CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Natalie Riley

CFO/COO, JNR Networks

Location: Tucson, AZ


Number of years in current position: 10

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 12

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Sits on a company board
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has climbed a mountain

Biography and Background:
Natalie is the Director of Operations and Finance at JNR Networks in Tucson, Arizona. She and her husband, James, started JNR Networks back in 2005 witht he goal to deliver IT services to businesses with integrity. As a homeschooling mother of, then, two dauthers, her initial focus was just to help out with some of the day-to-day bookeeping responsibilities. As her skills and the business grew, she took over managing the entire finance department and moved into managing and driving the operations department as well. Natalie's experience managing a family and homeschooling translated well into managing the finance and operations side of a busy business. She is adept at handling many different things all at once while keeping order and sanity intact. When she isn't leading the team at JNR Networks, Natalie loves to spend time with her husband and four daughters and teach scuba diving.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Inside of JNR Networks, Natalie has been the driving force behind much of its operational maturity growth and development. She collaborates with her team to gain perspective then she distills that down into definable processes. To the outside channel, Natalie might appear much like the partner that is working hard behind the scenes. Her husband, James, the CEO of JNR Networks speaks at events and JNR Networks provides consulting services to other MSPs. In all of this, Natalie is rarely the "named" person engaging wtih clients but much of the quality content that is presented has her fingerprints all over it. Her insight and influence is prevalant throughout the entire organization and the impact that JNR Networks has in the industry would not be what it is with her influence.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
In the coming year, our goal is to continue to engage the channel community by driving the conversation to move from being IT consultants to business consultants. We have found that many IT companies understand this concept but struggle to execute on this vision. Our goal is to continue to be a positive influence in the channel in driving the IT industry in this positive direction.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Much of what Natalie does is behind the scenes so she doesn't tend to receive awards directly. This is consistent with her attitude as she is more focused on building up her team than she is on gaining her own accolated. That said, JNR Networks has listed by CRN for 3 years in a row. Additionally, Natalie and her Husband have been involved in giving back to numerous local charities in their local community.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I would have to say that I admire Margaret Higgins, Executive Director of The Haven in Tucson, Arizona. I admire Margaret because she has an amazing, caring heart for women recovering from substance abuse. This is a prevalent issue today and not many people care about the suffering of others like Margaret does. Margaret is passionately devoted to educating and helping women live healthy, substance-free lives. I hope to have an impact on the world around me the way she does.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would give myself the same advice I give my 16 year-old daughter. I would tell her that you don't need to know what you want to do with the rest of your life just yet. I would tell her to focus on her current jobschool, and then focus on serving others. Too many young kids today are worried about college and making life-long decisions that they aren't ready to make which only leads them into debt. It's more important at 16 years old to gain some life experience so that, later, you can make life-long decisions wisely.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would like to master being a better public speaker. I have always been more comfortable being behind the scenes and had a fear of public speaking. I would like to overcome this fear and gain more confidence so that I can be a better leader.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I very much enjoyed reading the book "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek. This book is very motivating and I agree with its premise that to effectively lead others you have to first understand your why and then find out what their why is. I believe thatWhen, as a team, you are working on the same "why" you can turn out amazing results for your clients. When, as a leader, you understand your teams "why" you can inspire them to grow and mature quite effectively.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants