CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Denise McElroy

Senior Director, Global Channel Marketing, ClearDB

Location: Plano, TX


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 17

Twitter Handle: @dmomac

Fun Facts:

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

Biography and Background:
A famous Japanese Poet, Ryunosuke Satoro wrote "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." This philosophy aligns perfectly with Denise's core beliefs - both personally and professionally. This is why building successful partnerships has become her passion and the primary focus of her career. Denise believes that collaboration is instrumental to success, and that growth and creativity are funneled through diverse perspectives and experiences. Denise has over 15 years' experience building national and global partnerships at Microsoft, and is now defining new channel programs working for an innovative startup, ClearDB. Her experience managing strategic partnerships, building national programs and launching products across sales channels have resulted in creating new market opportunities through partnerships. Denise has been recognized for her extensive expertise defining new partnerships and channels, resulting in new revenue streams, and bringing profitable cloud based offerings to market. Denise's passion for teaming does not end at the office. She volunteers for Meals on Wheels, acts as a mentor and enjoys time spent with friends and family. Denise also enjoys oil painting, hiking, and hanging out with her four-legged buddies Sophie and Stanley.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Selling through channel partnerships is new to ClearDB but an important strategy for growth. I was hired last year to help define ClearDB's new channel programs. Over the year, I have been lucky to work with a talented and experienced ClearDB team to create ClearDB's channel messaging, develop channel offers, and expand brand awareness. I have taken the lead on designing the company's web presence, writing whitepapers, and creating awareness, partnering with trusted brands like CRN. While ClearDB is only in the beginning stages, the company is already seeing results.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Today ClearDB is primarily selling direct to customers. This is where the company started but not where we want to go. Over the next year, we would like to see over 30% of our sales going through channel partnerships growing to 100% within 3 years. My goals are to create a trusted brand through our partner programs, ensure ClearDB is successful with its vision, and innovate by defining new opportunities to grow our business.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Although I have received honors and awards while working with Microsoft, I have not received any new awards within this year.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I wouldn't be where I am without the help and inspiration of many women throughout my life. I was fortunate to work for Margo Day, Vice President of Microsoft US Education who formally lead Microsoft's US Partner organization. Margo's leadership inspires me to think differently, and learn how to be an effective leader in an arena dominated by men. She demonstrates how you can build a successful strategy, inspire others and, at the same time build trusted life-long partnerships. I admire her for her leadership and for her passion giving back and making a difference for others.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Believe in yourself but don't be afraid to ask questions. One of the things I most regret in my early career was letting fear take over. I missed critical learning opportunities by pretending to know everything. (I am certain they knew anyway)! Learning from others is critical and the ONLY way you will be successful. You will fail if you do not embrace diversity - this includes race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. Most importantly, have fun - you won't regret following your passion and making a difference for others.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I have always been inspired by characters that strive through hardships and, through their persistence, stepping through the other side, breaking barriers and becoming a better person as a result. I don't like characters that are victims. In college I was inspired by "Working Girl" movie and the Mary Tyler-Moore Show. More recently, Joy, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty BUT who wouldn't want to kill people eating creatures and save planet earth like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens?

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
It would be to any of these cities in India. Agra and Delhi or Jaipur because of their culture, beauty and history. I would take the time to experience the culture, eat great food and visit historical sites, gaining inspiration and new insight.

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