CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Laura Oberle

Director, Regional Account Management Team, Star2Star Communications

Location: Sarasota, FL


Number of years in current position: 2.5

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 20

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Is an extrovert
Can ride a horse
Has written a song

Biography and Background:
Laura heads Star2Star's Regional Account Management Team where she manages Partner relationships and directs inside Regional Account Managers in the sourcing and recruiting of Partners for Star2Star's Reseller and Agent programs. Her career in the channel began in 1995 as a Marketing Support Representative and includes experience in executive recruiting and account management in the technology sector. She has also worked at Verizon Information Services, Convergent Search Group, and Gartner. Laura joined Star2Star in 2013 as an Account Manager in Agent Channel Sales Support and was promoted to her current Director role in 2015. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BA in Professional Writing and Literary and Cultural Studies minor.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I helped to facilitate opening the Agent Channel by building relationships with master agencies. I worked with Master Agents and their sub-agents to educate them on Star2Star solutions in order to engage them to offer Star2Star as their primary solution to customers. Also in the past year, my team and I have closed several large multi-location deals including 25 locations for urgent care facilities, 28 locations with a wireless phone franchise, and 116 locations for a fitness franchise.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Star2Star debuted our Full Spectrum Communications Solution in January 2018, which includes our new StarSystem™ Hosted product. StarSystem™ Hosted provides new opportunities for recruiting Partners interested in selling hosted solutions to their customers. My goal for 2018 is to build out our Partner program and grow our Partner base leveraging Hosted as well as the complete Full Spectrum portfolio.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I received the Navigator's Club award from Star2Star for achieving the most sales in Total Contract Value (TCV). I was recognized for Outstanding Dealer Support by Ameritel Voice & Data for providing them with support in the channel.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire Michelle Obama for her professional and personal success. I admire her dedication to America and her family as well as how she handles challenging situations with grace and humor.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell my 16-year-old self to trust more in my own decisions and not worry so much about what other people do or think. When you're 16, you tend to believe that other people know more or are smarter than you are. I would explain that it's better to trust your own decision making instead of relying exclusively on the advice of others and listening to peers.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would like to develop a greater depth of understanding in the technology powering our Hosted product so that I could better educate my team and our partners.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I loved Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I am inspired by the main heroine who is a very strong woman who pushes the boundaries of expected female roles and career.

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