CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Patty Gray

Vice President, Global Vendor Management, Westcon-Comstor

Location: Tarrytown, NY


Number of years in current position: 7

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 30

Twitter Handle: @westconcomstor

Fun Facts:

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

Biography and Background:
Patty Gray has more than 30 years of experience in the IT distribution industry. She joined Westcon-Comstor in 2010 and has played an instrumental role in building and launching the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based company's global vendor management organization. A well-known leader in the security and unified communications markets, Gray has helped Westcon-Comstor extend its global footprint to operate in more than 70 countries. Prior to that, she spent 23 years at Avnet, expanding that company's portfolio of software, storage and networking solutions. She also led Avnet's European Global Customer organization from 1998-2000.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
As the lead of our global vendor business management organization, I'm focused on developing new business for solution providers from both our top global vendor partnerships and from manufacturers looking to establish their channel presence. One way we look to accomplish both is to identify and bring on board new, leading-edge technologies that complement our primary vendors. One very successful initiative in that regard has been our Accelerate program, which serves as a framework for introducing new vendors to solution providers through a channel incubation strategy. We help the vendors establish their go-to-market channel programs and scale their business. So far, the first six vendors have experienced a 150% CAGR increase since joining the Accelerate program, giving solution providers additional high-growth, high-margin opportunities to talk to their customers about.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
I want to help our vendors - and in turn our solution providers - grow their business by developing a strong, solutions-based approach through innovative sales and marketing programs to reach customers. We're accomplishing that through initiatives like Accelerate, but also by keeping a keen focus on driving growth in three areas: global services, cloud, and helping customers establish a global reach. As solution providers continue on their digital transformation journey, it's my job to make sure they have the right technologies and right vendor partners to work with.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
I've been fortunate enough to earn a spot in Westcon-Comstor's Presidents Club each year I've been here, an award for exceeding revenue and profit goals. We have a great team committed to working closely with our vendors and focusing on high-growth, high-margin technologies and services that make our solution providers more successful. It makes all the work worthwhile!

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I really admire Althea Gibson, who became the first African-American tennis player to play internationally. She won several Grand Slam events, and was also a successful professional golfer. I was a college athlete and I am a big sports fan, so I appreciate her accomplishments, and how much determination and courage it took for her to be successful. She carried herself with a quiet dignity on and off the court and inspired others to take changes and strive for success.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
My advice for young women entering the workforce today is to surround yourself with a strong support system. Build a solid network of internal and external resources that can help you build upon your successes. Find someone who is willing to serve as a mentor, a relationship that you can count on and use as a foundation to one day serve as a mentor yourself. Finally, don't be afraid to fail. And if you do fail, get up, try again. Success is achieved through learning from your mistakes and adjusting accordingly.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Meryl Streep has played so many amazing characters. It would be hard to pick just one. Each time she gives a gutsy, raw performance, and you come away the stronger just for watching. So maybe I'd just want to be her for one day!

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Thailand. I've been to Bangkok, but I really want to explore the country. I want to do Phuket, ride an elephant, go to Chiang Mai. It looks amazing and it's been high on my list for a long time.

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