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Six F5 women execs honored in CRN’s Women of the Channel

 May 24, 2018

Six female executives from F5 have been honoured amongst 650 industry peers for their vision and success in the IT sector. Women of the Channel celebrates and fosters female leadership across the IT channel all year-round and recognises the success of the industry’s best and brightest.

Lisa Citron from F5

F5's Lisa is rewarded from work with women’s inclusion groups

Senior Director of Public Cloud Sales & Channels, Lisa Citron, leads North American Cloud sales for F5. With a career in the channel that spans two decades, Lisa is consistently recognised as an inspirational woman and a dynamic leader with a history of building and steering large channel sales enterprises.

Lisa’s team is focussed on helping customers and partners “move to the cloud smarter, faster and safer.” Lisa now aims to support F5 to achieve “growth through partners and the public Cloud.”

Driving workplace inclusion

“As the Co-Chair of F5's Women's Employee Inclusion Group, I have had the honor of working with a small group of highly motivated women to drive workplace inclusive programs at F5. It's some of the most rewarding work I have ever done as I know that the work will have a lasting impact on the company and within our industry.”

Lisa counts Sallie Krawcheck as her number one inspiration. Sallie is the co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, an innovative digital investment platform designed to help women reach their financial goals.

“She’s the real deal; a financial feminist who has taken on the old guard of the financial services world creating an innovative digital investment platform for women,” comments Lisa. “Advocating that women have to plan their financial future differently than men and providing the coaching and tools to help.”

Advice from an inspirational woman in FinTech

If I were to give advice to my sixteen-year-old self, it would be, “When you cannot control what's happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what's happening. That’s where your power is.”


F5 women enjoy their careers

Inspirational F5 sales-woman Barbara focuses on communication

F5’s Barbara Abboud serves as Director of Channels (East & Canada). Starting her IT career at Computer Associates, Barbara worked her way up through the ranks and became the first US channel manager for AppSense, and then, years later, Wyse.

Barbara’s role with F5 focuses on “enhancing the communication of our sales teams with our partners,” and developing, “partner-focused/partner led customer engagements.” And, she now hopes to drive conversations with partners and support the growth of the security and Cloud business.

Awards and recognition

Barbara has been honoured by CRN several times over the years, including recognition as CRN Channel Chief 2015, Women of the Channel 2015, Women of the Channel 2016, Women of the Channel 2017.

However, among her proudest moments is leading cookie sales for her daughter’s girl scout troop to win the top seller award in the district.  

“I am particularly proud of that recognition and of those girls,” says Barbara. “The sales skills they develop through this process is something they will take with them in life.”

Inspired by Harry Potter author

Among Barbara's inspirations is J.K. Rowling, author The Harry Potter series. “It took her seven years to bring her vision to light,” comments Barbara. “Those seven years were marked by personal trials, including the death of her mother, divorce and poverty. She had a story to tell and a vision for Harry Potter, she was determined to see this through. Her perseverance has inspired millions of children the love of reading and the understanding that there are no limits with your imaginations.”

F5 women's careers with Jamie Kander

Relationship-builder Jamie, drives results for F5

Jamie Kander is F5’s Cloud Partner Development Manager who uses her 14 years of experience to drive strategic partner plans and programs within the partner ecosystem.

“I’m a ‘do-er’,” says Jamie. “One of my greatest strengths is my ability to build relationships throughout organizations. I value innovative thinking, teamwork, and commitment.

With more than ten years; working with various channel partners, Jamie believes this invaluable knowledge has helped her to “truly understand the DNA of the Channel.” Jamie then put this knowledge to the test to create and execute F5's partner programs and strategic initiatives. Jamie’s focus now is to “help our channel partners become change agents and business enablers for our customers throughout the journey of digitally transforming their businesses.”

In addition to Jamie’s recognition on the CRN list, she has been recognised for her efforts by F5 channel peers and leadership team with an "F5 SuperHero" award.

Opening doors and embracing new cultures

If Jamie could build on any of her business skills, it would be to learn multiple languages.

“We live in an increasingly globalized world where many cultural subtleties can slip through the cracks as we're trying to understand past each other's different dialects. Building deep and meaningful relationships often involves speaking and understanding, partially at least, the same language. When you speak someone's native language, you can talk about a lot more than the weather and other daily fillers. Having the ability to connect with people using their native language opens the door to embracing new cultures and ways of viewing the world.”

