Women in the Channel held its 7th Network Event on Feb. 25 at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo at the Venetian Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. In this standing-room-only event channel women joined the two-hour session for inspiration, education and networking.
The event’s lineup included welcome remarks from Khali Henderson, editor-in-chief of Channel Partners and keynotes from Deb Ward, CEO of TSI and Angela Leavitt, chief mojo-making officer at Mojo Marketing.
Deb shared her inspirational leadership story. Fortunate enough to have a father who taught her the value of property, she turned her real estate profits into a business investment. Unfortunately the opportunity quickly soured when her partners abandoned the business. Left holding the purse strings and many dissatisfied accounts she very quickly needed to learn what it meant to run a telco business. With great mentors and an unwillingness to abandon her customers, she transformed her investment (over and over again) into what is now a thriving nationwide switchless reseller, TSI. Now a network services veteran, Deb is well-respected in the industry. She serves on the board of Comptel in its executive and membership committees, and is a regular participant in industry webinars, trade association panels and executive committee forums.
Her story, complete with pitfalls, promise, humor and humility is a testament to her refusal to fail. We all run into challenges; we can either be a victim of our circumstances or rise to the challenge. Deb has risen to the challenge and left the Women in the Channel in awe.
Angela led a working session for cultivating leads in what Seth Godin refers to as the “connection economy.” Where customers are learning without sales, Angela provided tactical guidelines for using existing networks and wins to generate business — breaking through the clutter of traditional lead generation. From case studies to video testimonials and developing niches to industry associations, participants left with a road map to cultivating better leads.
The surprise for the evening was the awarding of Women in the Channel’s first ever LIPSTICK Award. LIPSTICK, which is an acronym for leadership, intergrity, passion, support, teaching, innovation, compassion and (all around) kicking ass, was awarded to Bita Milanian, Women in the Channel board member and president of BMG Consulting. Bita has been very engaged with Women in the Channel since its inception. She has been an active member of our all-volunteer board as the head of marketing while acting as the executive director of the Farhang Foundation and running her own consultancy. The Board unanimously voted for Bita to receive this acknowledgement for her commitment to Women in the Channel, her leadership in her community and excellence in her pursuits.
The event, sponsored by Channel Partners, OnSIP, TelePacific Communications, and WTG, along with media sponsors Telecom Brokers and Oncore Media and raffle sponsors BMG Consulting and Telarus, was a volunteer organized evening. Committee members included Laura Bernstein of CRA Telecom, Christina Corwin of Telarus, Hilary Gadda of TelePacific, Bita Milanian of BMG Consulting, Nancy Ridge of Telecom Brokers, Rebecca Rosen of Sales Enabled, Salwa Scarpone of WTG, Raquel Wiley of TelePacific and Chris Wilson of Datatel Direct.
Women in the Channel is anticipating its 8th Network Event on Sept. 7 at Cloud Partners in New Orleans. The group is currently accepting speaker proposals and sponsorship requests.