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The Most Powerful Women Of The Channel -- Can You Hear Them Now?
[August 25, 2008]

The Most Powerful Women Of The Channel -- Can You Hear Them Now?


(VarBusiness Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Collectively, they have a voice that resonates through every corner of the industry. Individually, their roles run the gamut from distribution executives to vendor channel leaders to presidents and CEOs of solution provider organizations. Meet the 2008 VARBusiness Most Powerful Women Of The Channel.



On the following pages, you'll find the highlights of what each woman has accomplished over the past year, as well as whom they've chosen as their female role models. This year, there are more than 50 women on our list as a trio of channel directors from VMware chose to share their honor.

For the first time, we asked each woman, confidentially, whether they felt there was a level playing field. Many of our honorees believe we have evolved, but we're not quite there yet. Some say there is still an old boy's club and that women have to earn respect, while men receive it automatically. Some also cited the small number of women who enter the technology field in the first place, promoting the idea of inspiring girls at an early age to foster their skills and interest. But many also say that if women help other women-empowering themselves and each other-even greater strides can be made.


The women of years past paved the way for those who came after them. Today's Women Of The Channel will do the same for the generations to come.

Sue Alexander

Vice President, EMEA Consumer and Channels

McAfee Inc.

Santa Clara, Calif.

Years In Position: 2

Years In Channel: 16

Highlights: In the past year, Alexander has been working to ensure that McAfee authorizes partners through certification, allowing them to benefit from the program through additional margins and rebates. Solution providers will then be able to invest in providing the services necessary to support McAfee's product portfolio, Alexander says. The ongoing goal is to raise the level of skill within the partner base. McAfee currently has 150 VAR and systems integrator partners working across EMEA.

Female Role Models: Any woman who has broken barriers, whether in business or government. Alexander says she admires women who prove they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

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Celine Azizkhan

Channel Chief

AT&T Corp.

Philadelphia

Years In Position: 4

Years in Channel: 4

Highlights: Azizkhan has been a driver behind the channel's significant growth this past year, both in revenue and in overall contribution to AT&T's business. She has helped establish consistency with the solution provider community and develop a training program focused exclusively on solution providers. She believes the channel has a great opportunity to increase the sales penetration on new product lines surrounding mobility, hosting, software, local services, managed services and professional services.

Female Role Models: Azizkhan's mother because of her ability to balance work, family and community services. She also raised six children, owns her own business and has been honored for her volunteer work.

---

Wendy Bahr

Vice President, U.S. and Canada Channels

Cisco Systems Inc.

San Jose, Calif.

Years In Position: 6 months

Years In Channel: 3

Highlights: In the past year, Bahr has been instrumental in providing support and programs to encourage partners to work with others to create valuable technology solutions. She has helped Cisco enhance its Solutions Incentive Program to give partners the maximum return on their investment. Through collaborative Web 2.0 technology forums such as Cisco Partner Space, partners and customers have access to the latest Cisco-tested and approved solutions.

Female Role Models: Bahr's mother and grandmother, who taught her that "the only limits you have are the ones you place on yourself."

---

Julie Bennani

GM, Partner Program, Worldwide Partner Group

Microsoft Corp.

Redmond, Wash.

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 10

Highlights: For Bennani, one of the milestones of the past year was driving more alignment between Microsoft's product groups and its channel strategies. Bennani's team, specifically, led the partner portion of the Windows Server/SQL Server/Visual Studio launch, a significant cross-company effort.

Female Role Models: There was an array of women in Accenture who took Bennani under their wing and helped guide her career. One of the reasons she took the role at Microsoft was for the chance to work with Allison Watson, who she says has had an amazing impact on the channel both for Microsoft and in the industry.

---

Laurie Benson

CEO

Inacom Information Systems

Madison, Wis.

Years In Position: 24

Years In Channel: 24

Highlights: One of the best outcomes of the past year for Benson was seeing Inacom Information Systems' senior leadership team grow and, well, lead, she says. In addition, getting a state IT association off the ground was a true accomplishment, according to the Inacom Information Systems CEO.

