CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Shirley Peterson

President, CMIT Solutions of Fort Worth

Location: Fort Worth, TX


Number of years in current position: 19

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 19

Twitter Handle: @CMIT_FORTWORTH

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Has studied abroad
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
Shirley Peterson is the longest-serving CMIT Solutions franchise partner. She opened her business in Fort Worth, Texas in 1999 when the business model focused on the residential market. In 2003, Shirley embraced the move toward servicing the small and medium-sized business community. Her determination to succeed and foresight to build a great team have resulted in several awards over the years, including Franchise of the Year in 2014. Shirley spent the first ten years growing her business. Today she is reaping the rewards of that hard work, forever grateful for the opportunity to help her clients succeed!

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I listened more carefully! I listened to my team of professionals, my clients, my family, my friends, and other IT experts along the way. I attended more IT conferences and trade shows. I listened to how they were interacting with technology in new ways. I listened to podcasts as I made the daily commute. I listened because I want to be ready for what is coming next in the fast-moving world of business technology services. And as a result, last year we entered both new and old market industries that are heating up for future growth. It is a win for both 2017 and 2018!

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
We've always been a word-of-mouth business so it is important that we build on our reputation as a leading IT Service provider. This year we will launch more Managed Security Services, critical for businesses to protect themselves against aggressive cybersecurity threats. We will align our ITIL best practices to support new IT capabilities that are driving an increase in the speed-of-business. We continue to shake things up in our local market by adding more talent to our team of professionals as we prepare for extraordinary growth in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2018, 2019 and 2020!

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
In 2017, I made a market-opportunity decision to apply for certification as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise. And in both 2017 and 2018 we were ranked as one of the Top Woman-Owned Businesses in the area by the Fort Worth Business Press. While HUB certified by the State of Texas, our WBE certification is focused on the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metroplex. Recently, ranked No. 4 in the top 15 entrepreneurial metropolitan areas in the country, we are in the right place at the right time for advancing our IT business in the small to mid-sized business market!

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Sheryl Sandberg. With true grit and resilience, she taught us all to lean into life's most devastating moments and extend our reach to help others when we ourselves need support. You can find joy with Option B in both life and business!

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Always trust your instincts! At 16 I didn't begin to know what the possibilities were. Wife, Mother, Grandmother, IT Service Provider at 16-years old that last one didn't exist as it does today. As the longest-serving CMIT Franchisee, soon to be celebrating 20 years in business, I still have to repeat 4 powerful words to myself - always trust your instincts. Do your homework on business decisions, and trust your instincts. It's not one or the other. You can do both at the same time.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I'd like the skill-set of Margaret Brennan, the recently appointed moderator for one of the longest-running news traditions in television 'Face the Nation.' Smart, cool and articulate, Margaret provides crucial context for her viewers. Our CMIT Solutions' network has been in the making for 21 years - I too would like to be smart, cool and articulate, providing crucial context for future IT services benefiting our small and mid-sized business customers.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Monet's Passion: Ideas, Inspiration, and Insights from the Painter's Gardens It has been a longtime dream of mine to experience Monet's Gardens at Giverny. In the fall of 2017, without a lot of advance notice, my daughters took me there. Dream Big I always say, it might just happen. Every time I turn a page in that book, it reminds me of what is possible.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants