Biography and Background:
I am happily married for over 25 years and a mother of 2 beautiful kids, a 22 year old son and a 17 year old daughter. I have a degree in commerce but found it too boring and found myself drawn to IT. I was an IT developer for over 15 years in banks, insurance companies and high tech industries. My husband was always in the traffic industry right out of school. I started The Get Go Inc. as an IT consulting firm. We combined our talents and concentrated on high tech products in the traffic and weather industry. Our customers are mainly government municipalities covering Ontario and the Maritimes to start, and in the last few years we have expanded across Canada with offices in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. My husband and I both look in the same direction and have the same goals, who else knows each other's strength and weakness like a partner and we make a great team. Our company continues to grow and we are encouraged by the outlook and positive economy.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
We have excellent products and they sell themselves, they just need to be introduced to the right people and properly applied to the right application. I arrange and attend all trade shows & conferences that are related to our industry. Our industry is very conference intensive, and it is very important to have eye contact with attendees. Once eye contact is established, it brings the attendees into the booth and selling begins. I find it easier to not just talk about products, but to bring in casual conversation, maybe the family, a hobby or something that creates a conversation. I try to make it fun and a memorable experience. I like to treat our customers the same way I would like to be treated. Their urgency and importance are my urgency and importance. Most of our projects have a scheduled deadline and it is important to meet or exceed it. We only have one chance to show our customers that we are capable and reliable. I am very persistent and don't take "No" as an answer because it could always be changed to a "How". How can it be done and if there is a will, there is a way?
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Our company has doubled in size in the past year in Canada. Our strength is in our service and support on all products that we sell. In order to support our growth, we will be adding sales and technical staff for our channel products. We will be looking for more product offerings for our customers. We have expanded to the U.S. by attending trade shows only. It turned out to be very successful. In the next year, we are looking into having a presence in the U.S. either via various distribution channels or opening a subsidiary.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
In 2017 we received the Hill Climber award offered by Iteris in Santa Ana, California. This is our fourth award from Iteris. In 2015 & 2016 we received the Top Performer award and in 2014 we received the Rookie of the year award. We are going up and up. In 2017, we were awarded the Bluetooth Travel Time Project in York Region. This was a very competitive RFP against many companies in U.S. and other countries. This will be the biggest Iteris Bluetooth System deployment in Canada and Second biggest in North America aside from Texas.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Oprah Winfrey. She is outspoken but down to earth. She has a positive attitude. Her quotes are up lifting. I admire that although everyone thinks she would be a great candidate for the next presidency, she said she is not the one that could make the call if collateral damage could result. She knows what she can and can't do and it takes a strong person with a strong mind not to get persuaded to do what others want.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Never stand still, always look for opportunities, they are all around you. If the opportunity does not present itself now, plant the seed it and let it grow. Always be forward thinking and trust your 6th sense. Along the way, a path will be built heading to where your goal is. Turn a "No" answer to a "How", think of a way how it can be done.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I'd like to master system networking. Many of our products and projects require system integration. Many of the road blocks to system implementation are due to company's IT i.e. their firewall or wrong subnet etc. Many people point fingers on why the product is not working when it is a network problem. If there is a problem, there is a solution and I'd like to be the solution provider.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
A book called "Every Family's Business by Thomas William Deans" shaped the way I think about our business in the future and the different between running a business and running a family business. Our son is the Western Sales Manager looking after western Canada and our daughter decided to study business. This book makes me think about ownership, leadership and wealth for this generation and the next. Is generational wealth means the longevity of a business or shaping a successor to branch off? This book was a easy read but it made me think!
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