2014 Women of the Channel: My Favorite Charity

Women of the Channel Give Back

Many of the 2014 Women of the Channel are passionate about charitable causes. Here, they share some of their favorites and why they find these organizations so meaningful.

Cheryl Aguilar, Adobe Systems

Americas SMB Cloud Business Development Manager

IDEX (International Development Exchange): It's an organizations that is open to new ideas and opportunities to engage and empower women, communities and leaders in many parts of the world to make their place a better environment to live in. From reducing poverty, to helping build stronger education opportunity, to the fair treatment of all, etc. the idea is to enable the local individuals to see the possibility to change their position starting with themselves thru the support of many others.

Lynn Anderson, Hewlett-Packard

Senior Vice President, Demand Generation & Channel Marketing

Doctors Without Borders -- I believe that health care needs to be a fundamental right. It is the foundation of improving people's lives. People should not have to choose between eating and going to the doctor.

Mary Beach, F5 Networks

Senior Channel Sales Program Manager

Heifer International is my favorite charity because it provides families in need with animals that are sustainable and can change their lives forever. My grandparents introduced me to the charity when I was very young, and I've continued to support it because I think what they are doing is tremendous.

Kristen Beatty, Edge Solutions

Vice President, Marketing

The No. 1 charity I raise money for is the Alzheimer's Association of Colorado by being a Team Captain for the fundraising walk each year. I also love Charity: Water, which we supported last year as a company, because they are taking a modern-day approach to fundraising for an age-old, fundamental problem of getting clean water to everyone in the world.

Renee Bergeron, Ingram Micro

Vice President, Cloud Computing

Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure is my favorite charity. Too many women in my family and in my circle have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and several have passed away. My greatest achievement for Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure is to get sponsorship for their annual event. In the past three years, I have been one of the top five racers from a sponsorship standpoint. I am very proud to be doing this race with my 11-year old daughter, as it's important to make our children aware that we are privileged and should help others.

Gabrielle Boko, Sage

Executive Vice President of Marketing

I have three favorite charities: The Heart Association, because heart disease runs in my family, and I want to support any research that can help people with heart disease be healthier. The ASPCA -- I've adopted all my pets. I have a thing for pets that are hurting, and I want to help. I also support local food banks, because nobody in a country like the U.S. should ever go hungry.

Lorri Bondi, F5 Networks

Worldwide Partner Programs Manager

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. I started giving to this organization in memory of the children that lost their lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. Play is the beginning of the coping and healing process, and I believe all kids should experience the joy of play. Kids at play celebrate life.

Debi Bush, CMIT Solutions of Denver


My favorite charity is the Melanoma Research Foundation. I became aware of it just over a year ago when friends of mine were being honored. It coincided with my mother battling a powerful melanoma cancer to which she lost the battle, but she was valiant and graceful about it. Seeing how melanoma can be so insidious, as my mother's was, and how the success rate for her rare form of melanoma is not high, I am supporting the MRF.

Andrea Cannon, Barracuda Networks

Director, Public Sector Channel Sales

Purple Heart Foundation is my favorite charity. Purple Heart Foundation has special meaning to me, as my father was a Purple Heart recipient. He passed away at the young age of 63.

Alison Challman, Avnet Technology Solutions

Vice President, HP Marketing & Brand Strategy

My favorite charity is the Pets For Vets, a program dedicated to supporting veterans and providing second chances for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America's veterans who could benefit from a companion.

Julie Christiansen, EMC

Senior Director, Global Partner Marketing

The Floating Hospital for Children in Boston, Mass., is special to me. My niece, who was only 6 years old at the time, survived leukemia with the support and care of this excellent organization.

Lori Cornmesser, Ixia Communications

Vice President, Worldwide Channel & Alliance Sales

Make-A-Wish Foundation: There's still something rewarding and magical about being able to grant wishes for people in need. My kids became inspired after meeting a young child at Disneyland that has cancer, and every year my kids sponsor a lemonade stand to raise money to send him back to Disneyland.

Peggy Crespin, Polycom

Director of Channel Sales - Western and Central U.S.

My favorite national charity is the Revlon Run/Walk for Women. This organization is important to me because I have known many women who have had breast cancer. I love the way the Run/Walk events empower women to feel strong in the face of a health crisis as well as enable all women to feel part of a community.

Lisa Del Real, RingCentral

Sr. Manager, Channel Programs & Operations

SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) is an outstanding organization of which I was a member through college. SHPE provided me the support group and resources to succeed and remain in a challenging field. With this group, I hope to continue their work to empower and support future Hispanic and (especially) women engineers.

Jenni Flinders, Microsoft

Vice President of U.S. Partner Group

I love the work that Kiva does to empower others to create opportunity for themselves and others. By offering loans as small as $25, Kiva can truly change a person's life for the better and inspire their entrepreneurial spirit. To date, this company has helped over one million people by lending over $500 million.

Sue Fossnes, Symantec

Senior Director, Global Channel Operations

I'm very closely connected to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which provides a summer camp experience for children with cancer and provides outreach to their family members. I saw my daughter's outlook on life and future completely change by her experience at The Hole in the Wall. I represent this organization by sharing my family's story at fundraising events, as well as volunteering at parent weekend retreats that provide respite and support to parents of these seriously ill children.