F5 women and diversity

Tania’s top priority at F5 is to adapt to the changing channel landscape

Director of worldwide partner programmes, Tania McIntosh, has worked across a number of sales and marketing roles before joining F5 in 2016. Tania has an MBA from the University of Texas, and a dual degree in Business Administration and Communication from the University of Washington. Over the past year, Tania has launched worldwide programs, with an emphasis on F5's security solutions and cloud offerings.

“There are some exciting things occurring at F5,” says Tania, “and adapting to the changing landscape of the business is my top priority. My goal over the next year is to continue to evolve our partner program with a focus on security, migrating partners to cloud solutions and improving partners' pre-sales enablement skills and to ensure our partners understand F5's strategic focus areas.”

Tania was also honoured in the CRN's Women of the Channel in 2017.

Don’t compare yourself to others

If Tania could give advice to her sixteen-year-old self it would be “enjoy the experience, follow your happiness and to stop comparing yourself to others.”

In her career, Tania would like to develop better technical skills and enhance her in-depth product knowledge as she feels it would be of great benefit to her role.

F5 women love their jobs

F5 Channel Sales Director, Stephanie, learns something new every day

Director of channel sales, Stephanie Nalick, has more than 20 years’ experience in building and scaling challenging business models and counts the ‘Channel Chief Award’ from CRN amont her greatest achievements.

“I'm extremely passionate about my work,” comments Stephanie, “and always eager to connect with other channel enthusiasts and technology leaders. The tech channel is truly my extended family, and it's an honor to be part of an incredible ecosystem of partners, distributors, customers - and especially my many "Women of the Channel" colleagues.

Stephanie believes that networking and making a conscious effort to learn something new every day has helped to advance her career. She always asks if she’s unsure of anything and offers solutions and ideas rather than “drowning in problems.”

“Lastly, when it comes to career advancement, I realize that being honest and compassionate is just as important as being a top performer. Great things come to great people,” says Stephanie.

Numerous awards for a talented female tech leader

“I am truly honored to have been the recipient of the following awards and certifications over the past years: 2017: Channel Chief Award by CRN 2017: Leadership Excellence Black Belt by Arrow ECS 2016: Women of the Channel Award by CRN 2015: Women of the Channel Award by CRN 2014: Women of the Channel Award by CRN 2012: Leadership Development Certification by CA Technologies.”

Kindness wins

‘Kindness wins over popularity’ is the advice that Stephanie would give to her younger self.  Goals matter because women can have awesome careers, bullies are not your friends, you don't have to be perfect to be "okay" and hug your parents more often, are among her other mantras.  

Female-focused F5 values its women

F5's programme manager Erin is a master at marketing  

Program Manager, Erin Oettle heads up the F5 Unity Partner Program for the North America, LATAM, and South America.

“I've been directly focused on managing Channel Programs and marketing for the past seven years and indirectly since the start of my career in 1998.”

Erin has the opportunity to work closely with the F5 worldwide team and has seen a major shift in the way customers want to consume products. She’s been challenged to help F5 partners make the shift in their businesses to facilitate these new consumption models.

“One of my goals this year is to make the processes that help us administer the program more efficient to execute. Due to the high-touch nature of our processes, some are difficult to scale, so I am actively researching alternative approaches.”  

Erin has also been honored to take part in the Channel Masters program this year. “It was one of the most intense yet rewarding experiences of my career; I am proud to be an alumni!” Erin was recognized as a CRN Women of the Channel for 2016 and 2017.

Inspired by women who fight against their challenges

Erin is particularly inspired by “the many women who have come forward to fight for challenges that too many women in contemporary American society still face today. From the past and current members of the US Women's Gymnastics team who bravely confronted and took down a sexual predator and a system that failed to protect them, to the many actresses who have fought against sexual harassment and pay inequities in Hollywood and beyond, these are the women whom I admire and draw inspiration from.“

Opportunities for talented women at F5

The F5 team work together to create the technologies and solutions that define their power. As a Prime Employer for Women, F5 equips their senior female leaders and top talent to strive for excellence in their career. Find your next career opportunity at F5.


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