Nine from AWS Honored as CRN’s Women of the Channel for 2019
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2019 Women of the Channel Awards
At Amazon Web Services (AWS), we believe the future of tech should include people of every color, gender, belief, origin, and community. The future of tech should also be accessible, flexible, and inclusive. This vision is the foundation of our We Power Tech program, which focuses on building a pool of technologists as diverse as our world.
This year, CRN honored nearly 700 women whose channel expertise and vision are deserving of recognition. Nine women from AWS made the CRN’s Women of the Channel list for 2019, and we are proud of these Amazonians for their excellence in supporting customers, partners, and our global cloud community.
In addition, Kelly Hartman and Darci Kleindl were named to the Power 100, which spotlights female executives whose insight and influence help drive channel success. Congratulations Kelly, Darci, and all of our AWS honorees!
Kelly Hartman, Global Head of the AWS Partner Network (APN)
Kelly started her career in the U.S. Air Force as an Airborne Communications Operator and Technician. From there, she went on to work for a large technology vendor where she worked with global service providers, and later launched and ran strategic partner programs.
Since joining AWS in 2014, Kelly has worked with AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners to develop AWS practices and solutions to serve business customers of all sizes.
“As my team grows, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the women who have shaped my path,” says Kelly. “I really admire my former boss and mentor, Dr. Monica Cojocneau. Monica took chances on me, she taught me a lot about building and managing high-performance teams, and continues to mentor men and women around her.”
Darci Kleindl, General Manager, NA Partner Sales
Darci sets the cloud strategy and operating model within North America to deliver AWS services through the APN Partner community. Since joining AWS, she has built innovative models to identify business value with APN Partners and AWS customers.
Darci is known as a strategist and collaborative leader who takes action to exceed customer expectations. Talent development, mentorship, and building organizational capital are important priorities for Darci, and she’s active in developing programs that focus on women in business.
“The key to success is the ability to earn trust,” says Darci. “At all levels of our customers’ organizations, they are looking for partners who they can trust with the business technology decisions. This includes the ability to operate with high integrity in every situation, be vulnerable when necessary, and balance short- and long-term outcomes.”
Mira Ayad, Sr. Manager, Channel Incentives Program
Mira has worked with APN Partners since joining AWS in 2015, pulling from over a decade of experience working in the IT channel. She launched the AWS Solution Provider Program focused on helping APN Consulting Partners provide customers with a one-stop shop for all their AWS needs.
Prior to AWS, Mira worked at Microsoft in a similar capacity and had a great impact on shaping the next wave of the cloud-first partner channel.
“My focus is to continually listen to what customers want from APN Partners in terms of value-added services,” says Mira. “Our channel enables APN Partners to be deeply trained on AWS so they can build, deploy, and manage best-in-class AWS workloads on behalf of customers.”
Lucia Filanti, Partner Marketing Lead, Global ISVs
Lucia designs solution-level integrated campaign strategies for the ISV Partner community, delivering joint marketing plans with top strategic technology partners. Prior to AWS, she spent several years managing marketing teams at Oracle, SAP, VMware, and other technology start-ups.
Lucia’s professional interests and constant growth gravitate towards partner marketing roles, which have helped her understand and solve challenges with companies on the digital transformation journey.
“The move to cloud is taking place at a very fast pace,” says Lucia. “To be successful in the current environment, customers and APN Partners need to build agility into their businesses, as well as embrace and enable continuous transformation to take advantage of evolving technology trends.”
Kristin Heisner, Head of Americas Partner Marketing
Kristin is responsible for the partner marketing strategy and execution within North and South America, driving AWS services through the APN Partner community to all customer segments.
Since joining AWS in 2015, she launched the Global System Integrator and Influencer Partner Marketing teams, and led the Global SAP Enterprise workload marketing team. Kristin worked at VMware for eight years in channel marketing.
“My goal is to work with our channel to build a stronger demand generation engine,” says Kristin, “while continuing to expand our network of partnerships, especially in Latin America, and build out an APN Partner community that can help solve our customers’ needs.”
Barb Huelskamp, Sr. Manager, ISV Partner Development
Barb is a 25-year veteran in channel and sales leadership who delivers revenue growth with sustainable outcomes in technology, cloud, and software markets. She was hired to re-architect the channel strategy, program, and global alliance manager focus at AWS.
Barb is a dedicated and accountable leader with a passion for success and mentoring others. She insists on the highest standards and has been able to attract, develop, and retain key talent throughout her career.
“My first job in tech was with a women-owned firm,” says Barb. “Working for a female CEO was a big draw, but they also needed broad talents and a willingness to dive into new responsibilities. She gave me two pieces of advice that have never left me. First, always handle yourself with grace. Second, never participate in office politics. If you do your job, everything will work itself out.”
Barbara Kessler, Global APN & MSP Programs Leader
Barbara joined AWS in 2016 to lead the AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner Program. In this role, she has been responsible for the incubation and development of next-generation AWS MSPs globally.
In 2018, Barbara’s role expanded to include ownership of the foundational APN Program, where she has driven significant advancements and aligned partner programs to customer needs and outcomes. Through extensive research and consensus building, she successfully proposed a new construct of requirements and benefits for APN Partners.
“The key to success for APN Partners is focusing on customer needs and customer outcomes,” says Barbara. “This is passionately how AWS creates programs, is part of our Leadership Principle of Customer Obsession, and our most successful partners share this passion with us.”
Tara Palmieri, Head of NA East Consulting Partners
Tara’s career has spanned 17 years as an “approachable badass” channel chief at Microsoft, Oracle, and now AWS. Her experience includes worldwide and NA leadership and management roles in professional services, sales, and product management.
For the last decade, Tara led Oracle’s NA programs and alliances teams, transforming their partner ecosystem from on-premises to the cloud. In March 2019, Tara joined AWS and is leading a team driving go-to-market with top APN Partners on the U.S. east coast.
“A cloud-first strategy and obsessing over the hybrid needs of customers with a focus on ‘super powers’ will drive success for channel partners,” says Tara. “Vendors are looking to focus on quality partners who take these super powers into new markets while building repeatable technical solution offerings.”
Rachel Rose, Head of APN Differentiation Programs
Rachel leas the AWS Global Differentiation Programs, which includes hundreds of software and consulting partners around the world. She owns the strategy, execution, and marketing of global differentiation programs, including APN Navigate, AWS Service Delivery, and AWS Competency.
Rachel was employee number two and an integral player in launching the AWS Partner Network seven years ago, which included program development, partner enablement and onboarding, building strategic partner relationships, and driving overall program marketing and communications.
“In true Amazon fashion, we’re customer obsessed which includes the way we design our partner programs,” says Rachel. “We’re placing a huge focus on building and leveraging scalable tools that aid our customers in finding the right partners based on their business needs.”
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People who succeed at Amazon, like these talented women from AWS, have something in common—they are customer-centric, they are leaders, and they are innovators.
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