CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Erin Arnold

President, NextStep Networking

Location: Cincinnati, OH


Number of years in current position: 10

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 25

Twitter Handle: @ekarnold

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss
Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has a personal mantra
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
For over 25 years, Next Step Networking has been providing the type of IT management and support that allows businesses to be confident in their daily technology. President Erin Arnold has been there since the early days when her Uncle asked her to help as a part-time receptionist. 16 years later, she was named President and in 2012 became the majority owner. Next Step Networking continues to be listed as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. They attribute their success to their proactive approach and experienced staff. Erin created an organization that attracts and retains top talent. She's implemented many initiatives geared towards creating a positive company culture and increasing customer satisfaction. It's this culture that has helped Next Step Networking gain a strong connection with local school districts, non-profits, municipalities, and businesses.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
As the leader of my organization, I can either do all the work myself or empower my team to develop their skills. That has been how we have grown and continue to grow. By attracting top talent, giving them the vision to move toward, and encouraging them to succeed, I have built a team that is doing great things. We believe in strong relationships, not just with our clients, but with our vendors and distributors as well. We have built strong partnerships this past year with Cisco Meraki as well as expanded our relationships with our distributors. By having ongoing communication, delivering on what we say we will, and honoring our partnerships, we expect to have substantial growth this year.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
1. Take our revenue from 3.6M to 5M 2. Continue our investment in the Cisco Meraki partnership 3. Deepen our relationship with Google and the GSuite platform for work and for education.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Inc 5000 for the third year in a row Cincinnati Best Places to work for the past 4 out of 5 years Finalist for Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Women-Owned Business of the Year

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
My friend Lisa Kaminski has been an inspiration to me for many years. She encourages me to think bigger and has demonstrated how to do good in the community and be a good leader. Even while dealing with cancer, her positive outlook and vivacious personality have shown me that when we have to deal with things that may not be good, there is a way to do it with grace and humility.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Know yourself. It is too easy to try to conform to what others in this industry think you need to be. Don't be afraid to embrace those things that make you a woman and listen to your gut. I spent too many years acting like the boss and getting nowhere. Once I started acting like me, embracing my emotional side and using that to help me lead, things began to improve.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Geena Davis' character in A League of their Own. I love that movie because of the strength that each woman demonstrated in their own unique ways. The bonds of friendships they formed, and how courageous they were to show up day after day in that situation is admirable.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Dublin Ireland. It is on my bucket list to visit, as my relatives are from there. Heck, my first name even means Ireland! I would love to experience the beauty of Ireland and visit the areas that my family came from.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants