CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Kathy Kiah

Senior Project Manager, IIS

Location: Plainview, NY


Number of years in current position: 10

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 10

Twitter Handle: @iistech

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Is a mentor
Has a personal mantra
Had a lemonade stand

Biography and Background:
I've been a PMP certified Project Manager for fifteen years, ten of them at International Integrated Solutions in Plainview, New York. I graduated Villanova University with a Communications degree and my early career was at two large multi-national corporations where I held jobs ranging from Marketing to Finance to Telecommunications. It was while I was in the Telecom department managing the toll-free network at my prior employer that I was selected to be part of the team to establish a Project Management office for the entire IT department. That experience allowed me to be immersed in the full depth and breadth of the PMI methodology as well as to understand the management and administration processes of a PMO. I started at IIS after growing disillusioned working at a large company with all the bureaucracy that goes along with it. When I joined, IIS had only forty employees; it has doubled in size since I started and it's been a great experience. What I've really appreciated most is the opportunity to make an impact at a smaller company that stands out for putting customers first and exceeding expectations.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
My job is customer facing so I'm with our customers most of the time. As a project manager, I spend many hours working closely with the customer engineers and administrators in the planning and implementation of hardware and software solutions. Due to these relationships, I have insight to the various challenges our customers face and have a unique opportunity to identify additional pain points where we might be able to offer solutions. I also work hand in hand with HPE CE's on many of our projects. Part of my job is to create a sense of team between the customer engineers, IIS engineers and HPE Engineers. The quality of the engineers and the strength of our partnership is clear to the customers which has led to a lot of additional and repeat business. Perhaps the best thing about working at a Channel Partner is the innovative mindset at IIS and the ability to help our customers by being consistently nimble during implementation of workable solutions that make a difference. We work hard to partner with both our customers and with HPE to solve problems and deliver IT systems and processes. And our customers' loyalty is proof that we succeed!

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
It's been ingrained from the beginning at IIS that we all strive to help the company grow with HPE products and services. The power of IIS is in our people and the same goes for HPE. I will continue to reinforce the level of expertise that we bring as well as the benefits of personal service and agile approach that we bring to every assignment, project and partnership.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
This year I received the Employee of the Year award from IIS. This award recognizes several IIS employees and is called the "Rich Riis Award" named in honor a colleague who passed away in 2014 and embodied the work ethic and values respected at IIS. The recognition is essentially for going above and beyond while maintaining a positive outlook. I was humbled to receive an award honoring Rich but also to be in the company of the other IIS employees who were named this year, my amazing colleagues: Mary Dolan, Steve Pavlecka, Barbara Seppala and Dave Olson.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I've always been a fan of Katharine Hepburn and been drawn to the characters she's played. I've recently read more about her and discovered that she chose many of her roles because of the strength of the characters. In her roles and her personal life, she was culturally influential showing that women could be successful and assertive while still being feminine and fun-loving. I love that she insisted on wearing pants instead of skirts; she never conformed to others' ideas of who she should be. She was honest, hardworking and determined to enjoy life, no matter what struggles she encountered.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I'm a non-technical person who has been working in the technology field for nearly 20 years. When mentoring younger women, I stress that there is actually a lot of room, and perhaps even a need for those who bring other expertise and talents to the industry besides technological skills. Not only in Management but Sales and Operations. Always keep an open mind and don't be intimidated by the complexity of the subject matter. Also, technology is exciting; there's so much innovation and you get to work with so many brilliant people solving problems.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I've always admired the character Rose played by Kate Winslet in the movie Titanic. She was smart and adventurous and very daring for a woman in that time period. At a very young age, she was wise enough to escape a miserable life, even though she knew that she would have been materially wealthy. The portrayal of her life after she survived indicated that even with an "ordinary" life, she broke barriers that existed for women of the time.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
There are many cities on my list of places to visit and re-visit but if offered a trip to a city with expenses paid, I'd choose Sydney, Australia. The city is beautiful and a vacation there would offer all the benefits of a touring vacation (history, dining, museums) along with the two things I try to include on every vacation which are beautiful beaches and golf. I'd also love to tour the Outback however not camping, I've heard there are "luxury" Outback excursions, which would be my preference!

Unedited Content Provided By Participants