Meet Mitel's 2024 CRN Women of the Channel

9 min read

Avery Huffman | May 15, 2024

CRN recognizes over 1,700 women for incredible accomplishments within the IT channel annually. The Women of the Channel (WOTC) award acknowledges women who go above and beyond to support and foster close relationships with partners, bring innovative channel initiatives to the forefront, and whose insight and influence drive channel success. For 2024, Mitel is proud to have nine channel leaders: Jess Maria, Sarah Watson, Ashley Williams, Misty Hanvey, Fiona Hills, Ilona Masche, Sara Wilde, Meloni Lemoine, and Patricia Simon.

These women made significant strides in growing Mitel’s relationship with our partners and distributors while developing and accelerating business strategies and comprehensive solutions within the industry. In honor of this star lineup, we would like to take a moment to spotlight each of these women and their achievements.

jess maria

Jessica Maria, Head of Regional Marketing, Americas

Enthusiastically leading partner/field marketing for Mitel’s Americas region since July 2021, Jessica Maria combines her passion for partners and the invigorating and creative aspects of marketing and leadership into one. Having been in channel roles for more than 15 years now across multiple global regions and types of channel companies— from channel journalist/editor in APAC to TSD, distribution, and now vendor/supplier in the Americas — Jess has had the privilege of experiencing the channel from many angles and through many lenses. As the industry continues to consolidate, Jess is excited to lead through the integration of Unify into Mitel and the new opportunities this acquisition brings.

“One of Mitel’s strengths in the last year has been considerable efforts in data integrity. I’m proud to have leveraged these efforts across all aspects of my role to improve performance, partner relationships, inform decisions, and deliver pipeline."

Field marketers in the channel are often conditioned to think “partner-first,” but “pipeline-first” is the lens Jess uses and the way she leads her team. Not only are Jess and her team the tip of the spear when it comes to receiving partner feedback, but they also generate and deliver pipeline to our sales teams and partners and increase their chances of opening and closing business, whether net new or upsell/cross-sell opportunities. It’s important to her that her team understands their role in increasing the amount of good feedback through continually improving partner experience, creatively tackling problems, thinking positively, and choosing joy. As she looks to the rest of 2024, Jess and her team are focusing on new ways to build a pipeline and generate growth for Mitel and partners. She had this to say about her superpower:

“Last year, I said that my superpower was joy, which remains true. Happiness is largely a choice. The past 12 months have been eventful in the channel, and for many, they’ve been incredibly challenging. I love how this channel collaborates to support one another in trying times. Choosing joy enables me to support colleagues, channel friends, and myself better. It helps me connect and be of service without expecting anything in return. It allows me to show up as my best self, regardless of the circumstances.”

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Sarah Watson, Head of Financial Services, Americas

Sarah Watson is a tenured professional with over 30 years of experience in channel partner and customer solutions and support. She began working in customer service, leading her to communications and Mitel as a designer and project manager. Her career has continued to evolve through various roles in customer service and sales solutions.

Sarah is an excellent, innovative problem solver who seeks disruptive and sustainable solutions that are frictionless and differentiating. She has a few simple rules: “Be honest, stay humble, deliver value as well as value everyone’s contribution, give back, and be curious.”

In 2023, Sarah delivered Mitel's go-to-market strategy for the financial industry. She worked with her team to study customer challenges, onboard new solution manufacturers, and revamp the demo process, allowing Mitel to showcase capabilities, grow partner businesses, and educate industry analysts. After building the selling process and go-to-market strategy for the financial vertical, Sarah was tasked with executing and overseeing its success, working closely with Mitel’s PLM, marketing, channel support, and education/onboarding teams. She had this to say about her superpower:

“Curiosity fuels my operation. I am curious about the human experience, how it works, and how to improve. It makes me a vigilant learner and problem solver.”

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Ashley Williams, Head of Hospitality, Americas

Ashley Williams is responsible for Mitel’s go-to-market hospitality solutions. With almost a decade of hospitality experience at Mitel, she has built long-trusted relationships with market influencers, analysts, consultants, and ownership groups, including major flags like Marriot, Hyatt, and Hilton. Each plays a major role in this industry's direction, and Ashley’s strong partnerships are vital in driving Mitel’s hospitality portfolio to deliver the next-gen solutions the market demands.

Ashley directly supports Mitel’s two dozen hospitality-specialized partners and works closely with our channel by listening to and contributing to their needs, as well as educating and enabling them to showcase the benefits of Mitel’s modern UC solutions.

“Since starting my new role, I have prioritized building Mitel’s profile as a leading hospitality solution provider. Working directly with our hospitality channel, I have fostered a mutually beneficial relationship shaping Mitel’s innovation by delivering real-time adjustments to our hospitality offering.”

