One of our "Power 30 Solution Providers"
Biography and Background:
Brenda Stallings has over 35 years of experience in the technology industry. As owner and CEO of Matrix Integration she gives her company the leadership that has the expertise to solve complex IT business problems for organizations. Beginning her career as a typesetter and proofreader for Psychology Today and Marriage Magazine, she proceeded to own her own computer company, which later merged with a telecommunications company to form Matrix Integration. Brenda is very active in her community holding roles as an Advisory Board Member for Junior Achievement, Executive board member for Memorial Hospital and Finance and Investment sub-Committee chairs, President of Current Blend, Indiana Chamber of Commerce board member including Executive board member and Higher Education committee member, and Tech and Innovation Council member, and a board member for the Business Alliance Network Organization (BANO). She's also a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and Women's Business Enterprise National Councils (WBENC). As a Woman Owned Business leader, Brenda has emerged as one of the most powerful Women of the Channel for numerous years, as selected by CRN, for her commitment to driving growth and innovation in the Technology industry.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Cloud, Managed Services and Security are top of mind for most businesses. The distributors know well that the ever-changing marketplace makes it difficult to keep up. Matrix Integration is partnering with them as well as building our own practices to satisfy our customer's needs. As a woman-owned business, many companies were not aware of our WBENC (Women Business Enterprise National Council) certification, which could support their diversity programs. This not only has proved to be a benefit for them but has improved our channel business as well. Our strategy is on growth. We have recently hired a new VP of Sales, some additional sales individuals with more additions to come. We also recently hired an experienced VP of Technology & Innovation. With the strategic vision of our leaders, we are ready to execute on our strategic plans, which in turn will advance our channel business.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Our goal is to do more assessments and consulting engagements using in-house staff as well as with our strategic partnerships to bring total solutions to our valued clients. Our goal is to stay focused in the market working in conjunction with our strategic partners. The better we serve our clients, the more vendor support we receive. Vendors are looking for experts and partnerships vs. those that sell one-offs to make a sale. We've established an advisory council with key vertical CIO's meeting twice a year. The council goal is to establish relationships, learn from each other and enhance business outcomes.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
President of Current Blend: A co-working space that allows like-minded leaders and entrepreneurs to congregate in a single location. We are now looked at as the model for other small communities to duplicate. Youth Coding Academy: I gathered a committee of 4 academic leaders. We started with ten 6th & 7th grade girls. A story was picked up locally in the news and my vision has spread across Indiana. Our plan is to spin up classes in our local libraries to train displaced workers, veterans and anyone exploring coding re: robotics, virtual reality, app development and much more.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Melinda Gates: #4 on Forbes 2016 Most Powerful Women, Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is an inspiration as she looks at philanthropy thru global collaboration. She decides where to give and monitors the impact . She's invested heavily in women around the world. She speaks that "all mothers want the same thing for their kids." They want healthy and educated children. Her mission is to help educate mothers around the world, and it starts with family planning. She feels blessed to have found her life's purpose and the impact that it has had on so many.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Research what the job market will look like in technology when you graduate from high school or college. Ask your counselors to help you get that data. Explore and attend STEM events and listen to the success stories of others . Join local coding schools such as robotics teams, science competitions to introduce you to STEM environments. Join an association where there is networking and mentoring opportunities re: Association for Women in Science (awis.org), Society of Women Engineers (http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org), Association for Women in Mathematics (https://sites.google.com/site/awmmath/home) as examples. Learn to communicate well and promote yourself and what you're great at.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Jennifer Beals (Alex) in Flashdance Not for her exotic dancing, but for her "passion for dancing". Her dream was to be a ballerina and Hanna. A retired ballerina, was her mentor. She worked as a welder by day and attempted to apply to the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory only to find it difficult to complete the application where it asked for prior dance experience and education. She had neither. She was later discovered by a man who believed in her talent. He gave her the gift of a lifetimethe ability to perform where she always dreamed of performing.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Sydney Australia. They have diversity that can't be seen elsewhere in the world from hippies, to rockers, jazz crooners and much more. The offer Botanical Gardens, gorgeous beaches, wild life at the zoo, koala bears, kangaroos and wallabies, along with nature & parks that are fabulous. The Opera in Sydney is an experience like no other. My nephew and his wife were born and raised in Sydney, and their two children live there now and have invited us to visit. They love it and it's been on my bucket list. Someday, I will visit Sydney, Australia.
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