CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Lisa Person

Director, Member Communities, CompTIA

Location: Downers Grove, IL


Number of years in current position: 4

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 25

Twitter Handle: @LisaPerson

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
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

Biography and Background:
Lisa Person is the director of member communities at CompTIA and is in charge of the organization's Managed Services and IT Security communities. She has spent the last twenty years in the channel, working on both the manufacturer and solution provider side. This experience allows her to identify industry pain points and act on initiatives that will positively impact the IT industry at large.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
One of the ways I advance our channel business is by helping our community members advance their businesses. In 2016, the CompTIA Managed Services Community launched "Lifecycle of the Managed Services Client" which includes a helpful roadmap/infographic featuring links to a robust selection of CompTIA resources designed to build and grow effective managed services businesses. Over the past year, I've also been working with our IT Security Community to create a solution provider assessment to gauge where they are in their role as a security provider. This will assist providers in their client conversations, and position their security offerings as foundational, comprehensive or advanced. Additionally, I helped to launch "virtual hallway chats," which provide CompTIA community members with an opportunity to participate in online discussions via webinar. The first chat drew 45 participants, with more than 500 views of the recording. During the 2017 CompTIA Annual Member Meeting, we held a live "hallway chat" that had 1,300 views on Facebook. One of my other accomplishments during 2016 was growing membership in the CompTIA IT Security and Managed Services Communities by 47 percent and 32 percent, respectively - well beyond my goal of 20 percent growth for each community.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My goal is to work with CompTIA, both on the certification side and as part of the new IT pro association, to position our organization as a leader in cybersecurity and workforce development. I will be working with the IT Security and Managed Services Communities to ensure that we are providing MSPs with helpful information and tools for educating their clients on cybersecurity best practices, initiatives and policy creation. We will also focus on providing tools, resources and education for MSPs that want to achieve hyper growth, or accelerate their businesses in order to achieve more than double-digit growth.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Within the last year, I was honored as a top 5% fundraiser for The Veterans Park Lupus Walk which supports Lupus LA.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I recently became involved with the Amelia Earhart Society, so she is top of mind for me in terms of someone I deeply admire for the trails she blazed as a pioneer for women's equality, and for flight in general. She faced many struggles and had to overcome the naysayers who said she couldn't do it. I love her for her passion, drive and complete willingness to never give up. She took the long view, looking beyond what was considered normal for women at the time, and that is still inspiring and deeply impactful for me today.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Find your voice early on. Don't take things personally. Don't assume the worst when you run across unconscious bias in the workplace. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and speak up with you see something that isn't right. Often as women, we let these slights pass when we should call attention to them. By definition, most people are unaware of unconscious bias so don't miss any opportunity to speak up.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Wonder Woman. I love the idea of her being raised in a society where women were dominant; her ability to find out the truth through her lie detector; and, travel around the world in her invisible flying jet. She has always been one of my favorite characters, and I even had a chance to play her in a church production as a teenager.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would go to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I've heard amazing stories and seen incredible photographs from there. I'm intrigued by the culture and environment in and around Dubai and I'm also fascinated by the ancient history dating back thousands of years.

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