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Rising Stars: Executives To Watch

These women may not have been in their current roles for long, but they are already making waves throughout the IT channel.

Tonia Gonsalves, Sr. Director, Global Partner Development, Hitachi Data Systems, who under the leadership of Power50 winner Karen Sigman, has built a global partner development team focused on creating and launching channel programs, promotions, tools and enhanced communications.

Stephanie Kuhnel, Director, Government Alliance and Channel Sales, SAS—In her first year on the job, Kuhnel drove a staggering 160 percent growth in channel-leveraged revenue over the previous year and she's bullishly projecting another 165 percent growth this year.

Jessica A. Barlow, in her first year as Director of North American Channel Sales, iStor Networks, created a two-tiered Channel sales program for iStor Networks, which previously had an OEM-only sales model.

Petra Heinrich, Director of Channels and Partners, EMEA, Red Hat, has only been on the job since Jan. 2007, but this year will tell whether she can tap her past channel experience to successfully grow the company's partner base up in the region.

Liz Lawson, Senior Director, Partner Development and Education, Cisco, in her first year in this role, implemented an SMB-focused channel education curriculum with over 6,000 partners trained globally in 21 languages and architected a new lifecycle-based learning framework, which is now the foundation for partner training design.

Courtney Hye, Vice President, Marketing, ASAP Software, in her first year in the channel developed new marketing programs to grow key market segments, efforts which helped ASAP land in the No. 47 spot on the VARBusiness500 this year.

Jennifer Francis, Vice President, Market Development, Cognos, in her first year in this role helped Cognos penetrate BPO and SAAS market.

Colleen Smith, vice president, Software as a Service Partner Program, Progress Software, developed a new SaaS channel program geared to drive new SaaS business initiatives into the market.

Didi Dayton, Senior Director, Worldwide Channel sales, SurfControl, generated $2 million in new business through a new deal registration program, helped grow alternative technology distribution revenue 50 percent, and led a managed services taskforce.

Lora Gernon, Director, Partner Group, Microsoft Canada, led the team that grew Microsoft partners in the region by 15 percent this past year and as well grew existing partner competencies by 15 percent.

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