Location: Seattle, WA
URL: http://aws.amazon.com/partners or aws.amazon.com/partners/competencies
Number of years in current position: 3
Number of years involved with indirect sales: 10
Twitter Handle: @AWS_Partners
Biography and Background:
Experienced IT and Cloud Channel Professional. Rachel leads the Amazon Web Services Global Competency Program, which includes hundreds of software and consulting partners around the world. Rachel owns the overall strategy, execution, and marketing of global Competency Programs at AWS. She was employee number two and an integral player in launching the AWS Partner Network (APN) 5 years ago, which included program development, partner enablement and onboarding, building strategic partner relationships, and driving overall program marketing and communications. Over the past five years, Rachel has helped lead the ecosystem to grow at its astounding pace through her roles as Onboarding and Marketing Program Manager before her current position as Global Leader, AWS Partner Network Global Competency Program. Prior to her years at AWS, Rachel worked as an IT and data center specialist providing clients around the nation with top solution providers to support their IT business goals. Majored in Business and Communications at Washington State University, Cume Laude Honors & Presidents Dean's List. Rachel is passionate about technology and enabling other Women in Technology. She and her husband Kramer live in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle and are expecting their first child in July.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
As the Head of the AWS Competency Program, Rachel owns the overall strategy, execution, and marketing of global Competency Programs at AWS. The AWS Competency Program recognizes APN Partners that are strong in specific skillsets, workload and verticals, and has quickly become one of the fastest growing programs in the AWS Partner Network. It provides our APN Partners with the platform to truly differentiate their AWS products and services based on their demonstrated success with AWS Customers. Rachel and her team are responsible for driving the program brand, build stringent partner requirements, market the program to partners and customers, drive program growth (new Competencies, new categories, and partner participation), as well as leading and communicating global Competency launches cross-functionally, and drive global requirements and execution for building scalable AWS Competencies. Over the past year, Rachel's team has significantly expanded the AWS partner Competency Program to include Financial Services, Internet of Things (IoT), Government, and Migration Competencies, as well as the addition of over 30 sub-categories to further support our partners through differentiation. In addition, we've focused on adding strategic partners globally, building enablement tools (business and technical), hiring great people, and driving focused marketing efforts for Competency Partners.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
This year, we'll continue to find ways to help our partners grow their businesses by leveraging our foundational AWS Partner Programs, as well as delivering high-value partner enablement, training, certifications, and go-to-market initiatives on a global scale. In true Amazon fashion, we're customer obsessed which includes the way we design our partner programs. We're placing a huge focus on building and leveraging scalable tools that aid our customers in finding the right partners based on their AWS business needs. We'll continue to build new programs and Competencies that are directly requested from our customers.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
It's hard not to take notice of all the influential women leaders, including those that raised me, especially during today's climate. I'm a huge fan of Angela Duckworth, a pioneering psychologist who has spent her career in research studying grit and self-control. Her results found that it's not natural aptitude, IQ, luck, or genius that drives success, but its grit. The power of passion and long-term perseverance when driving to your goals is the most important predictor of success and well-being. So ladies, roll up your sleeves, follow through, and be fearless in the face of adversity!
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Be yourself. Be respectful. Trust your judgments and instincts. Work hard. Don't take no for an answer if it's the right thing. Stay positive and focus of the good in situations. Brag more. Know your worth. Lead by example. Always seek feedback. Always do the right thing. Travel and strive for balance. Enjoy what you do. Seek excellence over perfection. Stay focused on your goals.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I chose Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation (TV Show instead of movie) because she's one of our generations leading fictional feminists. She's a champion for women, always speaks her mind, works hard, and solves problems by taking initiative. On top of it all, she loves what she does. She remains positive even through times of setbacks. She inspires people, decisions, and movements around her by being herself, and leading by being a positive example for all.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
My husband and I love to travel and are what you would call true "Washingtonians" - we're outdoor enthusiasts and avid hikers. We're constantly seeking our next adventure. If we had all expenses paid, our top destinations would be to Tanzania, Africa to hike Mount Kilimanjaro or scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Kilimanjaro is a goal of mine designed to challenge me mentally and physically. The Great Barrier Reef is an ultimate diving location, and is at the top of my list to dive and explore. Nothing better than observing the amazing environment that exists underneath us.
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