CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Biography and Background:
Beth Burnside is the owner of CMIT Solutions of Erie, a IT support and consulting company for small-midsize businesses ; she has a BS in Marketing and an MBA from Penn State and is currently pursuing a PhD in Organizational Learning & Leadership at Gannon University. Her research emphasis is gender and entrepreneurship. Beth is committed to helping all businesses launch, grow, and succeed, whether by enhancing their IT systems and processes or by organization structure, strategy, and culture consulting. Actively involved in several professional and civic organizations, Beth is a member of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership and serves on the Executive Committee of the Growth Partnership. She is also on the Board of Trustees at Erie Day School, and the Board of Directors of both the Hamot Health Foundation, where she serves as Vice-Chair, and of UPMC Hamot, where she chairs the Quality Improvement Committee, the Regional Health Services Governance Committee and is also a member of the Executive Committee. In 2017, she was training as a Co.Starter facilitator as a way to help budding entrepreneurs turn their vision into reality through their participation in an intense facilitator-led 9-week curriculum.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
As a small business owner, I am intimately involved with both planning and executing channel strategy. I lead the channel marketing efforts and am primarily involved in business development strategy and execution.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Goals for 2018 include increasing top-line revenue by 12% and ensuring a sales mix that consists of at least 65% managed services (recurring revenue). These are the primary levers that ensure company profit targets are met.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was featured as the cover story in the April 2017 edition of Business Solutions magazine with the headline of "Four Essentials for Double-Digit Growth"; I won a Marketing Excellence award as presented by CMIT Solutions, Inc in recognition of attention to successful strategy and execution in the area of marketing to the channel.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I greatly admire Indra Nooyi of Pepsico. She has broken every stereotype imaginable to become one of the most powerful business leaders in the world, not to mention the fact that she has lead Pepsico to new heights of business and financial results. I am fascinated by her personal story and her leadership style-- she is truly an authentic and transformational leader.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would say to DREAM BIG. My humble beginnings didn't allow me to imagine the things I have done and accomplished. I think I had opportunities open to me early on that I didn't even dare or dream to take.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I am focused on skills in the area of leadership. I am currently working on being a "Multiplier". Based on a book of the same name written by Liz Wizeman, a former VP at Oracle, the premise is that the best leaders make everyone around them smarter and more productive. I'm working on being a "genius maker" by practicing "multiplying" behaviors.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I am an avid reader, so to pick just one book is a challenge. In addition to Multipliers by Liz Wizeman as indicated in #11, I loved The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by J.M. Kouzes and B.Z. Posner. It is an evidenced-based guide to building your own leadership capacity. I think it's important to continue to build your capacity as a leader, no matter where you are in your career.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants