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Watch these channel women: They have an agenda

I am always highly conflicted when I do what I am about to do: Write about women in the channel in some sort of special way.

For the longest time, I debated whether or not I should make any big deal out of someone’s gender as a business attribute. But as I’ve reached some magic milestone birthdays, I’ve cared less what people really think. What’s more, there very definitely is a difference in the way that women manage. So, this blog is a tout for all you Channel Gals — whether you’re vendor executives or solution provider owners/principals.

One of the solution provider executives I most admire, Angela Trillhaase, senior vice president of business development for the big Illinois-based VAR Meridian Group, tarted agitating about the Women in Channels group last summer. She didn’t just pay her idea lip service. She actually went out, got about 110 women interested and is now planning the organization’s first board meeting for Jan. 28-29.

Trillhaase says Women in Channels is working on creating a set of value propositions for its memberships, ones that enrich their careers and personal lives. Two big things are encouraging diversity throughout the channel and, of course, helping to speed the advancement of women who are pursuing channel careers. It’s likely that the group will hold a conference sometime this year, but that’s not on the calendar yet. Stay tuned for more information about this and their mission in a couple of weeks.

Aside from Trillhaase, there are four other Women in Channels board members. They are Penny Arvantes, marketing manager for SoftwareOne; Dee Dee Lear, a director of sales with Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions; Gina Morkel, senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications for MSI System Integrators; and Cathy Cook Pursell, channel services manager with IBM.

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