CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Michelle Boers

Country Manager, Lifeboat Distribution Canada

Location: Mississauga, ON


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 23

Fun Facts:

Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Has studied abroad

Biography and Background:
Michelle has worked in the channel since 1995, when she started as an Account Representative at Tech Data Canada. She left to work for a couple of manufacturers and came back to distribution in 2004 to join Alternative Technologies (now Arrow). During her time at Arrow she was a Brand Sales Specialist for the Networking Division where she helped grow the business and gained market share. In December 2014, she joined Lifeboat Distribution as a Territory Manager and was promoted to Country Manager in 2016. In her current role, she is responsible for the continued growth of the Canadian Division. Her goal is to continue to expand her sales team and double the yearly revenue from when she started. Outside of work she's an animal lover and can be found enjoying time with her cats, dogs and horses.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Over the last year I have worked to further the relationship of both our vendor partners and our VAR partners. I have strived to introduce new vendors to our partners and helped them look for new revenue paths to grow their business. This year we hosted our first Lifeboat Canada Partner Conference and we will continue to make it an annual event as we had remarkable success all around. As a boutique distributor we add value to our partners by having a quick, response and a knowledgeable team. This past year I have worked on creating a team where our reps are viewed as the trusted advisor and our customers can look to them as an extension of their own team. We increased our revenues in 2017 over previous years and continue to be on a growth path.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
For 2018 I am focusing on building up the partnerships that have been created both at the vendor level and the partner level and continuing to seek new opportunities for growth. I am also concentrating on strategically onboarding new vendors to help fulfill the ever-changing technology needs. Along with those, I am aiming to expand our sales team to continue to provide the high levels of service that we strive for.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I truly admire Ginette Adragna from CDW Canada. She is a woman with a wealth of knowledge and information and is always willing to share her knowledge with others. In 2017, she was awarded the CDN Woman of the Channel Honoree which was very well deserved. She is an incredibly positive and very personable woman to all that she meets and communicates with. I have had the opportunity to sit down with her and ask questions and which has helped me immensely. One day I hope to be able to inspire someone else, the way that she has inspired me.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Surround yourself with people that inspire you, have amazing attitudes and this will help you be a better person. Your attitude goes a long way to determining the path you take in life. Step out of comfort zone and take time to speak with different people and listen to their stories and advice. Take a chance and ask questions that you are unaware of and learn as much as you possibly can from your mentors and peers. Be happy, confident and open minded.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would love to master the ability to delegate. I tend to try to do everything myself and will go to extremes to get a job completed. Overtime, I have discovered that it isn't feasible and person can only do so much in day's work. Working on how to delegate will help me achieve a better work/life balance, which will have an overall positive effect on my well-being and work.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Well technically I haven't read it, but listened to it. I am a fan of audio books and listened to "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" by Don Miguel Ruiz. It was a book recommended by the CEO of our company. It depicts a powerful code of conduct that can help transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in self-development as it has helped me in many aspects.

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