The best days at work are always the ones when you get to share achievements or milestones with colleagues. This week, I couldn’t be more excited for three Forescout channel rock stars for being recognized in CRN’s 2019 Women of the Channel Awards. Stephanie Goodman, Director of Global Strategic Alliances, Toni Buhrke, Director of Worldwide Channel and Inside Systems Engineering, and Tonya Kaufman, Director of Global Channel Marketing were each recognized for their contributions to channel advocacy, channel growth, visionary leadership and ongoing dedication to the IT channel, according to CRN.
One of the things that stood out to me the most is how different each of the nominees’ roles are within Forescout—yet they’re all highlighted as top contributors in the channel. And, as someone who has personally experienced the passion that each of these women have for our channel partners, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition. I’ve also had the pleasure of working alongside each of them through the Forescout Women’s Network, which was created to support the business success of women at Forescout. Needless to say, I am thankful to have each of them on our team!
But enough from me, what do Toni, Tonya and Stephanie have to say about their careers in the channel and beyond? Here’s a glimpse of what they shared with CRN.
What was your first job in tech and what led you to it?
Response by Tonya Kaufman: My first job in tech was with Zones, LLC. I had recently earned my MBA and returned to Seattle to start my job search. I connected with an alumnus from my MBA program who eventually hired me to build vendor co-op programs and expand Zones into international markets. I spent nearly four years with Zones. This position kick-started my career in channel marketing and helped me understand the different parts of the channel from vendor, to partner, to customer.
Response by Toni Buhrke: I started out in tech the way most people do, and that was in technical support. I was an experienced user of a product and then went to work for the vendor in their technical support department. From there I moved into post sales management and eventually into pre-sales, where I’ve been ever since. Most of my career growth has happened organically as I’ve learned and become an expert at whatever I was focused upon.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why?
Response by Stephanie Goodman: I have always admired Karlie Kloss. While she might not be known for winning a Nobel Peace Prize, she let her modelling career take a backseat to her passion of coding. Karlie focuses on empowering young women to pursue subjects like software engineering and computer science through her summer camps, Kode With Klossy. It’s refreshing to see someone using their social media platform to empower young girls to feel confident in careers outside of the societal gender norms. I personally wish I had pursed systems engineering and think it’s fantastic that more young girls are being exposed to these types of career paths and can act on their passions that will eventually impact their career outcomes.
Response by Toni Buhrke: I’ve always admired Sheryl Sandberg for her work at Facebook, and for writing a book that created the Lean In movement. She brought to light some of the challenges that are faced by women working in a male dominated industry all while successfully having a high-profile job, busting the door open for women to be on the boards of technology firms, and taking care of a family. I think prior to her movement many of us just survived in the industry without realizing the bigger picture of what was happening to us and around us. It was a very empowering initiative and I thank her for being a trail blazer.
To read the full story, check it out here!
And maybe we’ll see you at the Women of the Channel West 2019 in Palm Springs May, 21 – 22