Female Role Models: For Benson, there are too many to count as she says she learns from most everyone she meets. But Nell Merlino, CEO of Count Me In, and the women in the world who serve others every day in varied roles are the true role models of the world.

---

Johnna Bowley

Senior Director, Channel and Partner Marketing

Riverbed Technology Inc.

San Francisco

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 16

Highlights: Bowley has spearheaded Riverbed's "channel evolution" initiative, which led to the launch of a global partner program, investments in channel resources, and a partner training and enablement program. To enhance their ability to drive highly profitable solutions and services revenue, she is building a "specialization" component into Riverbed's program, one that will reward solution providers that build out Riverbed solutions with Riverbed Technology Alliance partners.

Female Role Models: Bowley says her mother juggled several balls-raised a family, worked full-time and always was a part of their lives.

--

Sharon Brindley

Vice President, U.S. Business Channels, SMB

Lexmark International Inc.

Lexington, Ky.

Years In Position: 3

Years In Channel: 12

Highlights: Brindley over the past year was instrumental in introducing the industry's first vertical multifunction printing (MFP) devices, including the Education Station, Clinical Assistant and Legal Partner-all of which give the company's channel partners solutions to sell, not just a "box."

Female Role Models: Laurie Benson, CEO of Inacom Information Systems

---

Linda Brotherton

Chief Technology Officer

ConnectWise

Tampa, Fla.

Years In Position: 10

Years In Channel: 10

Highlights: Brotherton has managed the design and development of ConnectWise PSA, a solution written specifically for solution providers. Additions to ConnectWise's managed services integration provide an automated way for customers to enter this space and maximize their returns. In addition, Brotherton was involved in establishing a Services Network for solution providers to extend their expertise and geographic reach. Also over the past year, enhancements to both the service desk and scheduling are allowing solution providers to maximize their billable hours.

Female Role Models: N/A

---

Jane Cage

COO

Heartland Technology Solutions

Joplin, Mo.

Years In Position: 5

Years In Channel: 23

HIghlights: Over the past year, Cage was a leader and the chairman of the VTN Heartland Chapter, heading up a fall meeting in Kansas City and planning for a joint meeting to be held in Denver this summer. In addition, Cage was the Heartland Technology Group Facilitator, meeting with a group of 12 resellers quarterly to lead discussion as well as plans related to their businesses. She is also a member of the Everything Channel Advisory Board, through which she provides input on the success and growth of Everything Channel events.

Female Role Models: N/A

---

Linda Connly

Vice President of Strategic Alliances, Americas

EMC Corp.

Hopkinton, Mass.

Years in position: 3

Years in channel: 6

Highlights: Over the past year, EMC has successfully grown its channel and continues to have the channel touch more than 50 percent of its business, Connly says. Specifically, she has worked to create a program that increases EMC's strategic relevance within the partner community by unveiling more field-based go-to-market initiatives and aligning on joint metrics.

Female Role Models: Meg Whitman, former president and CEO of eBay

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Leslie S. Conway

Vice President, Marketing

Digium Inc.

Huntsville, Ala.

Years In Position: Since June 30

Years In Channel: 17

Highlights: Since this is a new position for channel veteran Conway (formerly of Adtran), the focus is on what she hopes to accomplish in her new role. Her goal is to bring to bear her marketing and channel expertise to get Digium's products, including the Switchvox line, into the hands of the company's resellers. Conway also plans to build out Digium's channel, both in North America and abroad, and will be part of the team responsible for identifying strategic partners. These partners will substantially broaden Digium's ability to address a particular market segment.

Female Role Models: N/A

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Michelle Drolet

CEO

Towerwall

Framingham, Mass.

Years In Position: 15

Years In Channel: 15

Highlights: Towerwall achieved revenue growth of more than 18 percent, with a focus on IT security services. The biggest challenge was a company name change (from Conqwest), which meant rebranding, a Web site makeover and collateral development. Towerwall also added more vendors, including Baronis, a Windows files permission technology, and PGP.

Female Role Models: Her mother, who established her building business at age 48 and became one of the top 10 builders in her region in 10 years. Drolet also gives the nod to Denise Tilton, a "great friend and adviser." She is the Director of Clinical Trials for Boston Scientific.

