Tina Smith, Vice President of Marketing for Wholesale, Indirect and Alliances, was one of five women to receive the inaugural Alliance of Channel Women LEAD Award recognizing exceptional female leaders in the tech channel. LEAD Award winners were honored at a ceremony during the 14th Alliance of Channel Women ACWConnect Live Networking Event, September 25, in Austin during Channel Partners Evolution.
“The Alliance of Channel Women launched the inaugural LEAD Award in Fall 2017 as a way for our members to recognize female channel professionals who are exemplary leaders; authoritative mentors who give women a powerful and influential voice,” said Alliance of Channel Women President Stacy Conrad, vice president channel sales at Fusion. “Tina was voted by the our membership as one of five women to receive this award. She is in rare company and we are grateful for her continued inspiration and leadership.”
Tina has 25+ years of sales and marketing experience in the IT/communications industry. Smith is widely considered an innovator, respected leader, and has excelled in her ability to drive results within organizations. Joining Qwest (now CenturyLink) in 1998, Smith built a successful career in sales leading to her position as Area Vice President, Enterprise and Business Sales. In 2012, with a desire to leverage her knowledge of sales and an instinct for “what works in the market”, she became Director of Business Marketing.
In 2017, Tina was asked to lead the Wholesale, Indirect and Alliances Marketing Team as Vice President – a testament to her impressive track record. Tina has led her team in creating powerful tools, campaigns, collateral and messages that win. She is the lead architect on developing the premier Indirect Channel marketing team in the industry, offering innovative programs to open doors for CenturyLink’s Partners to access new revenue opportunities. Tina has been named a Circle of Excellence or President’s Club Winner eleven times. In 2017, she was recognized as a CRN Women of the Channel Power 100 Honoree and received the Alliance of Channel Women LEAD Award.
Q: Who is the woman who showed you how to lead the way (e.g., your role model)?
A: My Mother is an extraordinary woman and gave me so many life skills and qualities that I am using and benefiting from today. She taught me to be a confident woman, leader, and showed me how to be a good mother to my own daughter. She shaped me to be who I am today. When you are growing up, you don’t realize the impact your parents have in your development. In so many ways, the traits and behaviors they show become a part of you. My mother was a stay at home mom, but her reach and impact in our community was great. She taught me, through example, both confidence and empathy. Through interacting and helping others in our small community, she showed me that no matter the size and scope of your role, your impact can be wide and long-lasting. She also showed me how to navigate many situations and to adapt to change. A key to her personality and success was humor. Lastly, she taught me about balance and to focus on the important things in life: family, friends, community service, and investing time in what makes you happy.
Q: What are you doing to lead the way for other women in the tech channel today?
A: It is very important to me to lead by being a positive example and role model for other women. I believe that simple words of encouragement, positive reinforcement, and skills sharing can go a long way to instill confidence in other female professionals and leaders. It’s personally important to me as I continue to develop in my own career and life, that I share the things I’ve learned to help other women grow and succeed. I also always try to elevate, open doors and give other females opportunities whenever and wherever possible. It’s important to make sure females have a presence and seat at every table. We have made remarkable strides in terms of gender equality in the workplace, and we as female business leaders can continue these efforts through example and action to reach true workplace parity.
Q: What is one thing we could accomplish that would most benefit women in the tech channel going forward?
A: I believe more investment in coaching and development is one area where we could have significant long-term impacts to benefit women in the tech channel. Coaching and development can be increased both in terms of personal and professional mentorship, but also formal business and technology skills and expertise training. The more we invest in elevating skills, confidence and impacts, the better we are preparing ourselves to be considered for Executive-level positions. The more coaching and development we foster, the rewards will grow exponentially and will be long-lasting.