CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Robyn Howes

President, Certified NETS, Inc.

Location: Saint Louis, MO


Number of years in current position: 20

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 20

Twitter Handle: @CertifiedNETS

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss
Has an advanced degree
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Spotify
Has a personal mantra
Has a blog

Biography and Background:
Certified NETS was founded in 1996. Prior to founding Certified NETS, Robyn worked for a variety of organizations throughout the country as well as local businesses in St. Louis, including Medco Behavioral Care and Bridge Information Systems where she served as Network Manager. From her experience with Medco (which became Merck) and Bridge (which became Savvis) she learned that she was most passionate about working with small to medium sized businesses. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs and enjoys "rolling her sleeves up" and getting things done while working with other passionate entrepreneurs. As President, Robyn is responsible for managing technology as well as running a successful business. This combined focus fosters the perfect combination of skills to provide business focused - technology solutions. Robyn has been a Microsoft Certified System Engineer, Novell Certified Network Engineer and Citrix Certified Network Administrator. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan as well two Masters degrees from Washington University (Masters in Telecommunications and Masters in Information Management). Certified NETS is a registered WBE with the City of St. Louis and the State of Missouri.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I reach out to the community and meet with 1-2 business owners each week to help them understand what they are investing in technology and what they should expect to get from that investment. This is an educational opportunity to understand how impactful technology can be on saving time, saving money and increasing morale all of which contribute to productivity and efficiency. We believe businesses should have high expectations of the reliability, security, and efficiency that technology provides their business and that these end results are measurable.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
In addition to reaching out to the community as we did last year, we are focused on culture and a positive work family environment for our internal team. We feel that one of the best ways to invest in the effectiveness of our community and clients is to invest in the positivity and close team relationship and deep understanding of our CNETS Way for our internal team. Some of the tools we are using to accomplish this include servant leadership, mentorship, and visioning,

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Women of the Channel - CRN MSP 500 Pioneer 250 - CRN MSP Mentor 501 - MSPMentor Best IT Firms - St. Louis Small Business Monthly Best in Quality - St. Louis Small Business Monthly

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Alicia Keys - In addition to being a brilliant artist, she is an excellent role model in her makeup free stance. She doesn't want to cover up any more.."Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth." She is a great role model for loving and believing in our natural selves.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Go for it! This is a growing, thriving industry with lots of opportunity. I will say being in the technology industry is a good fit for those that have a voracious appetite for learning. This is an industry that requires constant re-education and investing in your own knowledge as opposed to relying on 'on the job training'.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I would be the main character in Bewitched because it would be great to wiggle my nose and make good things happen to those around me.

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 Geneva because I want to experience the urban lifestyle on the Lake as well as the chalet lifestyle in the mountains. In addition to soaking up the beautiful nature, this city is obviously a hub for finance and role model for peaceful politics.

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