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Katie Dumala

Vice President, Marketing Services

Tech Data Corp.

Clearwater, Fla.

Years In Position: 2

Years In Channel: 10

Highlights: Dumala is proud of the Marketing Services Division, which supports the SMB reseller community, and new offerings-more peer engagement and best-practice sharing. The division took a page from the success of TechSelect to offer business-building content via Tech Data's Technology Solutions tour events. Dumala also continues to collaborate with vendor partners to help them create channel programs.

Female Role Models: Dumala credits a group of seven women she started her career with at KPMG. Each has become successful in careers ranging from a Ph.D to a real-estate developer to a financial planner.

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Dawn Duross

Operations Director, Federal Channels & Government Systems Integrator

Cisco Systems Inc.

Herndon, Va.

Years In Position: 6

Years In Channel: 6

Highlights: Over the past year, Duross has been responsible for the global strategy and management of Cisco's federal partnerships, zeroing in on fostering relationships with new and existing partners and creating incentives, training and marketing programs. The highlight was the Cisco Small Business Program, sponsoring 20 firms with the American Small Business Coalition.

Female Role Models: Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, believed no one should put limitations on themselves or others, Duross says. Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg are also inspirations.

---

Julie Eades

Director, Channel Marketing

VMware Corp.

Palo Alto, Calif.

Years In Position: 3

Years In Channel: 20

Highlights: One of Eades' proudest accomplishment over the past year has been building a strong partner marketing team at VMware that is focused 100 percent on making the VMware VIP partner community successful. In the past year, VMware has completely relaunched its program-rebranded it, launched new enhancements, created partner collateral in 12 languages to be used around the globe and executed a host of events from seminars to Webinars to lunch-and-learns.

Female Role Models: Eades honors her mother, who brought her up as a single mother while maintaining a career of her own as a teacher.

---

Mary Gilbert

Vice President, Marketing

Mindjet Corp.

San Francisco

Years In Position: 6 mos.

Years In Channel: 15

Highlights: Mindjet

creates mind-mapping products that let people achieve insights by visually tying together their ideas and information. Gilbert hopes to give partners a different way to add value by putting visual thinking at the front end of the systems they are already delivering. Mindjet is working on a pilot with VARs to create and seed solutions.

Female Role Models: Gilbert says her mother realized in the late '70s that the education process for nurses was broken, as 60 percent of nursing students were failing their state boards on the first try. She designed a curriculum for the college she taught at, which is now in place across the U.S.

---

Catherine H. Giordano

President and CEO

Knowledge Information Solutions Inc.

Virginia Beach, Va.

Years In Position: 7

Years In Channel: 7

Highlights: In the past year, revenue has grown more than 20 percent, a testament, Giordano says, to its 100 employees. Knowledge Information Solutions has improved its government business, expanded its regional managed services customer base and continued to implement the convergence of its security practice into the network integration offering and the print-per-page program.

Female Role Models: Meg Whitman (former president and CEO of eBay), Carly Fiorina (former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard) and Baroness Margaret Hilda Thatcher (former U.K. Prime Minister).

---

Tonia Gonsalves

Director, Global Partner Enablement

Hitachi Data Systems

Santa Clara, Calif.

Years In Position: 4

Years In Channel: 20

Highlights: Gonsalves was key to establishing Hitachi Data Systems' first full-coverage Global Partner Enablement team, focusing on partner levels, market-specific tools and a certification program. The company also rolled out a partner-delivered sales portfolio and a streamlined company-delivered service portfolio partners can resell. She also incorporated partner input into the go-to-market strategic planning process.

Female Role Models: Gonsalves says her role models include both men and women who have shown value for both the "integrity of standards and a desire for the highest excellence."

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Donna Grothjan

Vice President, Channel Strategy and Operations

Juniper Networks Inc.

Sunnyvale, Calif.

Years In Position: 3.5

Years In Channel: 20.5

Highlights: Grothjan's accomplishments include the development and management of partner recruitment plans. She also developed and established an opportunity registration program, with more than 1,600 new deal registrations in 2007; developed and boosted distributor B2B interaction and policies; structured the inside sales team to better serve J-Partners; and enhanced Juniper's distribution footprint.

