CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

One of our "Power 30 Solution Providers"

Elise Hernandez

President/CEO, Ideal System Solutions, Inc.

Location: Minnetonka, MN


Number of years in current position: 21

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 21

Twitter Handle: @!/idealssi

Fun Facts:

Sits on a company board
Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has an MBA
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain

Biography and Background:
In 1991, Elise Hernandez graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA degree in Business, Psychology and Spanish. In 1996 she was awarded a Master of Business Administration in Management degree from Metropolitan State University, College of Management, St. Paul, Minnesota. Elise has over 30 years of technology sales, marketing and management experience, and over 20 years of Government agency contract and project management experience. Elise founded Ideal System Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of information technology products, solutions and professional services, in 1997. With offices in Minnesota, New Mexico and the DC area, Ideal offers leading-edge technology solutions to Government agencies, prime contractors, educational institutions and commercial organizations nationwide. With the assistance of organizations such as The Small Business Administration, the Women's Business Development Center, The Procurement Technical Assistance Center, the Women's Business Enterprise National Council and the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, Elise has been able to add services and expand the company due to her networking, certifications and assistance from these organizations. Elise is also a homemaker with a husband and two daughters, an avid outdoor woman, and is involved with multiple charity organizations and community activities.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Ideal has been very channel-centric for all of the 21 years we have been in business. Over the past few years, we have strategically made it our priority to strengthen and build our channel relationships as we add more capabilities to our solutions portfolio. The relationships are as important as our customer relationships. Additionally, we have added a Vice President of Business Development and a Vendor Relations Manager to focus on our channel partnerships and programs. Channel partnerships allow us to be more competitive, provide more value and capabilities to our customers and focus on our core capabilities.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
To continue to strengthen our channel relationships in order to strengthen our capabilities with an end result of increased growth. We will continue to focus on our channel strategy and development of our channel relationships. We are also anticipating the award of additional Government Wide Acquisition Contracts where our channel relationships will play a very important role.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) 2018 WBE of the Year presented at a celebratory reception at WBDC Connect & Celebrate, Minneapolis on Thursday, March 1st at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center. The award is presented to the visionary woman business owner who recognizes the value of her WBE status as a source of price and a vehicle for successful business growth and development. 2017 awards include: CRN's Elite Power Women of the Channel, Power 30 Solution Provider and Solution Provider 500. Omnikal's Top 100 Diversity Owned Businesses in Minnesota

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
While I was attending graduate school, there was a successful woman business owner and philanthropist that strongly advocated for young women pursuing a business career. I was awarded her endowed scholarship based on my passion for business and pursuit of entrepreneurship. Not only did this scholarship provide the means to finish graduate school but also taught me the importance of giving back.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
You are going to make mistakes in life. Do not view these mistakes as failures, but as an opportunity to learn and grow. I love the quote by George Bernard Shaw, "A life spent making mistakes is not only honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
To learn how to write applications that solve problems, especially an application that would take care of any time management issues.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
"The Rooster Bar" by John Grisham - I related to the students and their struggles to put themselves through law school. The book was full of suspense.

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