Ashley had this to say about her superpower:

“I believe everyone has a superpower, but the magic happens when you use it at the right time. Having worked with some of the most respected channel leaders in the industry at Mitel, I’ve learned the importance of listening and the difference between listening and hearing. Mitel's success in hospitality is due to strong relationships with the channel and influencers. Our recent success is tied to their feedback and Mitel's ability to bridge the gap and deliver solutions that meet our market's and customers' needs.”

misty hanvey

Misty Hanvey, Senior Manager, Global Channel Programs

Misty Hanvey is the senior manager of Mitel’s Global Partner Program team. With 20 years of global channel experience, has demonstrated success across various areas with a focus on developing and managing channel programs and tools. Misty has also worked in channel marketing and operations, giving her a distinctive insight into complementary business areas and further experience in demand generation, Marketing as a Service, and CRM management. Her long tenure working in the channel with Mitel and various competitors has afforded her extensive experience managing global partner programs and benefits, including joint marketing funds (JMF), market development funds, retail commissions, deal registration, exclusivity rebates, growth rebates, and vertical rebates.

Over the past year, Misty helped advance Mitel’s channel business by managing various program benefits that promote lead generation and mutual revenue growth, focusing on crucial partner experience initiatives, including a new onboarding program and managing Mitel’s NPS survey. In addition, she continued to prioritize the ROI measurement of Mitel’s JMF program to support guidance on future investments. When asked about her superpower, she said:

“I surveyed my family, and they all agreed that staying positive is my superpower. With a sometimes chaotic life and many responsibilities, I always endeavor to be optimistic and supportive of those around me.  I have discovered that I’m happiest when helping others solve problems, achieve their goals, and feel brighter.  The support I enjoy giving has allowed me to grow in my career as I can strengthen and grow relationships with our channel partners and colleagues.”

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Fiona Hills, Director, Global Partner Programs

Fiona Hills leads the development and execution of Mitel’s Global Partner Programs. With more than 20 years of channel experience, there are few partner-facing initiatives that Fiona hasn't tackled in her career, with a proven track record in various program development and management activities, including partner programs, deal registration, JMF, back-end rebates, business development funds, sales incentives, promotions, and more. She spent several years in field marketing management, which allowed her to develop strategies and execute demand-generation programs while working directly with our internal sales teams and partners.

Fiona has a hands-on approach to formulating programs to drive engagement and increase sales. Before her long tenure with Mitel, she worked for one of Canada's top Mitel solution providers. This experience allowed her to see the challenges the value-added reseller and vendor faced. This unique perspective is critical to her value as a channel expert today. Last year, Fiona helped develop and launch several new Partner Program metrics. New dashboard experiences measured customer lifecycle management (CLM) at the individual partner level while showing partners where specific end-customers were on their communications journey. This resulted in more opportunities to provide migration or enhanced upgrade opportunities. A key goal for Fiona and Mitel’s channel business in 2024 is to focus on CLM. When asked about her superpower, she said:

“As a single mother early in my career, I became a master of time management. It was challenging at times with both busy work and home life schedules. Time management continues to be a critical aspect of my success. Setting goals, preparing action plans, and executing priorities are all elements that should never be underestimated or overlooked. My superpower was found out of necessity but continues to serve me well during my career and life.” 

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Ilona Masche, Marketing Director, DACH

Ilona Masche is responsible for Marketing in Central Europe at Mitel. With 20 years in the IT industry, she has a wealth of experience working with Channel Partners, VARs, Distribution, and System Integrators. Ilona has grown over several roles, with responsibilities ranging from account lead to country and regional lead for the Central European Marketing team. She manages online and offline marketing campaigns with channel partners, taking an active role from strategic planning to implementation.

Ilona is both creative and output-driven. She encourages innovation within her team and seeks to work on projects that push boundaries while adapting to changes within the industry and finding innovative ways to reach the market, all to support partners’ growth. As an advocate of trying new things, her main accomplishment this year was implementing innovative channel incentives that reflect the changing requirements for the industry. This helped partners reach their targets while providing better opportunities to deliver the right solution to customers and prospects using Mitel’s new marketing instruments and customer engagement opportunities. She had this to say about her superpower:

“My superpower has been my natural curiosity. It means I am not afraid of risk, taking chances, and asking questions. My approach has always been “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” – and that manifests across all kinds of things, be it advice, opportunities, time, and professional relationships. All of these are things you don’t want to miss out on just because you didn’t ask or volunteer for something – so if there’s one thing that’s my superpower, it’s to be brave enough to ask for what I need.”

Ilona lectures and shares her experiences at the Berlin School of Economics and Law in her spare time. She absorbs new perspectives and learnings from a young professional business network's different national and international experiences there. Ilona has already published a book on customer relationship management for channel partners.

