Nancy Schwartz is Managing Partner and co-founder of Symmetry Associates, Inc. Symmetry is a Technology and IT Consulting company specializing in Cloud and Network solutions.
Why Membership Matters to Nancy Schwartz
Who influenced you in your early years to become a leader in your own life, and what did they do for you?
My parents and sisters both influenced me early on. They were dedicated to their craft, steadfast, diligent, resilient and most importantly, driven. I learned the value of hard work and a firm handshake from my dad. My mom taught me to follow my dreams, and to always put my best self forward. Finally, my sisters showed me how to create and nurture relationships both inside and outside of the board room.
I was also very fortunate to work for and with amazing women who provided additional support and guidance. One of them even became my business partner.
What difficulties have you overcome, that impacted your career for the better?
On Halloween in 2004, my now business partner and I were laid off. We decided right then to start our own business, and on November 1st, Symmetry Associates was born! It was a very exciting time, and my only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner! The lesson learned was to be comfortable with change and don’t be afraid to move forward. Whatever you do, don’t overthink!
Why did you join Alliance of Channel Women and what do you hope to get and to give to this membership?
I have been in the industry for 24 years, owning my business for 14 years. I joined ACW initially to be around like-minded, strong female leaders. Having your own business can be isolating, and it has been very rewarding to network, share best practices and collaborate with other women in the industry.
What advice would you give to someone new to the channel? Get involved. Attend Partner shows, join ACW, and participate in committees. I am lucky to have a core group of women that I have worked alongside for over 20 years. They act as friends, confidants, and sounding boards when needed. Reach out, ask for help or advice, and use your resources. Oftentimes, women don’t like to ask for help because they are used to juggling multiple jobs. I think you will find that your friends, coworkers and mentors want to help you!
Where do you see the women in our industry thriving?
Everywhere! It is exciting to see more women involved in sales, support, marketing and engineering roles within the channel. There are a lot of roles and skills needed, and so many different things you can contribute to the industry.
How are you positioning yourself to stay relevant and support your clients in the coming year?
Staying on top of new technology, knowing the top vendors in each area, and being the best technology matchmaker for our clients. Cloud and IT Technology continues to evolve, and vendor selection is critical to meet the requirements of our customers. It is important to have a robust portfolio of best in class vendors and niche players to address emerging technology. It’s impossible to be an expert on everything, however the value I bring my clients is the ability to connect the dots between what my customer wants and the technology required to support them.
What can we do to prepare ourselves for the changes that are coming to our industry?
Stay on top of emerging technology through education and training. Work with partners and vendors that provide the tools, resources and services to help you grow your cloud-enabled business. And don’t feel like you have to know everything before approaching clients. Just go for it!