Female Role Models: Grothjan says that at an early age, her mother instilled in her a strong work ethic and emphasized that one should always appreciate what one has and not take things for granted.

---

Hope Hayes

CEO

Alliance Technology Group LLC

Baltimore

Years In Position: 12

Years In Channel: 20

Highlights: To meet a changing business environment, Hayes restructured to focus on Alliance's expertise and set it up for expansion. She separated the Professional Services Group from the hardware and software sales organization-the new Solutions Services Group lets Alliance offer clients customized solutions. Alliance also created the Network Solutions Group to help clients transition from traditional telephony to VoIP.

Female Role Models: Hayes names two women she has worked with who now work for NetApp: Deb Rossi and Regina Kunkle. "They both have mastered the balance between successful family and career," she says.

---

Julie Criscenti Heck

Director, Channel Segment

VMware Corp.

Palo Alto, Calif.

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 15

Highlights: Recruited 10,000 solution providers worldwide. With the launch of the VIP Partner Program, Heck built the go-to-market strategy for solution providers, including messaging and positioning, communication plans and a new PartnerPath training framework.

Female Role Models: Christine Darwall, member of the board and consultant to ViewStar before taking on the VP of marketing and business development role. Gayle Crowell, ViewStar's GM, later CEO of RightPoint Software, which she sold to Epiphany, now with Warburg Pincus. Victoria Grey, former VP of sales for EMC Insignia, now a marketing consultant.

---

Nancy Kay Hedrick

President and CEO

Computer Software Innovations Inc.

Easley, S.C.

Years In Position: 19

Years In Channel: 19

Highlights: Computer Software Innovations' revenue increased 93 percent in 2007 over 2006. Hedrick led the charge on the integration of the acquisition of McAleer and completed the acquisition of ICS Systems. She also continued strong partnerships with Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Promethean and Tandberg. She will remain working, she says, to improve profitability and seek additional acquisitions, particularly in the intellectual property/software segment.

Female Role Models: Hedrick gives the nod to her sisters and to her mother.

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Julie Hens

Vice President, Channels, U.S. Canada Distribution

Cisco Systems Inc.

San Jose, Calif.

Years In Position: 3

Years In Channel: 3

Highlights: 2007 was an exciting year for the Cisco/U.S. Canada Distribution team, which has been focused on collaborating to drive growth through the channel. The newly emerging distribution landscape shows the team's focus on optimizing access to new markets such as small and midsize business both in the U.S. and, more recently, in Canada.

Female Role Models: Hens describes her sister, Susanne Bowen, "as graceful under pressure, a pragmatic businesswoman and a true friend." Hens also admires race car driver Danica Patrick for winning in a tough environment.

---

MIchelle Johnston Holthaus

General Manager, Channel Mobile Platforms Group

Intel Corp.

Hillsboro, Ore.

Years In Position: 8 mos.

Years In Channel: 10

Highlights: Overseeing the launch of Intel's first mobile notebook spec was a milestone. Also key was helping partners enter the whitebook market. The group shipped the first two Intel-branded mobile motherboards and launched 45nm chips, vPro and Intel Turbo Memory. Last year, Intel had record-breaking sales in mobile chips shipped in the channel.

Female Role Models: Her mother taught her that anything is possible if you are willing to work hard. Holthaus also admires Sandra Day O'Connor, who in a male-dominated profession never let it stop her.

---

Marie Huwe

General Manager, Worldwide Partner Marketing Group

Microsoft Corp.

Redmond, Wash.

Years In Position: 2.5

Years In channel: 2.5

Highlights: Huwe created a Software + Services Advisory Council to clearly spell out the opportunities for solution providers. She expanded go-to-market strategies for customers of all sizes. Also, she launched a Web Partner Solutions Tool Kit to give partners the software and resources they need to succeed. Also key was the rollout of a global portal platform to ensure partners around the world get access to the latest training, tools and resources.

Female Role Model: Oprah Winfrey, for her amazing business acumen and her passion for giving back and making a difference socially worldwide.

