One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Location: Denton, TX
Number of years in current position: 2
Number of years involved with indirect sales: 5
Biography and Background:
Kay Stewart is currently the director of distribution and channel operations for mobility at Panasonic Corporation of North America, focused on Toughbook computers, tablets, and rugged handhelds. She oversees the operations between distribution companies and Panasonic's headquarter operations and service teams, and leads the team that is responsible for managing programs and services within mobility distribution and reseller relationships. Kay's career began at AT&T Wireless (ATTW), where she held various sales and management positions. Following her departure in 2000, Stewart began working in sales at Panasonic, selling products and services. Having completed several management trainings and senior leadership programs, including Panasonic's senior management Japanese business program, Kay believes professional development is valuable for growth. Kay has received numerous achievement awards while at Panasonic.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I started the year with a list of specific goals for improving processes, completing formal operations agreements; aligning teams to jointly tackle and improve business processes, metrics and ROIs for budgetary spends and improving communications with key business partners. We exceeded these goals, which will contribute to improving the ease of doing business with our reseller community and distribution partners.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My goals for 2018 are to further improve operational activities needed with the recent integration of Salesforce CRM, drive growth and market ROI through distribution marketing activities and continue to align with our reseller channel teams as well as our sales teams to insure operational excellence and exceed revenue and growth goals.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
• CRN named Panasonic as one of the 25 Coolest Mobile Hardware Vendors as well as a finalist in their Tech Innovator awards for the Toughbook 33 launch. • Tech Radar awarded Panasonic Toughbook CF-54 No#1 Rugged Laptop in 2017 • Channelnomics Vendor of the Year award for overall channel program in 2017 • CRN named Kay Stewart to its Women of the Channel Power 100 list in 2017 for her role in strengthening the channel program (also listed in 2015 and 2016)
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
My dear friend, Kathy Orr, who passed away this past summer from an 11 year ovarian cancer battle. I met Kathy ten years ago while playing golf and knew immediately that she was unique and special. Over many years we became golfing and travel friends all the while she battled recurring cancer; enduring all the new experimental cancer drugs that her body would allow, she never complained about sickness or pain. A community icon, Kathy gave of herself raising thousands of dollars for her favorite charities. Kathy was God wink, I am blessed to have known her.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Make time to read every day, stay abreast of the latest technology and master your industry. Expect change and learn to embrace it as a new challenge. Stay positive and be resilient. Find a good business coach and mentor. Strive to keep humility and kindness ever-present in your life.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would learn a new language - Spanish. It is America's second most spoken non-English language and it is the Country's fastest growing language. Learning a new language demonstrates initiative and cultural competence and would distinguish me from other workers.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
A little book titled 'Zip It', by Karen Ehman. It's about the power of words - what to say, how to say it and when to say nothing at all. Words are powerful and they have consequences. The book has some great take-aways for "mouth management." It is a practical and engaging devotional book.
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