Peer Power Blog
This blog is about the power of peers in the IT space. It is designed as a place to share things I have learned the past 24+ years running a business as well as meeting the growing demands of business owners we experience leading the Heartland Tech Groups - a peer group network for IT business owners.
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CRN Power100 Women in IT
A month or so ago, HTG hosted our second CEO Forum in Denver and had Colleen Abdullah who is CEO of WOW as our speaker. She was dynamic and extremly engaging. One thing she said I have not forgotten was this: "If you want to succeed in the business world today, you need to have some strong women on the management team". May be paraphrased a bit, but the message was clear. The days are over of male dominance in the board room. It is time to leverage the current generation of female leaders and leverage their skills as part of a successful management team. I can validate that statement completely.
Connie Arentson has worked at HTS for some 15 years now. She began as a field engineer, quickly moved up to become service manager and held that role until June 2009 when she was elevated to the position of president at HTS. That is one of the best decisions I have ever made in running the company. Her passion to succeed and attention to detail has propelled us to growth even when the economy was down. We had to make some tough decisions last year, but it was done with grace and consideration for all our team, and no one lost their job as we consolidated some offices. I can honestly say that had a guy been sitting in that seat it probably would have looked different. Connie is a humble, steady leader who just gets it done but never forgets about the people and relationships that make HTS a success.
Jane Cage is the ultimate partner. She came to HTS as part of a merger back in late 2002 when her Connecting Point store joined SCCI to form HTS. There is no person I know on this planet who can do magic with data like she can. Our back office has been revolutionized by her ability to make numbers talk and sing together. She is the cautious part of our leadership team, and always asks the pesky questions like "why are we doing that"? But over the years (and I am not really saying this out loud) I have come to appreciate her caution and discipline even when it slows things down some. Jane has a heart of gold and knows most of the known world, and her experience and relationships have been a blessing to our company over the years.
Christy Sacco came to HTG to help us get events right. It didn't take long with me trying to manage details that I knew we had to have help and fast. (For some reason her picture is not in the slide show, but if you go to the entire list she shows up on the list on page 15). Christy is like a never ending bundle of energy. She makes me tired just watching her, and I am usually considered the maniac of getting things done. There isn't a detail she hasn't conquered and no problem that causes her to lose too much sleep. But her biggest attribute is she is an event planner extrordinaire because she understand the channel and partners very well. She is a relationship person who knows that first and foremost it is about people. Her experience and expertise have caused HTG to have awesome events ever since she came to us. And the real challenge is how to make it better in the future when she has already produced near perfection. Of course that is me speaking - she has a whole list of details to take us to the next level.
Bottom line is that HTS/HTG has three of the Power100 women in this industry. We are in pretty good company when you look at the list for other companies that can say that. Am I proud of these women? You bet I am, and blessed to work beside them every day. It takes fantastic people in the seats on the bus if you want to really hit it out of the park. We are blessed with these three, and a whole lot more on our team. You can only expect bigger and better things from HTS and HTG as we experience the power of teamwork. The best is yet to come because our management team (which also has some amazing men) is hitting on all cylinders.
Thanks to all who allow us to serve you or call you friends. It has been a great ride for the first 25 years, and we are just getting started. Connie, Jane and Christy - I am proud of all three of you and look forward to being kept in line for some time to come. When my bride enters this mix I am surrounded on every side with no where to run or hide. Guess I will just get back to work......
I am just a plain old Iowa farm boy who loves technology. Fortunately I have been blessed with a job of putting the two together, living here on the farm and leading our companies in the Heartland family - HTG, HLG, Varvid and HTS Ag. The real fun is the learning shared with peers through HTG Peer Groups. It is the relationships that make life worth living, and this industry is full of really awesome people. I am blessed every day!