---

Lila Ibrahim

General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group

Intel Corp.

Shanghai, China

Years In Position: 6 mos.

Years In Channel: 6 mos.

Highlights: Realigning the team to establish new markets and models for emerging markets while creating sustainable economic development was key. Over half of Intel's business here is from the channel, which is why providing them with the right products, support is crucial.

Female Role Models: Ibrahim served as Chief of Staff to Craig Barrett and was most impressed by his wife, Barbara Barrett. "She has done everything from running for governor of Arizona to teaching young political leaders in Russia, from managing 47,000 employees worldwide for the FAA to piloting an F/A-18 Hornet to land on an aircraft carrier," she says.

---

Colleen Kapase

Director, Global Partner Programs

VMware Corp.

Palo Alto, Calif.

Years In Position: 2

Years In Channel: 12

Highlights: Kapase names the relaunch of VMware's deal-registration program as one of the past year's highlights. Kapase also says VMware took care to listen to partners about what needed to change and improve to make sure both business owners and sales reps are rewarded.

Female Role Models: Kapase counts her grandmother as someone to look up to. During the Great Depression her grandmother achieved a ninth-grade education but was still able to help her grandfather build and run a family business. She taught herself everything she needed to know and raised five kids, all of whom went on to college.

---

Felise Katz

CEO

PKA Technologies Inc.

Suffern, N.Y.

Years In Position: 7

Years In Channel: 12

Highlights: PKA specializes in providing the next generation of network servers, Enterprise SAN and NAS storage, wireless, hybrid, and handheld technologies to growing businesses. It has alliances with Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems and inside tracks with Oracle Priority Partner, CA, Legato, Veritas, 3Com, Cisco, Enterasys and DNPG. Katz is most proud of mentoring several women on her team to enter the world of IT sales and marketing. She also was active on the HP Enterprise Partner Advisory Board and Intel Partner Advisory Council.

Female Role Models: Lt. Col. Eileen Collins, the first woman shuttle commander.

---

Choo Kim-Isgitt

Senior Director, Americas Marketing

Websense Inc.

San Diego

Years In Position: 1.8

Years In Channel: 7

Highlights: Kim-Isgitt rebuilt the North America channel marketing organization and increased investments in programs to support partners. Some key improvements: migrating new parts from a recent major acquisition, establishing MDF processes, launching a marketing relationship and programs with distribution and creating educational sites for partners. Also key was simplifying the communication process with partners and giving them one-to-one support.

Female Role Models: Kim-Isgitt says she greatly admires Teresa Golden, IBM vice president, for her leadership in launching e-business transformation at IBM.

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Kendra Krause

Director, Channel Sales

Fortinet Inc.

Sunnyvale, Calif.

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 10

HIghlights: When Krause came to Fortinet, she was tasked with creating a channel sales structure. She has developed a channel organization that includes inside and outside channel account managers to help partners plan and drive their businesses; grew the channel account team by 120 percent; and implemented training programs.

Female Role Models: Krause admires Susan Nokes, chief customer and operations officer of T-Mobile. "I greatly value and admire her ability to continue to be personable and not abandon her caring, feminine side in order to be successful," she says. Krause's husband has worked for Nokes for years.

---

Carol Kurimsky

Vice President, Marketing

Ingram Micro North America

Santa Ana, Calif.

Years In Position: 2.5

Years In Channel: 10.5

Highlights: Kurimsky developed The Zone social networking site for the VTN, SMB Alliance, ArchiTechs and GovEd Alliance communities, making it easier for solution providers to connect online with peers and pursue joint opportunities. Kurimsky also launched a lead-gen program; expanded the business intelligence program to match resellers with vendor product lines; and produced 932 business-building partner events to date.

Female Role Models: Saying she's not necessarily a role model, Kurimsky admires Madeline Albright. As the first female Secretary of State, she was known for handling herself well in tough situations.

---

Jane Linder

Principal

NWN Corp.

Waltham, Mass.

Years In Position: 4

Years In Channel: 12

Highlights: Linder is proud her work as part of NWN's senior leadership team, which resulted in strengthening the company's strategic position through marketing; launching its business in Connected Health and Human Services; shaping the corporate capital structure; and encouraging innovation throughout the company.

