Biography and Background:
Dawn Birr began her career in the audio industry in 2000, joining Sennheiser fresh out of college. She started with the company as a temporary receptionist and began to learn her way around and through the organization. Shortly afterwards, she moved into the customer service department, where she began learning the workings of Sennheiser's company, and its customers. Dawn was promoted multiple times over the years, thanks to a nurturing workplace culture and strong role models who encouraged her to gain as much company knowledge as much as possible. Positions included: Neumann Product Manager, Professional RF Product Manager, Vice President of Sales for U.S. Installed Sound, Global Commercial Manager for Audio Recording, and most recently Channel Manager for the Americas for Sennheiser Business Solutions. Dawn completed her MBA in 2006. She is a proud Advisory Board Member for the Women's International Music Network and member of Soundgirls.org. She is a winner of the "She Rocks" 2018 Award from the Women's International Music Network.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Dawn has been integral to the launch of several new channel programs focused on the reseller community. These include: Sennheiser's new "Enterprise Advance Replacement" (EAR) warranty program, facilitating 24-hour replacement program of defective headsets. This US program is designed accommodate customer emergencies and build loyalty. The Not for Resale (NFR) Program allows Sennheiser partners to purchase up to 300 headset/speaker phone units per year at discounts of up to 55% (not for resale), to familiarize those partners with Sennheiser's advanced audio solutions first-hand. The Dealer Registration portal, allowing reseller partners to lock in up to 15% discounted pricing for up to a year, so partners may fulfill opportunities in the market at a competitive price. In addition, Dawn oversaw the launch of innovative products such as the SC 660 TC headset for workers with special hearing needs, and continued to support the launch of the flagship MB 660 UC headset for open office environments.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Sennheiser experienced impressive sales growth of 30% overall in 2017. In 2018, Sennheiser has set similar goals to increase sales another 30%, driven by new programs and channel investments designed to enhance support of its partners while producing superior audio technologies for the marketplace.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Dawn was named a CRN Channel Chief for 2018. As per above, she is a winner of the "She Rocks" 2018 Award from the Women's International Music Network. She's on the Women's International Music Network Advisory Board and a member of Soundgirls.org.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Hillary Clinton, who has lived a life of service, advocating for human rights and working tirelessly for not-for-profits while maintaining a career as a high-powered attorney. She has been a long-time supporter of women's rights and a champion for women and girls in the workplace and elsewhere. She broke barriers as a First Lady, traveling to China in 1995 to discuss women's rights and outline the struggles and abuses women faced throughout the world. Her message is that women must stand firm in our belief systems, and women's rights are human rights. This is admirable no matter what political affiliation.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Don't pay attention to the negative voices, in your own mind and beyond, that say you can't do something. Negative dialogs are not the forces that will lead you forward. Ignore them, and love yourself. Your measure as a person is not dependent upon what other people say, but on what you think and feel.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I'd love to become a Radio Frequency engineer, which would allow me to better understand both the audio industry and the world around us. There are precious few female RF engineers in the industry, yet we're 50 percent of the population, so I'd be happy to see women play more vital role in this field in the future. I'd also love to learn how to drive a mixing board and mix audio, which comes from my long-term background in the audio and recording industries.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I read Dan Rather's new book, "What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism." It's a treatise on how we can come together as a culture and overcome the barriers to entry for peace and harmony.
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