By Sonya Meline, Channel Manager, Effortless Office
Banner Design by Corrine Werder, Marketing Program and Media Manager, BCMOne
If you became a new member of Women in the Channel (WiC) within the past year, you’ve likely been touched by an angel – a WiC Angel, that is. In the last 12-plus months, more than 150 new WiC members have been paired with an “Angel” – a veteran WiC member to help them get the most from their WiC membership.
The Angel Program celebrated its first anniversary at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas in mid-March. So, it’s a great time to share some of the successes of this program, which welcomes and nurtures the new members into the WiC community.
Why Does WiC Have an Angel Program?
The Angel Program was launched in 2015 by Amy Humphreys, then-chair of the Mentoring Committee, and Laura Bernstein, a former chair of the Mentoring Committee, to help the all-volunteer organization manage the influx of membership last year.
“Our new members were getting a bit lost in the shuffle with the big surge,” recalls Mentoring Committee Member Suzanne Condon, a channel manager for Mitel. “There are many opportunities to be involved in WiC; however, new members were finding it hard to navigate how to maximize their membership and make use of all the benefits of the organization.”
The Angel Program, which filled an immediate need, quickly proved effective and popular, so the new Mentoring Committee Chair Julie Dzubay, director of sales operations at Integra, recruited an Angel Management Team aka “The A-Team” to manage day-to-day operations. While there’s no Mr. T on WiC’s A-Team, it does include powerful women: Condon, Kristi Lakich, channel sales manager for Mitel, as well as a new addition, Hope Davo, marketing manager at Mitel. Lakich, who recently was named co-chair of the Mentoring Committee, will oversee the program in 2016.
What Do WiC Angels Do?
Angels become the support network for new WiC members during their first year of membership. Each Angel is assigned to assist a new member to take advantage of WiC’s benefits and resources, such as:
- Welcome – An Angel welcomes the new member as soon as she is on-boarded by the Membership Committee.
- Website – The Angel can answer questions a new member might have on how to use the WiC website and the members-only content.
- Blog – The Angel invites the new member to blog on industry trends or channel topics.
- Webinars and Meet & Greets – The Angel invites and welcomes the new member to attend WiC’s biannual receptions as well as its informative members-only webinars.
- Committees – The Angel shares other opportunities to get more involved in WiC by joining one of the group’s committees.
How Can WiC Members Get Involved in the Angel Program?
Based on this list, becoming an Angel may sound like a huge time commitment, but A-Team leader Condon says that the responsibilities actually are “minimal and very flexible.”
After being part of WiC for a year, members automatically become part of the Angel Program and can be paired with a new member.
If you are a new WiC member and have not been welcomed by an Angel, please contact Kristi Lakich at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Julie Dzubay at email@example.com.
For more information about WiC’s Angel Program or Mentoring Program, please reach out to Julie Dzubay at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the committee page on the WiC Website at https://allianceofchannelwomen.org/about/mentorship.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sonya Meline is a channel manager for cloud service provider Effortless Office and a member of the WiC Mentoring Committee. While Sonya is new to the channel she has a long history in mentorship. She also is an experienced marketing professional and is looking forward to using her marketing skills to enhance the services the committee provides for the WiC organization.
In her own words: “I am highly motivated to help women achieve health and happiness. I founded a breast health charity event in my hometown of San Diego, and when I was working with that group we brought over 1,000 men and women together annually and raised awareness and money in the name of breast health! We had a mentorship program that would match up the ladies who were going through cancer treatment with a survivor who had been through, and beat, cancer. It was so inspiring! In addition, I was also a life coach several years ago, and still maintain a few clients in that arena. While I have been in mostly leadership positions over the last 15 years, I am quite new to the channel. Thus, I feel working to put women in touch with those more seasoned members of the group would be a very fulfilling experience for me! Plus, I would love a great mentor myself! “