Due to the sheer size and complexity of the Cisco ecosystem, partners often need guidance on getting started and understanding how to best optimize tools provided, and market their Cisco offerings. This is where Comstor enters the picture – their team is there to help partners navigate the Cisco community and build a thriving business. And the Comstor marketing team specializes in highlighting the best tools available for Cisco partners to make the most out of their business.
In this installment of our Meet the People series, we’re featuring a few of the members of Comstor’s award-winning marketing team who shared with us a bit about how they connect with customers, what excites them about their role with Comstor, and valuable advice they have for new Cisco partners.
Bill Maroney, Senior Marketing Manager at Comstor
Years with Comstor: 10.5
Years in His Field: 33
Fun Fact: Proudly unaware of who Carole Baskin is
Bill Maroney, who manages the day-to-day operation of the Comstor marketing team, is the veteran of the team with more than three decades in marketing and communications. “My background is in journalism/communications, including stints as a reporter for a daily newspaper in New York City and a public relations practitioner for a Fortune 100 company,” he shared. “What excites me most about what I do is communicating with people to help them become better informed on topics and issues that can help them improve personally and professionally.”
Maroney encourages partners to take advantage of the programs that Comstor offers.
“Cisco offers an array of best-in-class technology solutions and Comstor provides expertise in these solutions at a level that is unmatched in the channel. I would encourage partners to participate in the Comstor EDGE Progression Program. The EDGE programs align to Cisco architectures and provide the support partners need to grow their Cisco practice profitably. Our aptly named Quick Start program is a great way to hit the ground running with Cisco.”
Autumn NeSmith, Senior Marketing Manager at Comstor
Years with Comstor: 8
Years in Her Field: 8
Fun Fact: Practices Yogic values throughout her life, including treating others as you want to be treated, being honest, and living with integrity
Autumn NeSmith always had an interest in technology and wanted a career where she could connect people and technology. “After watching a documentary about how computer chips were made, I became very interested in how technology, specifically the internet, worked. I saw how technology was always expanding and evolving, something new to learn was just around the corner,” she told us. “I wanted to join a company that understood the human side to the field, and that was experienced and advanced in their approach in bringing networking to people. The Cisco brand stands for high quality and innovation. Once I found a Cisco distributor, I knew I had found my place.”
After eight years with the company, NeSmith’s passion continues to grow. “Knowing I’m part of something bigger than myself that makes a difference in people’s lives is what excites me in my role. I like knowing that my efforts are helping partners of all different sizes and emphasis meet their business goals. Helping Cisco and our internal teams get their messaging across to the globe keeps me motivated.”
NeSmith’s advice for partners is to lean on Comstor and their expertise. “Leverage distribution! We are here to make things easier for you. We know the ins and out of Cisco; who to connect with in the field, promotions, discounts and best practices. Let us be your Sherpa and we will mutually benefit.”
Stacey Cataldo, Marketing Specialist IV at Comstor
Years with Comstor: 8
Years in Her Field: 13
Fun Fact: Huge animal lover!
Stacey Cataldo has built her career in the channel over the past 13 years. “I started in distribution marketing and from there, I have continued to work in the channel,” she told us. “Working in marketing, you have the opportunity to take on many different roles: project management, events, budgets, creative. It allows you to diversify and enhance your skills.”
Cataldo advises partners to take advantage of the environment that Comstor has created. “Cisco and Comstor have worked hard to create an environment that makes the process of becoming a Cisco partner attainable. Many tools are in place to help partners navigate through the process. There is a big opportunity for success.”
Tim Kitchell, Marketing Specialist at Comstor
Years with Comstor: 2
Years in His Field: 14
Fun Fact: Has been an avid skier since he was 18 months old
Tim Kitchell is a native of Colorado and has been in the marketing field for 14 years. He currently manages Comstor’s digital presence including the website, email campaigns, marketing collateral and graphic design. “I’ve always had a passion for creative marketing going back to my college days and I haven’t looked back since,” he told us. “Carefully crafting campaigns to shine a light on what makes our offerings special brings a smile to my face every time.” His keen eye and his creativity allow him to share Comstor program information “in a way that is easy to digest.”
Nikki Wolf, Marketing Specialist at Comstor
Years with Comstor: 2
Years in Her Field: 10
Fun Fact: Marketing and learning are her passions
Although it is one of her biggest passions, Nikki Wolf’s career in marketing was unexpected. “I was working on a production floor at a manufacturing company when a senior manager suggested I apply for a newly opened marketing position,” she said. “Although at the time I did not have the experience nor the education, they gave me a chance and I grew to love the field of marketing.” Since then, she has earned her Master’s in PR and Marketing at the University of Denver and has held several marketing roles in a wide variety of industries over the course of 10+ years. “Learning new industries and how to market to new audiences excites me. There is never a dull moment in the world of marketing.”
Wolf runs Comstor’s Managed Marketing Program, which provides partners with marketing support through Cisco-selected agencies for lead generation and to help them grow their businesses. She also manages all of Comstor’s social media channels and manages the Cisco Co-op Services Funds, as well as occasional event support.
Her words of wisdom for new Cisco partners: “Getting started with Cisco is easier than you think. We know there is a lot to Cisco, but Comstor has developed a Quick Start solution to easily get you up and running.”
Marion Lee, Marketing Specialist at Comstor
Years with Comstor: 1.5
Years in Her Field: 1.5
Fun Fact: Avid traveler, Clemson football fan, and enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons
Marion Lee’s role is to enable both SYNNEX sales reps and resellers with the events and trainings they need to successfully sell Cisco and to put together the right mix of incentives to make it fun and rewarding along the way. “I work closely with the SYNNEX Events team to line up fun venues for our Cisco roadshows all over the country, and I work with Cisco to make sure our speakers are providing the most relevant and up-to-date content,” she told us. “I also have the fun task of putting together sales SPIFFS and planning incentive trips to reward reps and resellers for their hard work. I want to help partners by making sure that we are covering the topics that are most beneficial to them and selecting locations that are easily accessible.”
Lee’s advice for partners looking to get started with Cisco is to network. “Network with the Comstor team! We have the best team of experts in the channel, and they can get you plugged in with the right resources to grow your Cisco sales. Join us at a Cisco Total Solutions roadshow or at a SYNNEX sponsored industry event to get to know our team.”
Jake Konen, Marketing Specialist at Comstor
Years with Comstor: 2
Years in His Field: 4
Fun Fact: Loves continuing his education with programs like online master’s courses and Google certifications
Jake Konen wasn’t initially going to pursue marketing but discovered his interest early on in college and was excited by the possibilities. “I got started in the marketing field by taking an interest in written communication and business promotions during my freshman year of undergrad. I decided to pick up a marketing degree with my studies in English, because I thought pairing the two would lead to some great job opportunities,” he told us. “What excites me the most about my job is the creative aspect of it. I love creating graphics and written communications. Marketing is an awesome way to combine creativity with strategic business initiatives.” In his role, Konen is hands-on, helping partners by creating various forms of media for the award-winning EDGE Progression programs.