Female Role Models: Linder says the woman she admires most is her mother. "She told the truth, stood up for what she believed in and found a way to make the people around her feel exceptional," Linder says.

---

Selina Lo

President and CEO

Ruckus Wireless

Sunnyvale, Calif.

Years In Position: 4

Years In Channel: 10

Highlights: In less than two years, Ruckus has introduced a new wireless LAN system designed specifically for solution providers. Since then, Ruckus has signed more than 200 U.S. VARs to sell the ZoneFlex Smart Wireless LAN system. Historically, Lo says, VARs haven't been successful selling these types of systems due to complexity and cost-but Ruckus has overcome these obstacles and delivered a system that is easy to use and feature rich. Solution providers can now reach out to the underserved midmarket with a unique Wi-Fi solution, she says.

Female Role Models: Carly Fiorina, former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

---

Erin Malone

Director, Channel Enablement

Websense Inc.

San Diego

Years In Position: 2.5

Years In Channel: 11

Highlights: Malone was instrumental in growing Websense's partner base by 35 percent in the Americas, adding more than 815 partners. She also launched the ChannelConnect global partner program for enterprise and SMB partners. She enhanced training and education and deal registration, and launched a partner portal. Malone also gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on July 9, 2007.

Female Role Models: Toni Clayton-Hine, Everything Channel vice president and co-founder of IPED, was her "Channel Master" instructor and taught her how to design meaningful programs.

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Katie McAuliff

Vice President, Channels Americas

Novell Inc.

Waltham, Mass.

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 19

Highlights: McAuliff was instrumental in implementing increased margins for software resale. Over the past year, Novell increased its channel spend by five times, she says. In addition, more channel salespeople and resources have been provided for solution provider partners.

Female Role Models: N/A

---

Bonnie McMenomy

Channel Marketing Manager

ESET

San Diego

Years In Position: 2

Years In Channel: 10

Highlights: Over the past year, McMenomy has choreographed ESET's North America channel strategy and the framework for the program. Key to ESET's channel growth has been 100 percent growth of SMB and enterprise customers, integration of planning processes for product and partner types to align with regional growth strategies, partner capacity planning and budget allocation. According to McMenomy, ESET partners now enjoy a dedicated channel team ready to support their growth in specialized vertical markets.

Female Role Models: Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State.

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M. Cathy Morris

Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer

Arrow Electronics Inc.

Melville, N.Y.

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 19

Highlights: In April 2008, Morris was appointed to the post of chief strategy officer. Morris oversees all strategic and operations initiatives across Arrow, including global acquisition and merger activity. As former president of Arrow ECS, Morris managed the integration of the Agilysys/KeyLink Systems Group and the acquisition and integration of Centia/AKS and Logix S.A. Morris also says she is proud to have led Arrow ECS to receive the 2008 IBM Beacon Award for "Outstanding Financing Program in the Americas Group."

Female Role Models: Safra Catz, president and CFO of Oracle.

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Ann Elizabeth Moser

Senior Vice President

Ricoh Americas Corp.

West Caldwell, N.J.

Years In Position: 7

Years In Channel: 25

Highlights: Moser led the extensive assessment on the marketplace's requirements for solution providers to deliver value-added managed print services. Ricoh has developed an offering that she believes will be very strong in 2008.

Female Role Models: Without naming anyone specific, Moser says that she works with and knows women who are able to achieve great things within their area of business yet can maintain a work/life balance-these are the women she admires most.

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Carol Giles Neslund

Exec. Director, Americas Distribution Channel

Seagate Technology Inc.

Longmont, Colo.

Years In Position: 1.5

Years In Channel: 4

Highlights: In addition to healthy sales in standard hard disk drives, Neslund has helped with growth in security/surveillance and rugged computing, which offer more solution/service opportunities for partners. Focusing on what partners truly need means that they spend less time dealing with processes and have more time to do what's most important-sell solutions, she says.

Female Role Models: Neslund names Lorraine Giles, her mother; Geil Browning from Emergentics International; and Caroline Turner, former General Counsel for Coors Brewing.

