How it All Began:

The Birth of AnswerNet

Do you know AnswerNet started? Well, here’s how it all began…

Gary didn’t know when he began his career in 1987 fresh out of the American University Washington College of Law, where he earned a Juris Doctorate degree, that he would transform from an attorney, into a business owner, mentor, entrepreneur, industry leader, and communications pioneer.

After a short stint as a Washington, DC attorney, Gary was hired by the company, Muzak (now called Mood Music), in a business and legal role. Accepting that position changed the trajectory of his career forever, as he would never again be a full-time private practicing attorney. After helping manage the sale of Muzak in Washington, DC, he joined a team that would go on to win a “Pioneer’s Preference” from the FCC and helped build the U.S.’ first PCS network under the Sprint Spectrum brand.

In 1996, Gary accepted a job in Philadelphia for a specialty real estate company and then realized his true passion was to be an entrepreneur. In 1998, he hit the internet search for a business to own, operate, and make successful. It was then that he found the telephone answering service and call center business that allowed him to use his love and experience in telecommunications technology, data, recurring revenue, and people management.

Gary took a chance in July of 1998 by purchasing his very first telephone answering service in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Yes, you know it today as AnswerNet Allentown!

The very next month, AnswerNet acquired a second call center. By March of 2000, AnswerNet was the then-largest telemessaging call center business in the United States!

Gary Pudles (circa 2000)
"Pudles Lightyear" (The Buzz, 2009)

So how did we get to where we are today?

With a lifelong belief that “anything is possible,” Gary began finding unique ways of integrating new and existing technologies to deliver live and automated services to businesses of all sizes.

As he had done many times in career, Gary helped move the call center business forward by convincing the general managers of our telephone answering service locations to add order entry & customer service to further support for our clients. Where others saw barriers, Gary saw solutions. He quickly understood that his once-simple “telephone answering” service was about to evolve and change the call center industry forever.

There has never been a project too big or too small for AnswerNet. Our company will continue on its journey to help guide our clients in improving their communications with their customers and employees, as well as with the public as new and more complex communication technologies continue to be introduced into the world.

But Gary puts it best… 

“It is my honor to lead such an amazing team. Watching you all work tirelessly each and every day as we completed the integration of 17 acquisitions within 24 months is humbling. These new acquisitions help us all to further the AnswerNet story we started in 1998 as a single-location telephone answering service. 

Where will the future take us?

One thing we can learn from AnswerNet’s history is that nothing is out of our reach. From AI to chat bots, people still make the difference. Our journey continues with Gary’s vision: a belief in people, relationships, and the power of technology.

The AnswerNet Family is AnswerNet STRONG! Thanks to all of you. 

Here’s to the next 25 years!