Women in the Channel Networking Mixer: Channel Partner Conference, Las Vegas

Helping Women Grow Their Business Opportunities: Go Big With Gender Diversity

By Tina Rountree, Director of Channel Partnerships, Managed Solution
I am having a great time out at the Channel Partner conference in Las Vegas this week. As the president on the board of our San Diego Women in Technology community, I was excited to attend the Women in the Channel Networking Mixer last night, I am also one of their newest members. This group was co-founded by Nancy Ridge and focuses on helping women grow their business opportunities as well as providing a supportive environment for women to thrive. This year’s event was sold out and included over 200 professional women.
I am pleased to say amongst the drinks, dancing and tasty treats, the reason we came together and the theme of the event was “Go Big With Gender Diversity”. After citing some very exciting statistics on how companies bringing women into leadership roles outperform companies that do not, sometimes by as much as 60%, a panel of industry leaders including; Dick Jalkut CEO of TelePacific, Brooks McCorcle President of Partner Solutions AT&T, Lisa Miller SVP Level 3 and Patrick Oborn co-founder of Telarus, came together to share stories of fostering gender diversity as leaders in their organizations from both a female and male perspective.
As a women in business for the last twenty years, I am frustrated that we are still having to have this conversation and at the same time incredibly grateful and supportive of the women and men that continue to speak out and take action to bring about change. We have come a long way in an industry where at a show like Channel Partners, you may have seen 3 or 4 women per session 15 years ago, to this year where the attendance of women is around 30%. There has been huge amounts of progress made, and with only 4.6% of women today holding CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies, there is still plenty of room for improvement. I am glad to see organizations like Women in the Channel growing and thriving and helping create this change.

San Diego Community of Women in Technology (WIT) Members

tina Tina Rountree, President of the San Diego WIT Community
Tina is a lifelong learner and expert at multi-tasking between work and being a mom to four teenagers. She fills multiple roles in the office and on the home front such as coach, teacher, cheerleader and motivational speaker to name a few. Tina's career started in Finance where she spent decades developing and managing relationships with large accounts such as Enterprise Rent A Car. She's now passionate about being a student of technology and says she eats, drinks and breathes Microsoft. With fifteen years of experience working with the small business community here in San Diego Tina has a deep understanding of how the right technology and systems can have a profound impact on the growth of an organization. Tina lives in the Rancho Penasquitos area and loves spending time with her husband, children, cats and their dog - her and her family are huge animal lovers
Sonya Professional Sonya Meline – Vice President of the San Diego WIT Community
Sonya is a consummate organizer, group facilitator, and motivator with an entrepreneurial flair and a passion for sharing the tools for success with others. She currently champions sales and marketing for Effortless, a cloud technology firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sonya has had an interesting and varied career, which includes starting and growing her own California coffee shop joint venture franchise; consulting as a professional corporate organizer and efficiency coach; working as executive assistant to motivational guru, Tony Robbins; and serving as Paralegal and Executive Assistant to the JAG Officer & Command Master Chief of a Texas Naval Base. During her tenure in the U.S. Navy, she helped fundraise over $100,000.00 for the 9/11 fund, and was distinguished as a recipient of the Presidential Service Award.In her free time, Sonya enjoys spending time with her husband on their permaculture ranch in Southern California, and wilderness trekking with her pack-goats. She is the Vice President of IAMCP Women in Technology’s San Diego Community, Mentorship Committee-Member for Women in the Channel, and Board Chairwomen of Friends in Deed Helping Friends in Need (aka Friends 5o1c3). She supports the Moyer Hospice Foundation and its Camp Erin, and gives freely of her time and talents to the Breast Cancer Fund. She hopes to be remembered by those who know her as a dedicated and compassionate woman of enthusiasm and integrity.
Heather Heather Atkins – Secretary of the San Diego WIT Community Heather has spent two decades on the front lines of technical sales, product innovation, and customer program management. In that time, she has helped some of the world’s leading technology companies grow their analytics, data, and collaboration products through a combination of technical depth and direct customer engagement. She has deep expertise in Federal- and State-level sales, as well as in document management, search, and workflow solutions; creating complex demonstration environments; and working with technical teams to define and test new product functionality. Heather has a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA from George Mason University along with numerous technical certifications starting with an MCSE on Windows NT 3.51. She lives in Point Loma in San Diego with her son, her partner, and three very energetic dogs.


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