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Lesley D. Norris

Vice President, Global Distributor and Reseller Channel Management

IBM Corp.

Armonk, N.Y.

Years In Position: 3

Years In Channel: 25

Highlights: In 2007, Norris focused on making sure that Business Partners' investments in solutions, selling in SMB and selling to new customers were recognized and rewarded in IBM's incentive programs. She also simplified programs, reduced costs for partners and removed any major obstacles to new partners joining the network.

Female Role Models: Norris says her mother is "intelligent, gracious, hard working, has great business acumen, and a sense of humor." Norris also says she is inspired by many current and retired IBM female executives.

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Amy O'Neill

Director of Marketing

GreenPages Technology Solutions

Kittery, Maine

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 10

Highlights: O'Neill created a demand-generation program she says is unique, letting partners work in collaboration with GreenPages sales, marketing, solution architects and the executive team to increase revenue though long-term strategic planning. The program and all resources needed to execute on these customized marketing campaigns are vendor-funded.

Female Role Models: Jane Cage, Heartland Technology Solutions COO. Says O'Neill: "She has the strength and determination to do anything. But she won't ever play dirty to get it done. She is open and honest, and is a great leader and a great friend."

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Sheila O'Neil

Vice President, Channel

Panasonic Corp.

Denver

Years In Position: 5

Years In Channel: 18

Highlights: O'Neil has been managing the Panasonic Toughbook channel as it has evolved for the past 10 years. She has been instrumental in helping grow the channel and helping partners grow their business with Toughbooks. To that end, O'Neil has developed and continually enhanced Panasonic's award-winning channel program.

Female Role Models: O'Neil gives accolades to Katie Posher, who was president at MicroAge. "Posher has always been someone I admired and thought of when it comes time to say ... how would she handle this?"

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Julie Parrish

Vice President, Global Channel Office

Symantec Corp.

Cupertino, Calif.

Years In Position: 9

Years In Channel: 24

Highlights: Parrish and her team are responsible for developing and executing on Symantec's channel strategy worldwide. Over the past year, the team has asked for feedback from partners through Symantec's Advisory Council and annual partner survey. After evaluating the responses, Parrish led the move to make significant program changes to improve the overall partner experience.

Female Role Models: Carly Fiorina, former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Parrish says that Fiorina had the courage to make the hard decisions to change the direction of the company to keep it profitable.

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Wendy M. Petty

Vice President of Sales

FalconStor Software

Melville, N.Y.

Years In Position: 8

Years In Channel: 18

Highlights: Petty has been focused on engaging partners as part of the company's marketing events. For example, if FalconStor attends a trade show, it invites partners-at no cost to them-to participate in the booth and sell on the company's behalf. Partners have been able to realize new revenue opportunities they would never had had the chance at before. FalconStor was also recognized by Forbes as the fifth fastest-growing technology company, right behind Google and Salesforce.com. This, gives FalconStor huge credibility partners can leverage, she says.

Female Role Models: Hillary Clinton, for her relentless drive.

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Mary Piehler

Vice President, Operations

Systems Management Planning Inc.

Rochester, N.Y.

Years In Position: 6.5

Years In Channel: 29

Highlights: Piehler aims to be a voice for solution providers. She sits on Symantec's Partner Advisory Council and HP's Partner Board of Communications. Last year, she participated on Lenovo's Partner Council. Piehler believes this enables her to use her 29 years of channel experience to see trends and look for new ways to meet challenges.

Female Role Models: Karen Takoushian, formerly of Digital Equipment Corp. and now a vice president of industry solutions at Avaya. Also, Laurie Benson, CEO of Inacom Information Systems, is a "role model for maintaining relationships and building partnerships."

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Nancy 5. Reynolds

Vice President, SMB and Channel Sales, N. A.

Trend Micro Inc.

Cupertino, Calif.

Years In Position: 5

Years In Channel: 20

Highlights: Reynolds says one of the high notes for her over the past year was making Trend Micro easier to do business with for partners and enhancing their profitability equation. She has also worked at boosting Trend Micro's position within vertical markets and SaaS.

