Illumio is excited to announce that CRN Magazine has chosen Sam Reese, Illumio’s Head of Field and Channel Marketing for the Americans region, as a CRN Woman of the Channel for 2023.
The CRN Women of the Channel list honors women for their strategic vision, thought leadership, and channel advocacy that impacts growth and innovation in the channel.
We sat down with Sam to discuss the award, why partner success is so important, and her advice to women getting started in tech.
What does the CRN Women of the Channel Award mean to you?
I’m grateful to be recognized as a CRN Woman of the Channel. Looking at the list of past and present award winners, I am truly honored to be in the company of so many inspiring women. The contributions these women have made to the channel community is truly inspiring.
How would you describe your role at Illumio?
I’m currently the Head of Field and Channel Marketing for the Americas region at Illumio. I'm a data-driven field marketing leader with a “builder” mindset, a love of working with hyper-growth companies, and a passion for servant leadership.
I oversee a phenomenal team of Senior Field Marketing Managers, and together we develop and implement various programs by applying best-in-class marketing tactics to generate, accelerate, and expand sales pipeline.
Why is partner success so important to you?
With a successful partner strategy, companies can generate more leads and increase the conversion rate of those leads and opportunities. Building partnerships into the makeup of an organization is critical to success. Companies who treat partnerships as a separate channel, function, or team will struggle to unlock the growth that a partner ecosystem can really deliver.
Successful companies leverage partnerships as a strategy, not a separate function of the business. By working with channel partners, not only can we grow our customer base and scale our business, but we can also deliver increased value to the customer.
What are your goals to drive channel success at Illumio in 2023?
We’re becoming more proactive in our approach to partner programs. Last year, we produced and participated in a lot of activity on our own. This year we are looking at everything through a partner lens and working to incorporate a partner component into almost everything that we do.
My goals for the Americas’ channel business over the next year are to increase usage of our partner portal, provide partners with better opportunities for enablement, and create more cohesive and mutually beneficial partner-specific plans for the fiscal year.
As a successful woman in the channel, what is your advice to young women getting started in tech?
Women often hear the advice to “find a mentor.” While finding mentors for different phases and stages of your life is important, the best advice I received early in my career was “find a champion.” Women need what men get all the time – someone prepared to go out on a limb for them. Find those champions and cultivate those relationships early and often.
Support is defined as to bear all or part of the weight; hold up. As a young woman in tech, I was fortunate to have supportive women leaders around me. They held me up. They pushed me. They showed me grace. They grew and succeeded and brought me with them. They believed that their light wouldn’t burn less bright by helping to light mine. That is the kind of leadership I strive to emulate, and I encourage all women in tech to find your support...go find your champions!
See the other 2023 CRN Women of the Channel award winners here.