Location: Woburn, MA
Number of years in current position: 9
Number of years involved with indirect sales: 26
Biography and Background:
As Sr. Director of Distribution, MSP, and Channel Sales Operations, Kaspersky Lab North America, Cecilia Lessard is responsible for all aspects of B2B channel distribution including alignment and execution of Kaspersky strategic objectives through marketing, operations and sales enablement, ensuring the highest levels of service for Kaspersky partners. Cecilia brings more than 20 years of IT channel and industry knowledge with distribution experience in product marketing, logistics, strategic project leadership, technical education and partner marketing. She is especially skilled at creative marketing strategies for distribution sales environments and partner profiling, as well as contract negotiation. Prior to joining Kaspersky Lab in 2008, Cecilia was a Director of Software at Tech Data Corporation responsible for business development in support of a broad range of manufacturing partners. Outside interests include reading, boating, cooking, family life and volunteering in her local community.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Over the past year, I have built strong relationships across the channel and was instrumental in establishing the new partner advisory council with select partners. This council is essential in advising Kaspersky across many aspects of the business including go-to-market and communications. I also embraced new responsibilities such as MSP, recruitment and management of Silver and Registered partners, as well as building out new processes to scale increasing volumes of subscription product sales.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Goals for the coming year include - expanding with new strategic and diverse channel partners and service providers, and adding in incremental vertical markets to focus on.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was honored to be recognized by CRN's Women of the Channel in 2017 and received an internal Kaspersky award and praise for leadership, teamwork, and managing change, from Kaspersky senior management. I was also honored for founding a women's group in my local community neighborhood bringing together professional women for camaraderie and support.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
The woman I admire will remain anonymous, and the reason for my admiration is her unshakable positive attitude. This woman has been through such tragedies, and multiple life-threatening medical diagnoses - personally and with her spouse - yet she embraces life with maximum energy and positivity. She has the kindness, integrity, the patience of a saint, and is one of the hardest working people I know. Striving for the next rung on the management ladder is not her priority, but delivering the highest level of on-the-job performance is absolutely her priority.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
My advice would be to maximize learning in school - from employers, mentors, and other leaders. Also, read, read, read! Get out and be more active, regardless of skill level. And lastly, be diligent in setting goals and planning for future successes, personally and professionally.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Mastering foreign languages is a skill that I would be proud to master and leverage in building relationships with colleagues and partners in their native languages. I very much admire those who have this mastery and see strong benefits and respect amongst those who have built this skill.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World This book is a quick read and one that leaves you wanting to share with others. Written by a former Navy SEAL, General McRaven, conveys importance and benefits of discipline, a positive attitude, and teamwork in facing inevitable difficulties. Many self-help books are a reminder of things we know and may have let slide from the forefront, and this book shares in a most encouraging and entertaining method with personal anecdotes from the author.
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