Woman of the Day - July 13, 2017

Kelly Ireland

CEO, CB Technologies, Inc.

Location: Orange, CA

URL: http://www.cbtechinc.com

Number of years in current position: 16

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 31

Twitter Handle: @cbt_kelly

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss
Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Spotify
Has a personal mantra
Has completed a marathon
Can ride a motorcycle
Had a lemonade stand
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
Kelly Ireland started her journey in IT right out of high school becoming an IBM RPG II/III and C++ programmer. It didn't faze her at the time that this wasn't a typical female role in IT. She transitioned into Sales and focused on supporting the world's largest Aerospace & Defense companies over the next several decades. Kelly opened CB Technologies in 2001 and has spent the last 16 years guiding the company from its start as a one client, transactional VAR to a technical powerhouse System Integrator delivering highly engineered solutions to global and commercial clients.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
CB Technologies has pivoted extensively over the last three years. I continued to invest in the transformation in 2016 with the hiring of 15 people across BUs, expansion of our testing lab, as well as further development of our engineered solutions concentrated on Private Managed Cloud and IoT. I've worked with my executive team to focus on specific deliverables needed to provide our clients with capabilities that support their business vision and goals.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
I have very aggressive revenue growth goals (+40% increase) set for the company. Our approach is based around our philosophy of strategic partnerships and solution development with a crawl, walk, run mentality. When you are bringing solutions that are positioned to support companies with a myriad of business goals & issues (cost savings, time to market, increased performance, simplified IT, Public vs Private) it is our mission to deliver it right the first time. CBT 'eats its own dog food' utilizing our test lab to thoroughly test these solutions before we expect a customer to even consider them.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was honored to receive the WBEC-West IMPACT Award for providing mentoring and support in 2016 to fellow WBE's looking to grow their businesses. As a company, CB Technologies received the Boeing Company's Supplier Excellence Award for the 7th year in a row, something that has only been achieved by 75 of Boeing's over 20,000 key suppliers. Our proudest achievement was CRN's Triple Crown Award!

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
This year I would choose Sheryl Sandberg based on the unbelievable journey she shared with the world about losing her husband and what she learned from grief. To take something so suddenly surreal, life altering and painful and create a message (almost more a mission) to educate others on how to use that journey to create something positive contains an incredible lesson for all of us.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I just delivered this message last week while speaking to a group of business students from the University of Washington. I was very frank - I told them to have fortitude, perseverance and to create or join an established group focused on supporting females in technology. We have to be honest and look at this without blinders. It's still an issue and something I feel we deal with on a very consistent basis. They need to go in with eyes wide open and hopefully the work we are all doing will help to lessen difficulties.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Any one of the many super heroes we've enjoyed over the last few decades. First, I love to fly so it would one that has that ability. Second, I love helping others, especially those who are in a situation of not being able to help themselves. Nothing to me is better than turning tears into smiles, pain into relief, and stress into relaxation. Wish I could do that every day.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would go to South Africa. I once had a long talk with a CIO of a Fortune 50 company that had extensive travel experience. He told me that out of over 100 countries he had visited over the last 30 years, South Africa was by far his favorite. He felt the beauty of the country rivaled any other with a rich culture and fascinating people.

Previous WotC Woman of the Day: Lauren Shapiro