Why Membership Matters to Cindy O’Connell

Feb 22, 2021

ACW is home to a vibrant community of channel professionals from across the country. We enjoy getting to know them at our in-person events and are happy to introduce you to them in this recurring Membership Matters Q&A. This month we’re getting to know Cindy O’Connell, Senior Hybrid Solutions Consultant at TierPoint, a leading provider of secure, connected data center and cloud solutions.

In April 2020, O’Connell began her position at TierPoint, where she specializes in consulting and working within the channel ecosystem to offer organizations IT solutions to meet their needs wherever they are in their IT journey. O’Connell’s held multiple leadership positions prior to her current role, from manager to director, for other data center and telecom organizations.

O’Connell is an active member of the ACW community and has been a Co-Moderator of ACW’s Chicago Local Chapter for more than two years.

Why did you join ACW Local Chapters Committee?

I attended my first ACW meeting at Channel Partners Evolution in Philadelphia, where I heard the call to get more involved with the Local Chapters.  Shannon Orr, National Partner Manager at AVANT Communications, and I decided to team up and co-chair the Chicago ACW Chapter since we both had a great network of ladies that we knew would love to participate.  Plus, I recently saw a statistic that women only made up about 20 percent of the tech industry and realized a group like this was needed.

What have been some highlights of being part of the Chicago Local Chapter?

I would say all the fun networking events and experiences.  Shannon and I like to keep our networking events interesting, so we have done everything from Yachting, Yoga in the Park to fortune-tellers and badass women trivia.

What do you get from your committee participation? 

All the amazing people I have met and the experiences we have shared. It’s refreshing to hear other women’s stories and how they face similar challenges in the IT industry and beyond, as well as support each other with great advice and insights.

Why should members get involved in a Local Chapters or another ACW Committee?

It’s a great way to expand your network, get more involved with your community, and meet some great women in your industry.

How long have you been in the channel?

I am coming up on my fifth anniversary for being in the channel and have loved every minute of it!

If you were to give yourself advice when you graduated from high school, what would it be?

Wow, what a great but tough question! I would say to put yourself out there more and get more involved.  Also, don’t be afraid to take risks and stand up for yourself and what is right.

What’s the best book – fiction or nonfiction – that you’ve read recently and why?

Alpha Girls” by Julian Guthrie.  It was a great read that tells four different women’s stories and how they shaped the tech landscape today, plus all the obstacles they had to overcome.  I highly suggest reading it!

What are your hobbies outside of work? 

I’m a board member for The Lazy Volunteer, whose goal is to give back to the community through fun and creative ways to help others become and remain active in their communities. That experience has helped me plan fun channel-related events like trivia and bag tournaments that benefit great causes.

Pre-COVID and pre-kids, I enjoyed skiing, volleyball, tennis and yoga! Since COVID, I’m entertaining and cleaning-up after my bored kids and husband, LOL! Being on lockdown with my daughters, who are now 3 and 7, has been an experience.  I think we have all watched every Marvel movie three times and every dinosaur show ever made. My personal favorite shows right now are Cobra Kai (If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s a hilarious train wreck), Yellowstone and all bad reality television. To add to the chaos, we adopted a dog named “Archie” who destroys everything in his path, and we got a fat hamster named “Chicken Nugget”.