CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Charlene Urban

Regional Sales Director, AT&T

Location: Kansas City, MO


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 3

Twitter Handle: @ATTBusiness

Fun Facts:

Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has a personal mantra
Can ride a motorcycle
Had a lemonade stand

Biography and Background:
I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and graduated with a BBA degree in Marketing and Statistics from Baylor University. AT&T offered me a position before I graduated, but it took three interviews including one in which I had to sell my interviewer a pen! My first role was as a commercial markets "hunter" cold-calling and selling voice services before moving to the AT&T Online Data Center in Kansas City. There, we supported sales teams nationwide in pricing, contracting and selling internet and private lines at that time. The Online Data Centers eventually became what is today the Alliance Channel, and I have served a number of roles in the channel from Technical Sales Consultant, to Field Market Manager, to Technical Sales Manager, and now Regional Director. Each opportunity has given me the chance to grow and expand my knowledge and skill set. I feel very fortunate that my entire career has been with AT&T - a company that promotes diversity, continuous learning and career advancement.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
As Regional Director, it's my responsibility to represent the AT&T Alliance Channel in all aspects of what I do and promote our channel and the AT&T brand. I have served as an excellent leader and manager to my team over the past year, and despite challenges that are always present, it was a productive first year for me in the role. In my region, we added several new solution providers firms to sell AT&T data, security and mobility services, and we also have new recruits. The key to advancing business is to extend your selling reach.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My goals for my business are to increase sales and revenue, grow my distribution channel by recruiting more solution providers, and continue to overcome internal obstacles/barriers to success, and grow and learn as a manager and coach. My belief is that if I am not still learning then I am in the wrong role. I would like to exceed my objectives for 2017 and have a greater impact on leading the eastern region in sales.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Melinda Gates. I have admired her philanthropic work for many years with the Gates Foundation. She uses her position/income/influence to be an advocate and champion for women all over the world and pledged $80 million last year to help close the gender gap for women in developing countries. She also started a separate initiative focused on women in tech -- encouraging women in tech roles and helping them stay there. Melinda is a powerful voice for all women now and for the future.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I would tell them how valuable they are in this male-centric technology space, and how we need more women to ensure that the future is not one-sided. Most importantly, they need to know that they have a hand in shaping the future. Work hard at whatever you do, even if your first job is not your ideal job. All jobs are important and offer an opportunity to learn. Work your way up. Find a mentor. Speak your mind. Be yourself and don't be swayed by a culture you don't believe in. Stay true to yourself, and all things are possible

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I enjoy movies based on real life experiences, and was moved by the movie "Wild" and its main character, Cheryl Strayed. She needed to leave her current life behind after experiencing tragedy in order to find herself. She spent months hiking the Pacific Coast Trail by herself in order to work through her grief, and ultimately learn that she had strength, tenacity and wisdom all along, and nothing could vanquish her. I would like to be in her shoes for a day on that trail to feel the freedom and silence and just be.

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 Scotland. My dad's family is Scottish, and I would love to visit many cities there, including Edinburgh, Inverness, the Isle of Skye and Glasgow to trace some of my roots back to my Clan (Ross). The beauty and history would be phenomenal and I would immerse myself in castle tours, loch tours, Scottish cuisine and drink, attend the Royal Military Tattoo to hear the beautiful bagpipes and drums. Sign me up!

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