By Bridget Kang
I’ve been an ACW member since March 21, 2018. My manager was a member and suggested that I join to help me build my network while in Las Vegas for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo. I joined because “Why not? It couldn’t hurt.” I didn’t even know what I was joining, but I’m always open to meet new people and, of course, have a cocktail at a party.
I remember where I was sitting for my onboarding call with Membership Chair Lori Graber – in my favorite coffee-shop-by-day-turned-taqueria-margarita-bar-by-night. Lori gave me an overview of the volunteer opportunities at ACW, which is when I started to understand the purpose and the impact of our organization.
Initially, I was drawn to the Outreach Committee, which focuses on evangelizing ACW with outside organizations and attracting young women to the channel. This idea hit me right in the heart. I have a daughter who, at the time, was into coding and cybersecurity. At 8 years old, she told me she wanted to hack China. These are the types of brilliant young women I wanted to attract to the channel: bold, brave and ambitious.
As time went on, I joined the Membership Committee, and what I have learned is that this is precisely the kind of woman we already have at ACW. In my role, have many conversations with prospective or new ACW members. We ask each person what brings them to ACW and what they expect to get out of their membership. As expected, many women are looking to expand their professional network or find a support structure in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by men. Lately, however, these conversations are about creating an ecosystem of brilliant, driven ladies who can help them learn something new.
I have been energized by these new members. They’ve highlighted the incredible opportunity for us to engage within ACW to learn something every day. Each ACW member brings a unique skill set and an individual perspective, but all members seem to crave the experience of being part of the collective that will encourage each of us to be bolder, braver and better. I believe we have created an environment where members feel free to ask questions, learn new things, be brave and even fail because we’re all here to support and encourage each other.
You win some, you learn some, and then you can share with the group.
As the saying goes, you get from ACW Membership as much as you put to it. That’s so true! I first joined with the mindset that I might pick up a few business cards and a free White Claw, and, for a while, that was the case. Once I put myself out there by joining a committee and stepping outside of my comfort zone, I found a path to new experiences and stronger relationships. I also found a mindset that makes me want to go out and change the world. I will never hack China, but as I told my daughter when she mentioned it: “Go for it. I hope you’re successful, and if you’re not, I’ll be here to catch you.”
About the Author
Bridget Kang is a Senior Partner Development Manager at Telarus. She has been in technology sales since 2006 and in the channel since 2014. She is one-part professional friend-maker, one-part mother to two phenomenal kids, and at least 37 parts enthusiasm for just about everything.