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What Company are you currently working for and what is your role?
North American Sales Manager for Business Systems, Channel. Business Systems is EPSON’s Division focused on Retail, Hospitality and Financial Vertical Markets as well as Color Label Business Development. My team has primary responsibility for identifying and successfully penetrating large OEMs, Reseller Partners and Independent Software Vendors that serve the Retail, Hospitality or Financial markets. My team’s primary goal is to grow the channel by on-boarding new partners and increasing sell-through to existing partners by designing-in new EPSON solutions. Additionally, I have fiduciary responsibility to grow my segment’s revenue, year over year, in accordance to EPSON’s Annual Revenue Plan and to maintain appropriate inventory levels by carefully analyzing and maintaining appropriate forecast. One of my crucial responsibilities is to insure channel integrity; we have a number of reseller programs suitable for any business model and one of my responsibilities is to insure appropriate placement of partners in our programs and to develop new programs for the changing landscape in our markets.
Professional Career Summary/Highlights
EPSON America – Aug, 4, 2015 will be my 18 year anniversary at EPSON. I began my tenure as a Territory Sales Manager responsible for channel sales in a six state territory. Over the years, my territory responsibilities included channel and end user demand creation and grew to encompass North America. At present, my responsibilities focus solely on managing EPSON’s “channel” sales organization.
The most prestigious and most honorable award I have earned at Epson is the “Epson Values Award”. It is awarded based on an employee’s moral character and contribution to EPSON’s success.
Prior to Epson, I worked for Siemens Nixdorf (now Wincor Nixdorf) for approximately 18 months due to Siemens acquisition of CompuAdd where I had worked for seven years selling advanced systems products and managing the Point-of-Sale Division. In the retail industry, CompuAdd was known for creating and selling the first major installation of a PC-POS Solution to Sears Roebuck & Company; the start of the PC POS Revolution. Prior to PC POS, most POS hardware was proprietary.
Insight into personal life/hobbies
I’ve been married to my husband, Del Ray Sudderth for 25 years, have two young adult sons, Derek and Kale Sudderth and have always lived in the Austin area. All of my, and my husband’s family, also live in greater Austin,so we have bountiful holiday celebrations and family get-togethers. In my downtime, I enjoy being outdoors, gardening, exercising, attending sporting events, and I like to entertain, spending time with family and friends.
Why is involvement with BlueStar’s Women in Technology (WIT) important to you?
In male-dominated industry, I think women have a lot to gain by collaboration and sharing of experiences; more senior and tenured personnel sharing experiences with younger personnel, younger personnel sharing their perspective on current industry topics or initiatives. Young and experienced women can learn from each other, and especially now with the continued and ever increasing importance of social media and mobile technologies. Coming together, there is much to be gained by collaboration. It’s also inspiring to hear how successful women became successful.
One piece of advice you’d give to women entering the business world or wanting to advance within the channel? What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Entering the Business World/Best Advise: Work hard and don’t compromise your integrity. I attended a presentation by one of Barbara Jordan’s Ethics Committee Executives, 25+ years ago, and to this day, I remember a portion of her presentation and it’s guided me throughout my career and life. Her presentation was on Business Ethics and it was very simple.
“If you question, if something is right or wrong, it’s probably wrong”. “If you have to consider the ethical soundness of a decision, it’s probably unethical”. “Don’t do it.” It was that simple and I have repeated those statements to various employees, friends, and family members numerous times throughout my adult life. It is a simple guiding principle professionally and personally and has served me well.
Secondly, Balance in your professional and personal life: All the things we do as women: managing a home, raising & providing guidance to our children, maintaining the “home schedule”, participating in our children’s educational and extracurricular activities, spending quality time with your spouse or significant other, caring for aging parents, working successfully in our careers . . . . the list goes on. It is important to balance your professional and personal life, as we will not work forever. As many work from home, some or all of the time, it’s important to “shut-it-down” at the end of the day and on the weekends to spend time with your loved ones and to take time for yourself. I believe the latter is as important as the first. To take time for yourself; it’s solitude in the garden, it’s going for a long walk, going for a jog or spending time with other women outside of work for a variety of conversation material. I plan lunches or dinners with friends, I plan holidays, birthdays, and vacations for my immediate and extended family and friends. I am regularly teased for my detailed planning but firmly believe, if you don’t plan to spend time with your friends and plan special events, it won’t happen. In our work place, we are all very busy, so you have to “plan” to spend quality time with others to have balance in your life and to have interests beyond your career.