Tamela Gates May, Aruba Networks

Director, National Resellers - DMR

The One Fund in Boston. It was established to help the victims of the Marathon Bombing last year. Being from the Boston area, it is deeply meaningful to so many of us. After such horrific circumstances, I was so proud of the way Boston's "tough as nails spirit" and resiliency was displayed for all the world to see. We all face adversity in our lives and sometimes in our careers and we all need to "own our own finish line."

Sommer Goodknect, Eaton

Channel Marketing Manager

Meals on Wheels. When I was in college I volunteered for this organization, and it was very touching to see the difference that a delivered meal can make in a senior's life. Not only are you simply bringing them food, you are having a conversation with them, making them feel important and letting them know that they matter.

Lisa Guess, Juniper Networks

Vice President, Worldwide Systems Engineering, Partner & Commercial

My favorite charity is First Book, which strives to provide access to new books for children in need. This charity is meaningful to me because I believe in the power of children's books to shape their future, give them confidence and a sense of self-worth, and even to change the world. I remember how my early life was guided by stories, characters, or quotes I read in books – in fact, I often am inspired by some of these even today, such as "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss.

Honora Handley, CA Technologies

Senior Director, Channel Marketing

I choose to support the American Indian College Fund because of the focus on scholarships and education. As part Native American, I was fortunate to have parents who valued education highly and I want to give back to help support language preservation, early childhood education programs and leadership development for Native students.

Christa Heath, Dell

Sales Director, Global Commercial Channel

JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Many of my friends have had children diagnosed with diabetes. I support the charity and participate in walks and fund raisers in hopes of finding a cure.

Michelle Herring, CMIT Solutions of St. Charles/Chesterfield

Director of Operations

In the past year my husband and I were asked to assist in the planning and running of a trivia night to benefit the Fisher House. I had never heard of the Fisher House, but when I learned they provide a "home away from home" to family members and caregivers for veterans, it really hit home for me since my husband is a 20-year military veteran.

Ansley Hoke, ScanSource Catalyst

Vice President, Merchandising

The March of Dimes is a great charity, and I've been supporting it since I was in 7th grade, walking for babies and raising money for a great cause. I have seen this organization do great things for families first-hand.

Debbie Hughes, IBM

Vice President, Global Business Partner Channels, Global Technology Services

The Tuscaloosa Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is a worthy charity that leverages my skills. I have served four years as local secretary and my work as a licensed general contractor (my family's business in Alabama) has helped 50-plus needy families find homes throughout the mostly rural areas of Tuscaloosa and Hale Counties.

Dawn Jaeger, Acumatica

Director of Partner Recruitment

My favorite charity is the Salvation Army, as my family has been connected to this organization for years. We've been loyal supporters, my parents were married by a Salvation Army minister, and I've known people who have benefitted from their programs. I admire how the Salvation Army works to get people back on their feet, and that a large portion of donations go directly to the programs that help individuals. Another charity that I support is Save the Children. Although I decided to not have children, I like the idea of supporting children in the U.S. and other countries.

Judy Kent, Nimble Storage

Senior Manager, Worldwide Channel Marketing

The Humane Society is filled with compassionate volunteers [who help] many animals that have suffered at the hands of neglect and abandonment. To be a part of an organization that helps find safe, loving homes for these animals is something that makes me very thankful. I am fortunate to have been raised in a family that welcomed pets, and I have experienced the happiness and love an animal can bring to everyday life. Supporting the Humane Society means that I am not only saving lives of innocent animals, but I am also enabling others to enjoy unconditional love from a pet.

Erin Malone, CA Technologies

Vice President, North America Sales, Data Management

My favorite charity is Big Brothers Big Sisters. This is meaningful to me because they are able to provide an unbelievable opportunity for at-risk youths to get on a better path and help them succeed in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully matches youths with caring, adult role models. By doing this it helps them to improve in school and in their relationships with family and friends, and less likely to skip school or use illegal drugs or alcohol.

Annie Neubrech, SAP

Regional Vice President, Partner Engagement & Programs

This one's simple -- it's the Ruth Anna Neslon Scholarship that I established to honor my mom and what she stood for. It's affiliated with the alternative high school where she volunteered her time after retirement. She was so inspired by the teens that were overcoming incredible hardships and obstacles to better their lives. Every year I love getting the email about the student the teachers selected to give the scholarship to. I know my mom would be proud to know she's continuing to help young men and women become contributing adults by advancing their skills and education.

Jennifer Pospishek, Teradici

Director of Partner Marketing

Help a Mother Out is a Bay Area organization dedicated to filling a straight-forward void -- distributing diapers to families in need through a network of social service partners. As a mom to a small child, I feel a strong connection to helping other working moms and families. It is amazing how something as simple as providing diapers can bring such relief in their day-to-day lives.

Lisa Quinby, Arbor Networks

Director, Global Channel Marketing

The Jimmy Fund, but more specifically The Pan Mass Challenge, an annual two-day bike-a-thon that raises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment. Every year my family volunteers and my father rides -- 73 years old and a cancer survivor himself. It's an amazing and inspiring event with so many people riding for and honoring family and friends affected by cancer, with 100 percent of rider-raised funds going directly to Dana Farber Cancer Institute through The Jimmy Fund.