CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Trisha Cooke

Vice President, Supplier Technology Solutions, Tech Data Corporation (formerly Avnet's Technology Solutions division)

Location: San Antonio, TX


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 26

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor

Biography and Background:
Trisha Cooke serves as vice president of supplier technology solutions for Technology Solutions, formerly a division of Avnet and now part of Tech Data. In this role, she is responsible for providing executive leadership for the supplier business relationships and setting strategic imperatives to reach broader technical and solutions-focused outcomes. Cooke participates in executive planning and operational review meetings establishing effective working relationships with key suppliers and customers, while developing technical solutions to address the challenges of today's market. Prior to this role, Cooke was the vice president of lifecycle services for Technology Solutions Services, Americas, where she managed services relationships with partners and developed programs designed to be sold through the IT channel. Other roles within Technology Solutions included serving as vice president for the IBM System x brand and the IBM Remarketing team. Additionally, she served as the IBM Solutions group lead in the organization's SAP implementation, served on the Executive Women's Forum committee and played a key role in Technology Solutions acquisitions in FY2012. With 26 years of industry experience, Cooke has also held positions in the IBM Solutions group as vice president of the Solution Sales Rep organization and vice president of West Region sales.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Over the last year, I integrated Technology Solutions' pre-sales technical support and integrated solutions teams into a single organization, making major strides in helping our customers grow their businesses, especially in the third platform. Technology Solutions' Technical Field Sales team engaged with over 600 Technology Solutions partners around technical support on supplier products and services designed to support high-growth second and third platform solutions specializing in the Converged and Hyper-Converged market, delivering over 1000 1:1 partner certification mappings in order to enable our partner base. The Integrated Infrastructure Solutions team has recognized substantial growth, expecting to end above 128% year-over-year growth, by increasing partner reach and onboarding new solutions. Technology Solutions has partnerships with the seven leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems, (Cisco, EMC, HPE, SimpliVity (recently acquired by HPE) NetApp, Nutanix, and Oracle, making our distribution and support models highly valuable to our partner base. We have also added a new web portal to our Demo Center that allows solution providers to conveniently and cost-effectively bring data center Technology Solutions to life for their end customers. Focused on building solutions to support cutting-edge technologies, Technology Solutions completed over 400 engagements with our partner base.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Technology Solutions, and now Tech Data, has a robust and unique value proposition around third platform technologies that enables partners to maximize profitability as they move toward differentiation. My goal for the new channel business is to ensure that our partners are fully aware of the depth of the collective value proposition that the two organizations can provide together and how to take advantage of it to complement their own core competencies. We'll be focused on increasing partner reach and onboarding new solutions, making our distribution and support models highly valuable to our partners in support of third platform growth.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
After serving as a member-at-large for the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas, a non-profit organization that provides services and support for children and adults with Down syndrome, in 2015 I was named Development Chair, and I now serve on the board of directors as secretary. Our two major fundraising events have raised over $275,000 for area children and adults with Down syndrome. The ability for me to contribute to a non-profit is extremely rewarding. In addition, I was a recipient of the CRN Women of The Channel recognition in 2016 for my contributions to our channel partners.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
A female role model that helped shape my career is Carolyn Wesson, a retired COO of Sirius Computer Solutions. Carolyn constantly encouraged her teams to take risks, step outside of one's comfort zone and help people overcome adversity. She helped me develop direction and awareness of what I wanted to become, and she gave me confidence every day. While I have not worked with her in over 20 years, I carry her influence every day.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I would encourage young women to build strong networks of supporters and be students of the industry. Ongoing learning is critical in the technology industry, as it's important to stay current and relevant in the market. In addition, I would tell them to identify a mentor who you can bounce ideas off of - one who lends trust, confidence and support. Lastly, be an out-of-the-box thinker and have the knowledge and confidence to put yourself in uncomfortable positions so that you continue to grow and learn.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I would select Erin Brockovich because she was not only a movie character but also a real female that exemplifies strength, courage, tenacity, empathy and determination. Her path took her in many directions, but in each one she didn't let anyone tell her "no" or dissuade her from her fight for her cause. Erin continued to be the voice and outlet for so many people who were not being heard. It would be humbling to experience a day in her life and truly feel the compassion and strength as an activist and from such a self-taught individual.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
If I could travel "all expenses paid" to any city I've never been to before, I would choose Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity. It would be an amazing experience to see the cornerstone of the Holy Land from the rich historical aspect alone, but to actually stand on the spot where our lord and savior Jesus Christ was born would be the most fulfilling religious travel experience I could possibly think of. It is an easy choice based on how much strength my faith has provided me in my personal and professional life.

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