My name is Amy Servis. I’m the Director of Channel sales at Chorus Communications, a technology and telco consulting firm based in Philadelphia. I have been at Chorus for almost 7 years, and have more than 20 years of experience in the Channel overall.
My main role and expertise is recognizing opportunity and partners. After discovering client needs, I pair the right solution to the client requirement. Essentially I am the Match.com of technology. I need to stay abreast of new solutions, work with many providers to know who is doing well, and where others may need more time to get their solutions fully baked.
1. Who influenced you in your early years to become a leader in your own life; what did they do for you?
My parents did. Mom was a full time nurse with 5 kids and ran a tight ship. Dad was a Navy pilot, who then went into the private sector, handling bids for the Department of Defense. I can’t say I was taught to be an entrepreneur, but being in charge of myself and my success was never a question. I saw them provide a nice life for all of us, send us to college, and make ends meet the best they could. Now I do the same for my family and know it is because my parents showed me the way.
2. What difficulty have you overcome that impacted your career for the better?
I think the most poignant time for me was when I had been in the business for about 5 years. I was grinding like it was no one’s business. At the time, my twins were 8 and the youngest was 4. I was doing well financially, making a name for myself and out of the house about 14 hours a day. I made the mistake of putting my job and career before my husband, and it almost cost us what we hold most dear. After a good amount of counseling (best money I ever spent), I learned that money isn’t everything and to keep what is most important at the top of my priority list. I changed jobs, and learned to work smarter rather than harder. I learned to delegate rather than do it all myself because I thought I would do it best. I learned to turn off work when I left at the end of the day, and actually BE with my family mentally and physically in the evening. It has made such a huge change in the quality of my life and my happiness. Chasing the dream is one thing, but not losing the dream you already have is quite another.
2. Why did you join Women in the Channel and what have you gotten out of your membership?
Being a brand new member, this one is a bit more challenging for me. However, I do know and have already seen how lovely it is to be a part of something. I don’t normally steer toward clubs and the like, but I do realize we are in a very large industry, and having relationships and people you can lean on and trust is a very warm and comfortable feeling. Normally I am eyeballing people for their ability to be a partner or supplier of mine. It feels really nice to just have these women as “peers” rather than “prospects”. And I have to say, having such amazing support both vocally and financially from the members in regards to my upcoming kidney donation has been overwhelming. It makes me feel good to be involved with such a nice group of people. I am definitely looking forward to the next event.
4. What mistakes have you made in your career and what advice would you give to someone new to the channel?
Don’t ever feel as though someone else is better than you. Be confident in yourself!
Let others do the work for which they are responsible. It will allow them to grow, and allow you to do what you are supposed to be doing rather than taking on three times the workload and burning out fast.
Stand up for yourself and ask for what you deserve.
Never be complacent with what you know. There is always more to learn and more ways to expand your experience.
Volunteer/pay it forward. Nothing can make you feel better than doing good for others. It is better than a big commission check, and is instantly satisfying and rewarding. I wish I learned this in my 20’s, not 40’s!
5. Where do you see the women in our industry thriving?
Gosh there are so many areas in the industry. It seems women rock out the marketing sectors in this business, and they have their work cut out for them. With so much competition, it is hard work to get noticed and make an impact! The tech/telco space is so far-reaching, there are no barriers a woman can’t cross. I’d love to see more female sales engineers, switch techs, and ops. managers.
6. How are you positioning yourself to stay relevant and support your clients in the coming year?
I’ve always taken the approach, as does Chorus, to stay on the leading edge of new products. Know what you sell and know what is out there! Showing partners how to increase client wallet share is a big thing. Being the one to do that for them is very important in the partner relationship.
7. When have you helped another woman gain confidence and connection, what happened?
At a previous employ, I had the pleasure of managing two women who were complete opposites –socially and economically. One was somewhat pretentious, and treated the other, who was rough around the edges, like a second class citizen. I took the time to show her how to handle her pretentious colleague, how to present herself, how to speak with confidence and push back without being defensive. It felt good to know I had helped her develop new skills that would serve her well not just at work, but in life.