One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Location: Mississauga, ON
Number of years in current position: 5
Number of years involved with indirect sales: 25
Biography and Background:
Heather Kent is the Director of Channel Marketing for the Americas. In this role, Ms. Kent is responsible for the development and management of channel marketing and communications to maximize awareness and drive demand through HP partners. Ms. Kent leads a team who work with partners to plan and execute co-marketing programs and lead generation campaigns aligned with HP priorities. Prior to this position and since joining HP in 1998, Ms. Kent has held increasingly senior positions within the company's channel partner organization, including management of SMB partner sales, channel sales for HP's distributors and launching the industry-leading HP PartnerOne/Partner First program. Previous to HP, Ms. Kent held senior sales and marketing roles for various IT manufacturers including, Western Digital, Borland Software, Discis and AST Computer. In these positions, Ms. Kent built a solid foundation of experience related to the technology channel and distribution market in Canada and the US. Ms. Kent has been named to the "CRN Women of the Channel" for 2014, 2015, and 2016. Ms. Kent has been named to the "CRN Women of the Channel" for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and "CRN Power 100 Vendor Women" in 2016.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
HP is passionate about supporting our partners in their efforts to build custom social/digital marketing initiatives. As such, we have developed a number of social media tools (including HP Social Media Center) that make it easy for our Partners to engage in social media to help drive their businesses. Feedback on the platform is incredibly positive, with our partners leveraging the social tools and content every day. My team has introduced to select partners a group of marketing agencies to help support them in the planning, execution and claiming process for marketing funding that supports communication initiatives, events, and demand generation programs and resources for their businesses. In addition to the above marketing and social media initiatives, my team manages several executive engagement events for HP partners, including our annual Global Partner Conference, HP Executive Forum, and several industry events.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
HP remains focused on delivering the world-class partner programs our partners need to win in an ever-evolving market landscape. Our goal is to help our partners grow their business profitably, taking into consideration key market trends and opportunities, and providing the tools and support to help our partners take advantage of them. In the coming year, partners will be able to leverage resources from HP to address some of these market trends and opportunities with custom sales and marketing tools.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was named to the "CRN Women of the Channel" for 2016 and "CRN Power 100 Vendor Women" in 2016. CRN honors Women of the Channel "whose expertise and vision are deserving of recognition". The Power 100 recognizes "exceptional executives from Vendors".
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire the Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery. She wrote the beloved Avonlea books, featuring the strong and feisty "Anne of Green Gables." I grew up reading stories of Anne and have always been a fan! Lucy began her professional writing career in 1897 while working as a teacher; a job she had taken to allow herself time to write. Between 1897 and 1907, she published over 100 stories. Anne of Green Gables was originally published in 1908, and was an immediate success, both in Canada and abroad.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I encourage young women to seek out varied work experiences that help them learn in all facets of their careers. This could mean working in a different department or taking on different assignments or projects. I think it's important to have opportunities to build skills like strategic thinking, communications, and financial understanding in order to build confidence and gain varied experience. All of these traits will help build a foundation to allow for ongoing career growth.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. I love how strong willed and feisty she is. She is the "pink-clad, Chihuahua-toting sorority student who aced the LSATs, got into Harvard Law School and inspired a generation". She made it cool and hip to be a lawyer, breaking the staid and serious stereotype. She is a great combination of beauty and brains and she proved you don't need to rely on a man to be successful. She learned she could do that on her own. She also shows a strong character and high ethics, fighting for what she believes is right and good.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would love to visit Sydney, Australia. My sister and brother-in-law just returned from a trip of Australia. Their stories and photos were incredible! There are beautiful beaches, gourmet food and so many open spaces and parks. They raved about how nice the people are and how happy everyone seemed. Not to mention the great warm weather as our winter is their summer. I think Sydney is a great starting point for exploring the vast tourist attractions of Australia. I would also like to visit some of the wineries and sample the varieties of world-class wine they are known for.
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