Female Role Models: Katie Couric

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Karen Sigman

Vice President, Worldwide Channels

Data Domain Inc.

Santa Clara, Calif.

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 9

Highlights: Over the past year, Data Domain has built a strong channel program, Sigman says, and partners have benefited directly from this "very strong commitment" to the channel. More than 83 percent of Data Domain business goes through the channel.

Female Role Models: Her family of women trailblazers have driven her over the years: Her grandmother, Wanda Reed, who lived through Pearl Harbor and worked in the factories during World War II; her great aunt, Louise Jud, one of the first Western women to travel to China; and her mother, Lois Fraine, whose capabilities, she says, are too long to list.

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Ramona Thibeault

VP, SMB Sales, Solution Partners Organization, Americas

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Palo Alto, Calif.

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 9

Highlights: HP's SPO introduced or enhanced programs aimed at giving partners tools to better serve the SMB market: PartnerOne, a new business opportunity tool, Total Care for Business, the HP Channel Partner Co-marketing Program, and the HP-Microsoft Frontline Partner Program. The resources dedicated to SMB, she says, reveals the commitment to making it easier for partners to do business with HP.

Female Role Models: Mireille Guiliano, former CEO of Clicquot and a best-selling author-a marketing innovator and a pioneer in breaking barriers.

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Luanne Tierney

Director, U.S. Channel Marketing

Cisco Systems Inc.

San Jose, Calif.

Years In Position: 5

Years In Channel: 12

Highlights: Tierney has taken a "thought-leadership" approach and is building out a Cisco partner marketing community. She is striving to educate partners on new marketing trends and how they can embrace them in their business. Improving partners' marketing abilities helps them differentiate themselves, which protects margins and boosts profitability.

Female Role Models: Wendy Bahr, vice president of U.S. and Canada Channels for Cisco. Tierney also gives kudos to her sister, Laura Lechner, who taught her that "it's not your title that matters, it is what you believe in and how you live your life."

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Cheryl A. Turja

Director, U.S. Partner Programs

Sun Microsystems Inc.

Menlo Park, Calif.

Years In Position: 1

Years In Channel: 6

Highlights: Turja led the team for Sun's Partner Growth Fund, which lets partners buy demo gear at potentially no cost to them, driving more proofs-of-concept into new sales opportunities. She also made operational changes to Sun's U.S. Partner Advantage Program, aiming to make sales engagement easier. Turja also led the team that created the Sun Partner Advantage joint investment program for Sun's most highly aligned partners.

Female Role Models: Cheryl Cook, vice president of U.S. sales at Sun, because she preserves the "unique views and calmness" women can bring to decisions in this industry.

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Allison Watson

Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group

Microsoft Corp.

Redmond, Wash.

Years In Position: 6

Years In Channel: 20

Highlights: Watson has helped partners prepare for and execute on a huge wave of innovation for Microsoft via training, conferences, early adopter programs and more. Microsoft has armed partners to deliver on WIndows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office System, Microsoft Exchange, Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server and Visual Studio to hundreds of thousands of customers. More than 400,000 partners will drive the majority of these engagements, Watson says.

Female Role Models: Watson says she truly admires the women in her family-leaders in medicine, law, business and porcelain artistry.

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Sharon Woolley

Channel Sales Director

SpectorSoft Corp.

Vero Beach, Fla.

Years In Position: 2

Years In Channel: 27

Highlights: Woolley says it's been a busy year. SpectorSoft has added channel staff to work closely with partners and started a very successful lead program. SpectorSoft now offers deal registration, renewals through the channel and started a three-tier program that won VARBusiness' Gold 5-Star Overall and 4 Silver Stars for program components.

Female Role Models: Former HP chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina, for "blazing the path;" Laurie Benson at Inacom; Wendy Petty at FalconStor; Nancy Reynolds at Trend Micro; and Janice Wissler, a "dear friend and colleague in the industry for many years."

Expanded profiles of each woman can be found online, along with the women-related organizations they belong to and the best advice they've ever gotten. Go to channelweb.com.

http://www.varbusiness.com

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Copyright ? 2008 CMP Media LLC

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