they may be in the world. And this past month, you demonstrated Cisco’s culture of compassion and service in some remarkable ways.

When we decided to extend Cisco’s service program from a week to a whole month, we wondered if employees would lose focus or burn out over the course of 30 days. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we learned that many of the volunteer events were actually extensions of the service activities Cisco employees do without fanfare all year around.

Cisco employees are opening up the STEM pipeline for students in India.

For example, 40 volunteers in India held a “Smiles through Science” robotics workshop for 100 ninth graders in four schools run by the Parikrma Humanity Foundation. Students worked in small groups with Cisco facilitators to learn the basics of robotics, including Arduino boards, sensors, and obstacle detection. This event was the first of four STEM workshops they will be conducting quarterly over the next 12 months, led by volunteers in Cisco’s Early Career Network. Each workshop will go deeper into how to build and work with a range of robotic capabilities.

One of the most inspirational and ambitious service projects was a 10-day cycling fund-raiser by 16 Cisco employees, who rode from the Cisco U.K. headquarters in Bedfont Lakes to Barcelona, Spain. They rode in memory of Cisco employee Nick Noakes’s son Joe, who died in 2012. So far, they have raised more than £44,000 for the Joe Noakes Trust, providing early intervention services to help children with autism reach their full potential. You can support this cause too by giving here.

 Cisco employees put their bodies on the line, riding 1450km to help autistic children.

We got a first-hand look at the open hearts and willing hands of Cisco employees in Boxborough, Massachusetts, packing 10,500 meals that will be distributed to people in need by Rise Against Hunger. And in the United Kingdom, the EMEAR communications team worked with the charity FoodCycle to turn high-quality surplus food from local supermarkets into 90 amazing meals for people staying at the St. Mungo’s homeless shelter.

Joe Cozzolino joined Cisco employees in Boxborough, packing meals for the hungry.

And the list goes on—in addition to the stories featured in the mid-month blog, we saw employees painting and cleaning in Amsterdam, picking up a hammer for Habitat for Humanity in Durham, helping children in need through the Red Nose campaign in Lisbon, and working in food banks in several places around the world. People in San Jose joined with Samsung employees down the street to walk, run, and bike to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their fight against childhood cancer.

With an endless variety of causes and service activities, one thing is clear: there is no end to the ingenuity and heart of Cisco’s people when it’s time to give back. Thank you for being the bridge to those in need during Global Service Month.

Global Service Month around the world (clockwise from upper left): U.S, Netherlands, U.S., China, Portugal.


Joe Cozzolino

Senior Vice President

Cisco Services