CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Bernadette (Bern) Richardson

Vice President of Marketing, PlanetOne Communications

Location: Scottsdale, AZ


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 11

Twitter Handle: @PlanetOneComm

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has an advanced degree
Has an MBA
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Spotify
Has a personal mantra
Has completed a marathon
Had a lemonade stand
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
Bernadette (Bern) Richardson is a successful strategist with a defined expertise in business development for multi-million-dollar market leaders including Coca-Cola, as well as management services, operational efficiency, sales and technology solutions. As vice president of marketing for PlanetOne Communications, Bern brings more than 25 years of experience in business management excellence, including 11 years within the telecommunications industry as an entrepreneur, having served as President of TMC Communications and Director of Marketing for HCC. Prior to joining PlanetOne on 2016, she spent six years working for Public Safety Network deploying significant wireless infrastructure public safety initiatives for the State of California's 9-1-1 Office of Emergency Services. Bern graduated with honors from Pepperdine University, earning a Master of Arts degree in Business Administration. She also received a bachelor degree in pre-law from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Recruiting top quality channel partners is critical to PlanetOne's success. Being responsible for creating an effective calendar of strategic initiatives, including our incentive and Tech Tour events, that feature the right mix of education, business development opportunities, networking and fun is the first step in deploying this game plan. Executing these world-class events is the next essential step in ensuring that both the partners and providers derive value from attending. Finally, witnessing the standing room only sessions and the buzz during the social portion of these programs is extremely satisfying, especially knowing that I am in the midst of opportunities being leveraged and lifelong business relationships and friendships being forged. Many of these opportunities and relationships take years to mature and I enjoy helping to create the strategic long view.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
PlanetOne has experienced record growth - with revenues up 500% since 2010. As we continue to move into new applications and areas of service, my goals are to execute on the winning formula that has created PlanetOne's success: unparalleled client support from a team of dedicated professionals, providing state of the art solutions from best-in-breed providers and growing our valued partner relationships. Our partners are as entrepreneurial, creative and committed to growth and excellence as we are and together we form an unstoppable team.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Although it's open to anyone who completes the course, the award I am most proud of in 2016 is the completion of the Imogene Pass Run in Telluride, CO. The 17.1 mile course starts at 8000ft in Ouray, CO, climbs 13,000ft in the first ten miles, then drops to 9000ft for the final 7.1 miles ending in Telluride. It was a grueling, punishing run that I finished in 4:42 - one of the hardest things I ever trained for and completed. The feeling of exhaustion and elation I felt when they handed me the medal at the finish was incredible!

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn. Author of "Strong is the New Beautiful," she has 77 World Cup wins and is No. 2 on the all-time list -- chasing Ingemar Stenmark's record of 86, a mark once thought to be untouchable. Lindsey has fought to overcome and recover from several overwhelming injuries, which for many would be career ending but she is ferocious in her determination to succeed. My daughter and I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsey at her book signing in Denver in 2016. She was so humble, funny and gracious. #nevergiveup #badass

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Tools. Machines. Automation. This is the basis of technological evolution to this point in human existence. When I started my career fax machines were cutting edge - now we are on the brink of self-driving autonomous cars being commercially available. A technology-focused career harnesses your intellect and will provide the opportunity for lifelong learning which is essential to overall life satisfaction. Add that to the higher than average median salaries earned in the tech sector and you have a winning combination for a career choice.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Walter Mitty from the "Secret Life of Walter Mitty." I can relate to James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes from normal life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job is threatened as the result of a takeover, Walter takes action, embarking on a global journey that turns into a real adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have imagined. Mitty is compassionate, dedicated and introspective. His character inspires me to take risks and take the road less traveled (with a great rendition of David Bowie's Space Oddity).

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would like to travel to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas between India and China. Bhutan has gradually opened itself to the West by exporting its philosophy of 'gross national happiness' (GNH), a belief that a society should be measured not simply by its material indicators but by the health, education and the contentedness of its people. This idea is so pervasive that last year, the UN adopted a non-binding resolution that 'happiness' should be included among development indicators. I'd like to see GNH in action and hike to the nearby Tiger's Nest temple.

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