CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Tia Marie Garaas

Channel Program Communications Manager, Gemalto

Location: Austin, TX


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 1

Twitter Handle: @tiagaraas

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Likes playing video games

Biography and Background:
My name is Tia Marie Garaas and I've been working as the Channel Program Communications Manager on the Gemalto Cipher Partner Program team since September 2017. I sought this role after having worked in the Channel as a contractor on Dell's Global Alliance team a couple of years ago. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed working with the partners. My background is in journalism and marketing, having earned my M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College. I chose that path because I believe it's vitally important for a business to not only know their audience and create the right content, but to be able to reach them in the right places. I've worked in medical device and sports/entertainment before this, and what's interesting about working in technology is that it has a very far reaching effect. I like to know that I'm helping people in some way.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I've been in my position since September and came onboard during the launch of the enhanced Gemalto Cipher Partner Program. I have tirelessly edited the program guides and worked on email and newsletter communications to make sure our internal teams and partners were made aware of key dates and documents along the way. I was also responsible for our Voice of the Partner survey this year, which takes feedback from our partners to help drive our investments in the program the next year. It was very insightful for our internal teams.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My personal goal is to make sure our communications are clear and hitting the right targets. Also that we have the right content to meet the needs of our sales teams and partners. We just launched the enhanced Cipher program so there is some change management involved with that, and I believe a key to success will be to make sure folks receive clear messaging and training.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
My manager Colleen gave me a "Rookie of the Year" award for ramping up on our team quickly.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I've always admired my manager at Fidelity, Ginta Lambergs. She was so sharp and knew how to drive a team, yet she also knew how to connect on an individual level. She didn't crack under pressure and instead was able to have a sense of humor at appropriate times that put everyone at ease. I appreciated how she protected our work/life balance so we didn't burn out. She always kept her cool and was a very class lady.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell my 16-year-old self that there will be rocky roads and some not-so-good people out there, but don't let those things get in the way of the big picture. It's okay to take a break , or change directions, because sometimes that's just what we need. We learn a lot by going down some of the wrong roads. Never let your belief in yourself waiver, and if something or someone is stealing your good energy, get out of that situation as quickly as possible. Be kind, lift others up, and remember you are more than your job title.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I have a goal to be proficient in SharePoint. I've used it in several companies and the set-up is always slightly different. It can be messy if not governed properly and I like to clean up messes and make things easier for our sales teams; they will be more empowered to work with our partners when they can easily locate the correct documents and tools that are created to help them.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I really enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. The characters and suspense kept me turning the pages really quickly! I'm curious by nature, so these kind of books really ignite my interest. I've always enjoyed detective novels so it's fun to try and solve the mystery as its unfolding.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants