CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Bana Qashu

Sr Business Development Manager, East, AVANT Communications

Location: Chicago, IL


Number of years in current position: 1.5

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 6

Twitter Handle: @banaqashu

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
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse

Biography and Background:
Bana is a senior business development manager for the East at AVANT, focusing on one thing and one thing only - developing and enabling her partners in the region. It is the golden age of the trusted advisers and as a business development manager, her leadership philosophy and values are aligned perfectly with AVANT's vision and mission. Prior to AVANT, Bana has worked with a number of vendor providers, building the channel in evergreen territories, while exhibiting her executive leadership skills from her previous roles in nonprofit management. Bana is also a practicing mindful leadership coach and owner of The Meeting Yogi, est. 2011. This inspires her zen-like approach to channel management by enabling her to be diligent, purposeful and persistent to better concentrate on mission. As a lifelong learner, Bana defines success not only through personal achievement, but also by the success of those around her. Her philosophy encompasses a dedication to personal development balanced with a dedication to her career, family and community. Bana's goal is not only to excel in her career, but to leave a legacy, influence others, achieve a mind-body balance, and enjoy life with loved ones.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
My journey at AVANT began almost 2 years ago as a senior partner manager for the northeast and midatlantic - once an evergreen market for the traditional telecom agents, MSP's and independent consultants. In light of my success in partner growth in that region, I recently accepted the position BizDev Manager in charge of replicating the same growth across the entire east coast. My philosophy is predicated on my persistence to achieve my sales goals while developing success strategies for partners within each region on the east coast, healing customer pains by finding the right solutions and working closely with our vendor partners, developing regional sales training and enhancing on-boarding offerings for our partners, and celebrating small and large successes through the region. Those are just small examples of what I get to do today!

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Five simple goals for the upcoming year in my new role: Increase the number of qualified agents across the east coast and develop the secondary markets Increase the number of regional sales trainings Increase industry participation in conferences and groups that extend beyond the traditional channel Increase social media participation across the region Develop one service outing for the region, showing the industry and the world that our industry gives back

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Currently I am working towards an Ayurveda Lifestyle Consultant (Holistic Medicine). I aspire and work towards achieving accolades as most of mine were obtained while I was still in nonprofit management.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Women - plural. Often, we find ourselves at the top competing with male colleagues. Too often I see women fall victim to situations that make them unapproachable, no longer leading by example, but managing with tyranny. I admire women that have made it to the top, remain humble and empower other women. One of my partners told me that a candle can light many without going out. It's our responsibility to light other women's candles. I admire mothers that work hard to maintain a professional career while raising a family, and I sympathize with single mothers who balance it all.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Live in the moment, stay present! Your passion for life will lead you to a journey full of adventures. Make sure you study abroad, because living in a different country is humbling and incredibly rewarding. You have so much to offer the world from your passion to your need to give back to your creative ability, don't forget that the world needs more colorful people! Those that judge others are weak and insecure. Love your family as they are your best friends. Learn from your mistakes. Celebrate successes. Do NOT get married at 21, that is WAY too young!

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Develop my time management skills. I once trained a board of a directors for a technology association on The One Thing, a book written by Pappasan and Keller. We are all in search of the one thing, the best balance between work and personal life, activity and productivity. The book outlines the best formulas to achieve 80% of your productivity per day in 20% of the time by focusing on one thing at a time and eliminating distractions. I have been working on this since the book was released.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The Art of Power, by Thich Nhat Hahn, when business resources include a relatable element of personal development, developing personal power and coupling it with professional power. Both predicated on personal accountability, self awareness and the five powers one must practice from the book. "The five powers are faith, diligence, mindfulness, concentration, and insight. The five powers are the foundation of real happiness; they are based on concrete practices" The Art of Power, Thich Nhat Hanh.

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