CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Kilynn Sommer

Director of Channel Marketing and Events, Mitel

Location: Plano, TX


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 1

Twitter Handle: @KilynnSommer

Fun Facts:

Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has an MBA
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Likes playing video games
Has studied abroad
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
Kilynn Sommer is a bilingual marketing leader with a proven track record of driving growth and organizational effectiveness. She has led the development and management of multi-million-dollar marketing and public relations campaigns for global, national and local companies in a variety of sectors including: hospitality, healthcare, non-profit and business communications. In her current role, she leads North America Field Marketing and Events at Mitel where she is focused on enabling the channel with measurable marketing campaigns for increased lead generation. Sommer received her undergraduate degree from Baylor University and MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is an active Youth Ministry volunteer and member of Junior League in Dallas. She also enjoys down time with her husband and three active, young boys.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
In the last year, I have worked diligently in building and researching the best tools and marketing practices for the channel to better enable them as sellers and equip them in being able to build demand for their business and Mitel. As a result of a real need, I have been able to create a marketing hub that is a central repository for our partner community. This hub provides our partners the opportunity to launch measurable marketing campaigns; attain vendor partner discounts for prospect list support; access creative resources, among other options; and gives the partner and our field marketing team the visibility of campaign progress and movement. This was something we did not offer previously. The new platform is designed to provide our channel greater confidence in our marketing collaboration with increased accountability.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
To increase engagement among end-users with our channel partners to get increased visibility into their preferences and needs. Mitel is placing a heavy focus on customer service, and this is an area where we can better enable our channel since they are an extension of our brand every time they sell our solutions. It is imperative for the channel to understand the needs and wants of the evolving customer. Mitel is focused on moving customers to the cloud when they are ready, and we must arm our channel in being able to do the same.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was recently named to the 2017 Business Excellence Circle at Mitel. The accolade is a peer-driven nomination and only given to those who have demonstrated the willingness to go above or beyond their role. I am quite honored to have been named since there are so many outstanding marketers in our global organization, and to be named because my peers felt I had been able to impact the business positively. It was definitely a real surprise and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Sheryl Sandberg. She encourages leaning into your passion, giving it your entire focus, so you can be as successful as possible. I love this because many try to do it all, and be everything to everyone, when really you just have to be the best you. A quote I love from her too is: "I don't believe in 'having it all,'" she said in a Fortune article. "But I do believe in women and men having both a successful career and family. The more women we get into positions of power, the more likely we'll get that."

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
To never fear taking a leap of faith. It is easy to stay with what you know or feel comfortable with since that is in our nature. But real learning and growth comes when you choose a path that is less traveled. We often fear what we don't know, but imagine what you would miss out on all because you were scared. I chose to jump into a career and vertical that I never thought I would be in, and I couldn't be happier with what I've learned and continue to learn every day.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would love to delve a bit more into the operations of the business since I like solving problems and building greater efficiency. At Mitel, we are big on organizational development and process improvement, and I have had the opportunity to participate in Kaizens that focus on streamlining efficiencies for the company. It is a great skill that is not just for the workplace, so my goal is to master the Kaizen training so I can continue to leverage it at work and at home.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
"Same Kind of Different as Me" by Denver Moore, Lynn Vincent, and Ron Hall This book is well-written, heart-felt, poignant, and filled with hope. In my opinion, this book is proof that strong faith is still the thread that unites people with differences, while teaching that prosperity or poverty do not dictate the depth of one's faith or desire to serve.

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