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Sara Wilde, Senior Channel Marketing Manager

Sara Wilde is a Senior Channel Marketing Manager with over 20 years of industry experience at various companies within the tech industry, holding business development and marketing roles within each of these organizations. In her role with Mitel, she leads the marketing strategy and execution for distributors and service providers. She assists with Mitel’s corporate and to-partner marketing strategy. She has taken the lead in helping to execute successful events such as the Solution Center and sponsorships at Next, Mitel’s annual partner conference. Sara enjoys creating and implementing business and marketing plans, programs, and promotions. She deeply understands the channel and what is essential to partners' success.

Over the past year, Sara created programs and promotions to help distributors and partners confidently promote and sell Mitel products and solutions. She also managed the Solution Center and vendor sponsorships at Mitel's annual partner conference, Next, which has been held in person for the first time since 2020.

“Mitel is the #2 enterprise UC provider globally. Our goal is to be #1. My focus will be evangelizing the Mitel story and educating and enabling partners to sell more Mitel products and solutions. A focus on program and promotion creation and customer lifecycle campaigns will be key to helping us achieve this goal.”

When asked about her superpower, Sara had this to say:

“Perhaps it’s my compassion and awareness of the people around me. I enjoy pulling people in and recognizing their strengths to try and bring out the best in them. After more than 20 years in the channel, I love helping and mentoring those who may not have as much experience as me. I’ve been the beneficiary of many mentors, and if I can pay it forward to help someone else succeed, then I will be more than happy to do that.”

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Meloni Lemoine, Senior Manager, Global Partner Relations

Meloni Lemoine is a telecommunications SME with an extensive track record of leading innovative technology integration, launching start-ups, and unleashing performance throughout cross-functional teams and channel partners. Over the past 30 years, she has developed a career with breadth and depth, spanning roles in B2C, B2B, SMB, mid-medium, sales, tech support, tech ops, PMO, enablement, marketing, partner/channel marketing, and communications. Throughout this window, Meloni has been a key member of evolving product and technology teams, bringing in the new information and wireless era and providing internal teams with a unique, adaptable, and well-rounded perspective.

“At my core, I am passionate about helping others succeed; I enjoy discovering the innate talent within people and helping them tap into projects or programs where they shine. My mantra remains, “Let’s see what we can build together.”

Meloni continually advocated for partners' interests this past year, collaborating with multiple teams to develop programs, messaging, and production schedules. She introduced an improved communications cadence and expanded the reach of product and program updates for Mitel’s global channel partner audience. She also leads Mitel’s strategic acquisition communications to our global channel partner community. When asked about her superpower, she said this:

“I am Resilient, with a capital R. Throughout my personal and professional experience, I have weathered significant change and overcome adversity. With each new challenge, I’ve landed on my feet, remained grounded, and found a way to reinvent myself, continually providing value. Core to my resiliency and successful professional breadth is my curiosity and passion for connecting with others. I am keenly interested in understanding others’ perspectives, values, and experiences. As a result, my ability to connect with others and understand complex organizational needs has allowed me to deliver well-rounded programs with win/win results.”

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Patricia Simon, Field Marketing Director, Northern and Southern Europe & MENA - APAC

With over 15 years of international, digital, and growth marketing experience in the IT and software industry, Patricia Simon started her career in the channel at a distributor, learning the ropes to become a channel marketing trusted advisor, and later went into field marketing, helping increase reach in the EMEA market through integrated lead generating direct and partner marketing campaigns. After six years, Patricia shifted to a central demand generation role, working closer with solutions and product marketing teams, designing programs empowering partners and marketers to run impactful campaigns before returning to the field.

In the last few years, Patricia has been building her skills and expertise around account-based marketing (ABM), working cross-functionally with product and solutions marketing, operations, sales, BDRs, and field marketers to implement ABM programs and helping partners bring value to key customers and prospects. In 2023, Patricia focused on implementing local strategic targeted ABM marketing programs and multi-touch marketing campaigns with Mitel partners. She had this to say about her superpower:

“My superpower is the ability to listen actively, which has helped me throughout my career to understanding new environments quickly, situations, and people I encounter, learn from others, and act with empathy. This skill has been instrumental in building connections and trust with collaborators, colleagues, and partners worldwide. It has also been essential in providing effective support, finding win-win outcomes in various situations, leading successful projects, working with multicultural teams, and creating value.”

Mitel is fortunate to have so many capable and dedicated leaders who work to enhance our organizational, partner, and customer experiences. We applaud all nine women for their accomplishments and are so proud to have such talented leaders on our team.

Categories: Company News

Avery HuffmanSocial Media and Content Specialist

Avery Huffman is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Public Relations and Corporate Communication. She enjoys writing and telling meaningful stories and creating interesting internal and external content.

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